"This is blasphemy! This is madness!"
"Madness...? THIS! IS! THEROS!"
1 - Why play this commander?
1.1 - Description:
"Feed…! Me…! More…!”
I know that if you're reading this, you're probably like: "Polukranos, World Eater as a commander? It is viable?" And my answer would be: "I have no idea why there isn't enough discussion or decks concerning this 5/5 for 2GG general!".
"Polukranos" (nicknamed “PK” from here onward) probably means "It Who Is Broken" in ancient Therosian and I'd like to take this opportunity to explain why:
MonoG is already well-known to ramp like there's no tomorrow. So how easy is it to cast PK a bunch of times? Pretty easy.
On that note, with all that mana at your disposal, what better mana sink than potentially wiping your opponents' board and fattening up your commander all at the same time?
So can PK really be that dangerous? Of course. In a multiplayer format, generals like Polukranos, World Eater are overlooked if other more broken generals are played. However, in a casual pod, PK can make things get pretty Sparta pretty quickly. Additionally, the deck does many other things so it’s not as dependent on the general – which is always a good thing.
feel that degenerate ramping is almost at the same level of disdain as control and counter magic
don’t like constantly shuffling a deck of commander size
You can also see an explanation of this build of the deck in video form in this episode of "The Brewery" series in my YouTube channel, The Commander Tavern.
1.2 - Other Possible Commanders:
Okay, so let’s say you’re on board with running a monoG EDH deck. Now, why in the hell Polukranos, World Eater and not one of the other more broken monoG commanders out there - especially those as devoted to the ramp as Tony Hawk? These threads should give you some ideas of the capabilities of a monoG ramp/mana general’s capabilities.
Omnath, Locus of Mana is probably the general most similar in game style to PK. Omnath decks tend to run lots of ways to generate a ridiculous amount of G because it gets +1/+1 for each G in your mana pool. This is similar to how PK can grow epically large with an investment in mana. Hell, I run Omanth, Locus of Mana as one of the 99 cards in the deck. However, though Omnath has the potential to be a titanic beatstick, it doesn’t snipe creatures; PK does. With a small loan of a million G PK can get 499,998 +1/+1 counters and can deal 499,998 damage divided any way you choose among any number of target creatures. Yeah, Omnath can’t do that. Sorry, bro.
Patron of the Orochi is a general that loves allowing insane plays, which is one of the reasons it’s in the 99. Patron is the most expensive of the bunch but being able to untap all green creatures and forests once a turn is nothing to scoff at. Things can get pretty epic pretty quickly. However, unless you can play it early on, you’re basically holding out until you can get in online. So it’s more of a mid to late game general. On the other hand, PK costs a mere 2GG for a 5/5, which makes it easier to constantly cast from the command zone, unlike Patron of the Orochi. Additionally, Patron of the Orochi isn’t a commander for entering the red zone. PK loves the action. He’s ever hungry, ever insatiable. He is the World Eater. So if your goal is to get an insanely large commander relatively quickly, Patron of the Orochi is not for you.
Azusa, Lost but Seeking is all about casting it as fast as possible and dropping lands for the fastest Tooth and Nail casting possible. Building around Azusa means that you can be dropping almost all of your lands from your deck before anyone can pretty much do anything about it (short of casting a well-timed Armageddon or Ravages of War). However, Azusa has no other strategy besides that; she’s way too linear for my tastes. She’s also a renowned general and people tend to gang up on the Azusa player relatively quickly before things can get out of hand. In short, Azusa will have a way bigger target on her back that PK ever will.
Nemata, Grove Guardian is another epic mana sink general in monoG. With a ridiculous amount of mana, you get a ridiculous army. Nemata, Grove Guardian is one guy I was considering adding to the 99, being as it’s as good a mana sink as any. Most Nemata lists are focused on creating absurd amounts of mana. So, in that sense it’s also similar to PK. However, when the dust settles, Nemata is more expensive and it makes saprolings which can then get pumped. My PK build is also capable of amassing a ridiculously huge army and clearing the field. Also, PK enters the red zone no problem. You’re probably not gonna be assigning commander damage with Nemata. Nemata will create an epic army but a lot of times PK wins out of nowhere or eliminates a player out of nowhere. Nemata can’t usually do that.
1.3 - What to expect:
Playing