The Marath Search Engine: An Answer for Every Question
Naya Sunforger Control
More so than almost any other potential commander, Marath, Will of the Wild embodies the concept of a toolbox. As a threat, this (elemental) beast scales with the game state, always being reasonably costed for his size. Simultaneously, Marath can power up other creatures, create creature tokens, and deal direct damage to any legal target. Furthermore, Marath supports nearly every deck strategy; from aggro to control to combo, and is effective in both multiplayer commander and Dual Commander.
With Marath's versatility in mind; this deck is built to be reactive Naya control. With intersecting toolbox suites, there is only 1 card in the entire deck which cannot be found in the library. As if using Wikipedia to find a reference, the intent is the search for the answer to nearly any conundrum.
The remaining sunforger targets cover a broad suite of answers for typical scenarios, and some more corner case difficulties. The cards below are what works well in my meta, and it is easily tailored to meet a different suite of decks. If ever I wanted to use a sideboard in Commander, it would be for sunforger targets.
Angel's Grace: An excellent protection spell which is nigh-unstoppable due to split second and an infinite turn combo with final fortune. Typical uses include surviving through large amounts of damage which are otherwise hard to deal with (grapeshot), being the sole survivor after a large death cloud, and maybe killing someone with harsh justice.
Apostle's Blessing: Without the inclusion of blue, it is difficult to stop a triggered ability to destroy/exile sunforger or one of the other engines. Protection stops targeted removal from acidic slime and spine of ish sah. This particular spell offers very cheap protection for your engines.
Boros Charm: This card does everything you ever wanted, guaranteed. It works extremely well with one of the main win conditions (worldslayer), protects from a large number of board wipes and removal spells, doubles a creatures damage output, and burns out either those last few life points or a well guarded planeswalker. There is a reason that nearly every deck that plays sunforger plays boros charm.
Chaos Warp: Targeted removal that hits any permanent with the upside of tucking a commander and the downside of maybe flipping something worse into play. The upside is worth the drawback.
Glorious End: Do you like Timestop for half the cost? This card can answer literally anything you opponents can throw at you short of split second. Its drawback can be eliminated by use of angel's grace or looping glorious end on your own turns. This requires the original cast of Glorious End not to resolve. If the spell is copied with wild ricochet, then countered by lapse of certainty then the copy can resolve and all of the cards are safely off the stack. This obviously requires some setup.
Into the Core: Exiling removal is good. Removal which hits multiple permanents is good.
Lapse of Certainty: The only semi-hard counterspell which can be run in these colors. Fortunately, it's also a sunforger target.
Naya Charm: The main use here is as the only sunforger target which recurs a card to your hand. Stops re-animator in a pinch, and forces damage through potential blockers. If you're really desperate, it's also a lightening bolt.
Orim's Chant: With the rate of spell recursion that this deck is capable of, the ability to lock one or more opponents out of their spell during their turn, or stopping annihilator triggers is worth it.
Path to Exile: Exiling removal and a white staple. Excellent removal, move along.
Pull from Eternity: With the inclusion of Teferi's Protection and Glorious End, the typical recursion pathways don't work for all answers. Additional, this provides a rebuilding pathway for exiled cards. Credit to Constantmists for this suggestion.
Return to Dust: Exiling removal is good. Removal which situationaly hits multiple permanents is good. Removal which hits multiple permanent types is good.
Common Bond: Refill Marath and mess with combat. One of the few sunforger targets that exist which does refill Marath, and the least situation of them. Removed: Upgraded to Hardened Scales, which while not a sunforger target more than makes up for it in repeat-ability and overall power. Thank you for the suggestion midorimage.
Faith's Shield: The only answer to an acidic slime targeting sunforger. An alternative is razor barrier, for added protection capability at a slightly higher cost. Removed: Adding protection capability of artifacts was needed, but razor barrier was too expensive. Replaced with Apostle's Blessing, losing some capability for a cheaper casting cost option, but added the option for protection from artifacts.
Harsh Justice: The oracle text is key here. With Angel's Grace, the Uril, the Miststalker player just killed himself. I'm honestly not sure if you still have the commander damage kill you at the end step, as this has not yet come up yet. Also works very well against large, nonlethal attacks.Removed: Currently testing Maze of Ith in this slot. With the addition of Arcane Lighthouse, Maze became a reasonable response to large voltron commanders with hexproof.
Unexpectedly Absent: ]Hits most permanents, and puts the card into the library. Excellent tucking in response to a shuffle, or just delay for a turn. Removed. While this is an excellent removal spell, the inclusion of Gaddock Teeg required trimming of the more expensive sunforger targets, and the x qualified.
Debt of Loyalty: Protect one of your creatures from dying, or steal someone else's if Marath has deathtouch. This is the only way to steal a creature past the end of the turn, and can save the creature carrying worldslayer in a pinch. Removed. Somewhat redundant with the amount of removal/protection. In most circumstances it was simply better to exile the offending creature. The primary reason that this may come back in is the stealing a commander can be highly effective.
Grab the Reins: The only sunforger-able threaten effect without a drawback (blind with anger) or timing restriction. It's also decent removal, both of the creature being stolen/sacrificed and the target it's being flung at. Removed. It was almost always better to simply exile the creature in question with swords to plowshares
Gruul Charm: This is played as brand, with the option of forcing an attack through or clearing out some bird tokens. Keep in mind that the main win condition is combat damage, and this charm fills the slot in the sunforger suite to get past blockers. Removed.Naya charm opens that attack path and nobody ever tried to steal permanents from this deck.
Honor the Fallen: Make the re-animator player sad. Make the Mike/Trike or necrotic ooze player sad. Most combos which involve the graveyard that are in my playgroup use at least 1 key piece as a creature. This stops those combos. Removed.Hallowed Moonlight does this better and also stops other threats.
Magnetic Theft: This allows you to recover if all your creatures are dead by throwing the sunforger on an opponents creature to cast faith's reward. Or it throws your worldslayer onto a creature which is attacking you, just have boros charm ready. Alternate uses include copying an activation of sunforger and using this to re-equip off one of the resolutions. Removed. While this card is literally never expected by your opponents, it is also rarely useful.
Midnight Haunting: Flying blockers to protect you which happen to turn on mistveil plains by itself. Also not a bad way to build a swarm of flyers to attack with if it can be recurred. Removed. The tokens could also be made by Marath and this was rarely used.
To tailor the suite of answers to meet your specific and different meta, I recommend extensive searches using Gatherer, and a browse through the semi-comprehensive sunforger list compiled by Sinfire Titan here. With some different card choices, you can even storm off of sunforger. It is a 7 card combo which can be entirely tutored off of the sunforger.
Step 1: Pay WR: activate sunforger to find seething song to net +RRRR -W. Seething song returns to your deck. Re-equip for free.
Step 2: Pay WR: activate sunforger to find manamorphose to add WW and draw a card. Manamorphose returns to your deck. Re-equip for free.
Total gains/loop areRRR and 1 card. Repeat Steps 1 and 2.
At some point seething song and/or manamorphose will be drawn. Drawing seething song reduces the gain to RR for that loop. Drawing manamorphose removes the W required for the loop. Neither of these cases stop the loop.
Step 3: Eventually there will not be any cards in your library. Cast and resolve grapeshotfrom your hand. Grapeshot is now in your library. Cast Seething Song, and allow it to resolve onto the bottom of your library. Now cast manamorphose to draw grapeshot. Your library is now seething song and manamorphose.
Step 4: Repeat Steps 1, 2, and 3. Be sure to cast manamorphose first to draw the seething song.
The second main toolbox is Stonehewer Giant. This powerful giant throws equipment onto the battlefield and equipped at instant speed, without declaring any targets. This is extremely powerful to activate during combat, and is a great way to find and utilize sunforger with a low investment of 1WWR. The main win condition of this deck is to voltron up Marath or another powerful creature, and stonehewer giant can close the deal extremely quickly with the right targets.
Basilisk Collar: Deathtouch and lifelink are a great combination on a low cost equipment. Throw this on Marath and he becomes a pinging machine, easily dealing with most creature based threats.
Darksteel Plate: Indestructibility is important for protecting against most board clearing wipes. This also interacts favorably with worldslayer.
Fireshrieker: Doublestrike at instant speed is powerful. Combined with some other equipment, this becomes especially deadly.
Grafted Exoskeleton: Giving a bonus in combat is reasonable. Making Marath into a potential infectious fireball is awesome.
Helm of Kaldra: A source of trample and haste, which also assembles into voltron which can swing the worldslayer all day long is awesome.
Illusionist's Bracers: Combos with Marath to increase his effectiveness and allows makes adding counters to Marath with Marath advantageous. These also make knight of the reliquary into ramp. However, I would be lying if I didn't admit the the impetus to build this deck was to have stonehewer giant throw this onto itself, then toss darksteel plate/shield of kaldra and worldslayer on an unblocked creature during combat.
lightning greaves: Protect those key creatures, or with leonin shikari maybe all of your creatures. The shroud stops equipment, but it is simple to make a Marath token if necessary.
Sword of Kaldra: Deathtouch for Marath on steroids - the only source of exiletouch in the game and a big stat boost the to the creature. The last piece of the original voltron, and potentially indestrucible to boot. The mana is a bit intensive, but that's why you play stonehewer giant.
Arcane Lighthouse: Marath is a pinging machine, but targeted removal doesn't do much in the face of hexproof and shroud. Strip away the protection and kill it anyway.
Buried Ruin: Recur sunforger or any other artifact. Can be reused by life from the loam, but don't count on that. This land still warrants inclusion as a one-shot effect.
Darksteel Citadel: If you intend make contact with worldslayer, it's nice to start ahead with an indestructible mana base. It's worth noting that between this and darksteel ingot, worldslayer doesn't prevent the addition of extra equipment on the stonehewer giant, maintaining access to that toolbox to prevent the luck white player from casting swords to plowshares unanswered. Removed. The application was somewhat corner-case and Color fixing is at a premium. Replaced with Inventor's Fair.
Flamekin Village: Haste on a land, as a repeatable ability and still produces colored mana.
Inkmoth Nexus: A cheap man-land with evasion and infect make for both a powerful equipment carrier and a target to dump counters from Marath onto. Also plays nice with its old buddy, Kessig Wolf Run in the absence of Marath.
Mistveil Plains: A primary repeatable source of returning cards to the sunforger toolbox on a land, which can be tutored by 3 different cards, across 3 different toolboxes? There is a reason that 2/3 decks on this site with sunforger play this card.
Rogue's Passage: True evasion for a creature. Similar to the wolf run, but trades raw damage for a guaranteed hit.
Sejiri Steppe: Instant speed protection for a creature was already part of both other toolbox suites. This adds that protection to the land toolbox, and makes the Knight more resilient without backup. This can also push some damage through blockers in some situations.
A main difficulty with making a toolbox with the land base is color fixing. Most good utility lands cannot generate colored mana, which is crucial in a tri-colored deck. Below are lands which have been considered, and did not make the cut, but provide different toolbox options.
Lands that have considered for inclusion are:
Kor haven: Maze of Ith which taps for 1, but costs mana to activate. This would overlap with the sunforger targets safe passage and potentially angel's grace. I'm not sold on it. Update: Maze of Ith is being tested for this effect. The added potential to double up on stonehewer activations during the end of combat step is probably worth the inability to produce mana.
yavimaya hollow: Regeneration is a reasonable form of protection, especially if Knight of the Reliquary is the only active engine. I've considering it, but most board wipes or removal in my playgroup gets around regeneration.
winding canyons: The biggest drawback on stonehewer giant/knight of the reliquary is summoning sickness. By flashing one of these in at the last opponent's end step, they're more likely to get an activation off. In my opinion, this deck is too creature light to give up colored mana production for this option.
Dark Depths and Thespian's Stage: This is mostly a redundancy with inkmoth nexus. While Thespian's stage could do good work as a second mistveil plains, it will take more playing this deck to determine if it really needs a backup for it's tertiary gameplan.
Homeward Path is a good answer to theft. My metagame doesn't have much theft.
With the toolboxes explained, let us consider the support cards:
Leonin Shikari: Enabling equipping at instant speed both replicates the toolbox of stonehewer giant post activation and for re-equipping sunforger before your turn, increasing the number of available activations. This also does strange such as allowing sunforger to be re-equipped before its activation resolves, allowing a two card combo to exist on the stack. This is rarely relevant, but can save your shikari and puresteel paladin from your own volcanic fallout via faith's reward.
Puresteel Paladin: Normally sunforger costs a total of 3RW, meaning in the best case you overpayed by 1 for the spell. A puresteel paladin with metalcraft breaks that symmetry down, and even allows from an infinite mana storm combo (explained above). Also a good source of draw in a deck with a large number of equipment.
Stoneforge Mystic: Finds the sunforger. This can also cheat equipment into play from your hand, keeping them more protected, and potentially acting similar to stonehewer giant if you also have magnetic theft.
Sun Titan: Primary Purpose: being awesome recursion. Secondary Purpose: recurring sunforger. Tertiary Purpose: rebuilding after worldslayer.
Seedborn Muse: At the very least this allows playing on your won turn then responding as needed. At the most it lets you recur Orim's chant or Glorious end to lock out your opponents, and every play in between the extremes.
Bow of Nylea: Mode 1, refill Marath. Mode 4: recharge sunforger targets. Also giving Marath deathtouch to ping blocks out of the way during combat makes this one of the most versatile single cards in the deck. The other 2 modes are nice when they are relevant.
Wheel of Sun and Moon: Immediate recursion of sunforger spells which bypasses even the strongest form of graveyard hate (rest in peace). While this does stop reuse of buried ruin via life form the loam, if the wheel is online with a sunforger, the loam engine isn't needed anyway.
Steelshaper's Gift: This finds sunforger early on, and supports the stonehewer toolbox later on.
Coalition Relic: Ramp. Due to the tendency to leave mana open through other players turns, the relic ramps, fixes, and supports the toolboxes without losing too much tempo. Contributes to metalcraft.
Rings of Brighthearth: Double up Marath activations, or any of the three main toolboxes. An excellent synergy.
Sensei's Divining Top: You're liable to be shuffling your library between each of your draw steps. Top is typically an auto-include, and shuffling more frequently only helps it. Also turns into a draw engine with rings of brighthearth. Added bonus of fixing your draws to avoid having an expensive engine target (read: worldslayer) in your hand.
Gaddock Teeg: Are you playing against a superfriends/enchantress/artifact deck? This angry old man will keep them from casting those spells that you really don't want to resolve. Removed.This is still an excellent option, but I wanted a direct target for one of the main toolboxes.
Life from the Loam: Recursion to support Knight of the reliquary/Buried ruin while also being a strong rebuild post-worldslayer led to it's inclusion. One of the two cards which can't be tutored for in the deck, but powerful enough to excuse that. Removed. The frequent use of wheel of sun and moon made recursion of land from graveyard less effective and I almost never wanted to dredge.
Novablast Wurm: This is a voltron/control deck. This is a good carrier of equipment and a repeating board wipe. A must answer card. This may be replaced by Gaddock Teeg to bring him back in, but I am hesitant to forgo a backup board wipe to worldslayer.Removed. The cost was usually too high and the other answers/protection often makes a slower wipe less effective.
I would welcome any feedback or suggestions for this list.
+Razor Barrier to replace Faith's Shield. As the only way to stop a triggered ability, spending 1 more to protect from spine of ish sah and similar effects was worthwhile. As one might expect, the fateful hour clause never triggered.
+Gaddock Teeg to try preempting some of the more dangerous stack-based threats. While a large genesis wave or deadly tooth and nail can be mitigated or stopped with the sunforger suite, dovescape can be extremely dangerous and hard to deal without without a good board prior to its resolution.
+forest and + mountain to replace the cycling lands, as I cut all of them. While the loss of the loam engine hurts, it was anti-synergistic with wheel of sun and moon, and I needed the slots for expansion of the Knight of the Reliquary search suite.
-All six cycling lands for not working well with a primary support card and entering the battlefield tapped. With the low amount of ramp being run here, EtBT killed these lands for me. Life from the Loam may follow, as milling key search targets by accident has backfired on me. That said, Loam is much more resistant than crucible in my meta, as artifacts tend not to last as long as graveyards.
-mana confluence for dealing more damage that I'd like to admit and being an city of brass in standard. Those prices won't last forever, so I unloaded mine.
-Kher Keep for being colorless mana and not being as necessary as I thought it would be as a equipment carrier. Replaced with inkmoth nexus, a far better equipment carrier and +1/+1 token storage unit.
I want to fit Ring of thune back in for vigilance and +1/+1 counters on Marath. Due to a typo in my initial post, I had accidentally swapped ring of thune for ring of Kalonia. An early iteration ran all three rings and having a "free" repeated source of counters helped a lot in early game. I am in dire need of vigilance or a search target to untap a creature, as Marath tends to be swinging and I don't have the available mana to shift equipment around pre and post combat to block better. I am also reconsidering the addition of Lightning Greaves, due to awesome synergy with Leonin Shikari.
In the case of both feedback or any other suggestions, again especially with regard to the land suite, I am definitely looking for advice.
First, thank you for the response. I will discuss each card individually.
Godo, Bandit Warlord is an equipment tutor which I had not considered, mostly due to the mana cost and sorcery speed of his tutoring. While it is true that for 1 less mana to find an equipment he functions similarly to stonehewer giant, his inclusion would be for added redundancy of finding equipment (read: sunforger). In my opinion, the lack of repeatable searching on the fly and as the game state changes hurts his effectiveness. That's not considering his potential extra combat step, which could be very effective at closing out a game. Inclusion of Godo might merit the inclusion of cloudshift/otherworldly journey as a sunforger target(s) which gives protection from targeted removal and reuse of Godo/stoneforge mystic. All this being said, with the current relatively low curve and need to leave mana open on opponents turns, I am a little hesitant. I'll give him a chance, but I don't anticipate the best results.
Seedborn muse addresses the aforementioned problem with having mana open for control on other people's turns, and I've salivated over the idea several times. It is very rare for me to actually live the dream of having metalcraft, puresteel paladin, and leonin shikari on the battlefield at the same time, but when it does happen; it is wonderful. Seedborn muse would make those good times even better. I'll keep it in mind for inclusion.
Hardened Scales could be a good inclusion which would allow any excess mana to grow Marath. I'd still like a sunforger spell which can supply +1/+1 counters, but I'll test that change with common bond
aura mutation and artifact mutation were both in my initial draft of this deck, and were removed to broaden the sunforger package capabilities. With gods, reanimation, and darksteel forge running amok, I have placed the highest premium for (sunforger-able) removal on exile capability. While the spells cost more mana, sunforger still costs RW, so the more assured removal was worth it. The tokens produced were typically useful primarily as blockers. While beneficial, that didn't do quite enough for me, as Marath can already supply chump-blockers. With this creature-light deck, I focused more on quality tokens. For instance; Midnight haunting creates flying tokens that turn on mistveil plains, and is my go-to sunforger target for tokens. However, if you find yourself with a skullclampin play every game and it sticks around, having some "free" saprolings to feed it sounds like a good idea.
Gaea's Cradle is an excellent land, especially if the deck takes a more token based route, as it seems your list might. There are a several things preventing its inclusion in my deck. I don't play many creatures, and the lower creature count could backfire here. I also place a much higher premium on R and W mana sources for this deck, as those power the primary engines, and contribute to the larger portion of casting costs. Finally, I do not currently have the finances for another one, as mine is currently in use in a different deck.
Fierce Empath, with the inclusion of Godo and novablast wurm, would have only sun titan as the third card to find. As such, I don't think it's worth including in my list without more targets. Furthermore, if I were to add more possible targets, this could raise the curve enough that I would need to consider additional mana sources.
Forgotten Ancient was a pet card of mine years ago, and could refill Marath quite nicely. However, unless I reconsider the breadth of the tutor options, there isn't enough space for this type of effect. The current sources of +1/+1 counters for Marath are the rings, which also give cheap access to useful abilities, Bow of Nylea, which also recycles tutor targets, and common bond, which can mess up combat and avoid damage or toughness (toxic deluge) board wipes. The current sources of counters, while more incremental, have lower casting costs and offer a more responsive or versatile way to keep refilling Marath.
Overall, your suggestions support the deck well and cover areas where it can be lacking, but are not direct targets of the search engines. These changes would be to trade versatility for synergy, which I view as a lateral change instead of an improvement. Both synergy and versatility are important, but for my build of this deck archetype, I favor versatility. For now.
EDIT: I got in some games tonight with the deck, before making changes. The more that I think about adding hardened scales, the more it makes sense. As a mana sink for Marath when there are no other engines online and making inkmoth nexus scale twice as quickly and cheaply, the scales require inclusion. The said, enchantments can only be tutored to the top of the library (or to hand with the inclusion of idyllic tutor), so the instant speed and direct sunforger search capability have me opposed to the removal of common bond without including something else to distribute counters via sunforger. Again, the versatility is the focus here.
+Tarnished Citadel to replace exotic orchard. The spirit token was relevant more often than anticipated. While this could simply be a city of brass or mana confluence, goldfishing and playing have demonstrated so far that needing the citadel for colored mana is infrequent enough that the net potential for self damage is lower via the use of the colorless mana ability.
-exotic orchard, as being forced to give out chump blockers went backed into a corner for mana proved to be a bad idea. In hindsight, the use of a land which directly hinders on of the primary win conditions was a terrible idea.
-razor barrier for being too expensive for this ability. Replaced with the phyrexian mana option for emergency use at 1.
+Flamekin Village provides haste on a land which produces colored mana. This warrented testing, despite the only way for it to enter untapped being Marath in your hand.
+Maze of Ith is now worthwhile with the addition of the lighthouse. Targeting was its second largest drawback, and being in the same tutor suite as the lighthouse makes me comfortable enough with this inclusion. This took a spell slot to keep from impacting the manabase.
-Gaddock Teeg wasn't directly tutor-able into play by the three engines, and hadn't survived long enough in games to stop the worst offences. Stopping some of the best sunforger targets didn't help his case. With this cut I am looking to re-include unexpectedly absent or oblation, but have not yet determined the card to cut.
As before, I welcome any feedback. I'm rather satisfied with the Knight of the Reliquary toolbox suite now, and will probably be turning my attention to Stonehewer Giant targets. I'd like to fit Umezawa's Jitte in, if for no other reason than to include a targeted removal option in that suite.
This deck is still being maintained. Time slipped by and I hadn't realized that six months had passed since I updated the thread. I'll try to do that tonight. EDIT: update complete, this post has been edited to avoid double-posting.
I wouldn't say the deck has no ramp, but I will admit the quantity is very low. This is mostly because the mana curve is low. Additionally, most of your costs are activating abilities which typically further reduce mana costs. The deck could ramp further, harder with at least the inclusions of the signets or fastmana, but I prefer to maintain the breadth of the search engines with this deck.
The low amount of ramp is for several reasons:
I want my ramp to produce colored mana, and not interrupt the majority of my curve. Adding the signets would be an option here, as I already play the talismans. I opted for the talismans and coalition relic/darksteel ingot for better control of my mana in some cases. The relic got a pass for not punishing me for leaving it untapped through a turn cycle, maintaining some tempo. The ingot accelerated rebuilding when worldslayer gets disrupted, and works with darksteel citadel to keep an indestructible stonehewer giant active to self improve and end the game more quickly.
I want the ramp to be artifacts so that puresteel paladin is more likely to have metalcraft. I have considered artifact lands for the same reason. They weren't included to ensure a certain density of plains/forests. Perhaps great furnace merits a second consideration.
Greedily trying to maximize the size of the toolboxes.
The first post has been updated with card changes and some formatting/grammatical modifications.
+ABUR duals to improve the mana base, and because my local store had them.
+Orim's Chant in a testing slot. With the ability to recur and reuse spell with high frequency, this can be used to lock one or more players out of their turns. I've used this to close out a game only once with vague success, but the idea seems solid. It fills a similar role to worldslayer via a different toolbox.
-life from the loam wasn't performing well. The ability to recur land improved the resiliance of the knight of the reliquary toolbox, but it flopped in one of two ways. Typically, it would do nothing because wheel of sun and moon would be online. Alternatively I would be using it while behind and dredging it back would be milling my toolbox targets, making them more vulnerable to graveyard hate. Neither of these worked very well and hadn't seemed desireable even when I was using loam with a cycling land engine. I wanted to try testing other possible toolbox options, and made this cut.
-Basic lands to make room for ABUR duals.
Cards that have been tested:
Umezawa's Jitte had the possibility to expand the existing removal suite for stonehewer giant away from giving deathtouch to Marath. I tested this in the slot for Quietus Spike. There were not any games during my testing period where the Jitte was a target that I wanted to tutor. The need to deal damage before getting counters reduced the surprise impact, and needing enough counters to remove the creature reduced the capabilities. This change could be an effective change to reduce the deck's curve.
seedborn muse is a great card for most reactive control decks. It's greatest impact turned out to be defensive instead of reactive. I tried this in the place of novablast wurm and it worked well. I've been interchanging between the two and currently have the wurm in. In the case of both creatures, I tend not to search for them frequently.
I am just brainstorming at this point. This deck will be a paper-only deck for me, and so I'm not confident that the volume of testing I'll be able to put up will lead to robust conclusions. But I do seem to be one of the few players who has tried Sunforger decks and still has a high opinion of them. Either I am doing something different or my opponents are, I'm not sure.
One common thread among what I've tried is that both the General I chose and the Sunforger itself are treated as enormous mana-sinks. Marath definitely fits that, and Aurelia also seemed to do that with how often I was recasting her. The result, it's impossible to have too much mana. I'm talking 15+ mana rocks in Boros. Just tons and tons of mana, like enough rocks to suggest that I was about to Geddon, then don't Geddon. And then protect the mana base with Sunforger as if I need it to win, which I probably do. Activating Sunforger enough just to keep it on board, then making enough headway on board is extremely mana-intensive. I was pretty happy with my Boros deck's mana output. I haven't found a complete plan for mana yet with Naya, but it seems like it would be easier. Just getting in Mirari's Wake, Mana Reflection, and/or Seedborn Muse on or before Turn 4 seems like it would fill the entire mana budget.
On Puresteel Paladin and Leonin Shikari, I think both are good for their own reasons, but two cards I've found that fit both their roles at once are Auriok Windwalker and Brass Squire. They get silly looks, but then they start to do their thing. I'd definitely keep Puresteel in your config, but I'd put Leonin Shikari beneath these two. Paying mana for the equip cost can be tough.
One idea on my radar for Naya is to leverage Eladamri's Call into utility creatures with Flash on that same turn. Creatures like Containment Priest, Stonecloaker, Aven Mindcensor, Hushwing Gryff, and Dualcaster Mage have such a high potential impact, but don't see as much play as they could because they're very conditional. Eladamri's Call essentially puts them into the Sunforger package as responses, provided you're willing to spend the mana. And since I'm always playing against combos that use etb creatures and the graveyard, these do a ton of work. On top of that package, it's easy to include Chord of Calling, which helps out Stonehewer Giant too. There are also some combo's with Dualcaster Mage if you ever get tired of Slayer-Plate.
On Life from the Loam, I've always found it pretty great in color combinations that struggle with draw, just because it matches up so extremely well with Sensei's Divining Top, Mirri's Guile, Sylvan Library, and Scroll Rack. Once you don't need Land anymore, you start sitting on 3 land the top of your deck, then dredging 3 with Loam gets you a brand new look. I know they're expensive, but I'd recommend these 4 cards in this deck anyway because you are shuffling the deck so much. Very important in a deck where Stonehewer Giant is just the best card in your deck, by far.
One more thing that was on my mind to try, Marath with persist creatures, mainly only Twilight Shepherd. Reusing her with Marath counters seems like really good wipe protection. She's also a good engine with Pattern of Rebirth, cast Pattern, fetch Shepherd, get Pattern back to hand, repeat. There is also a Boonweaver Giant combo out there with Lark-Guide.
Yes please! I saw your post in the Sunforger Package thread and came here. I like this a lot and will be creating something very close. It's great that folks like you do these things for the rest of us that either don't have the time or ability to home brew ur decks!
+lightning greaves for added protection options and better enabling the combinations including leonin shikari and Sigarda's aid. The downside of requiring two creatures to use sunforger is mitigated by producing tokens with Marath.
-Ring of Kalonia for being rather lackluster other than refilling Marath and needing the space.
-Ring of Thune for being rather lackluster other than refilling Marath and needing the space.
-debt of loyalty was somewhat redundant with the amount of removal/protection. In most circumstances it was simply better to exile the offending creature. The primary reason that this may come back in is the stealing a commander can be highly effective.
So I gathered up all these cards to make a clone of your deck. I really like the entire idea and I really don't have the time to build an original right now (I have 8 originals).
My first question is about Chaos Warp. You say in the write up that it is in the deck mainly for tuck, but since that is gone I was thinking I would replace it. My choice is Pull From Eternity so I can get anything that my opponents have exiled, or to reacquire Glorious End (at least I think from reading it that it exiles itself). Those cards could be a combo to stop my opponents from ever drawing a card again and having any meaningful turn at all if Seedborn Muse is on the field. Regardless if I ever do that (I would feel awful) I'm still leaning toward the replacement. Any thoughts as regarding why I shouldn't?
I also don't have the ABU duals so I decided to replace them with Opal Palace which should play well with Marath, Rith's Grove which is all 3 colors and comes in untapped. The potential upside is the ability to put Sejiri Steppe back in my hand if I need to give a creature protection from a color to finish someone off. The third land will probably be Gaea's Cradle just because I don't really want to use any of the comes into play tapped lands (tri-lands, tango lands, bicycle lands, etc.). Any thoughts from you on these?
I appreciate the thought and effort you put into this post. Not all of us have the time or ability to do this much analysis on a deck, but those of us with the cards and the time to play need a good starting point for a good deck build.
ConstantMists, my opinion on chaos warp is that the ability to hit any type of permanent is still worth including, because it can be difficult to set up recursion engines through disruption. In those cases, having backup options can be useful. While tuck is no longer relevant for commanders, I believe it to still be a strong catch-all removal option.
One important thing to know is that when opponents are used to how this deck runs they will typically aim removal at key pieces. One person in my playgroup will go out of his way to attempt to exile wheel of sun and moon, another will aim for sunforger and plays will be made to keep me from having any creatures to equip. Using pull from eternity would allow improved recursion from exile effects that current have to be dodged while on the stack. I should probably do some testing with it for reasons including your comment regarding glorious end. To answer your question, I don't see any issue running pull from eternity, and may end up doing that myself.
Regarding land options, this deck can be mana hungry, so of the replacements that you have, the only one I may dispute is Rith's Grove, despite resetting sejiri steppe. The most important colors are typically RW, so I would probably go with battlefield forge or another EtB untapped land in Boros colors over a triland that EtBs tapped.
I would say that Opal palace and Gaea's Cradle are solid, but a word of warning on the Cradle: My build doesn't usually have more than 2-3 creatures out at once until endgame so the payout may be lower than you may expect.
Thanks for your reply. I'm not too worried about my opponents getting used to this deck very quickly, as I have 12 other decks and never play the same deck twice in a week (across 2 stores and playgroups) so I should have some time to get used to it myself.
As far as the lands, while I have a full playset of painlands, I really hate playing them. Before I go that route I'll play a City of Brass and at least be able to get all 3 colors. I'll test with City, Battlefield Forge and Rugged Prairie in the 2 slots that now have Rith/Gaea and see how it goes.
Again, thanks for all your work here and your reply.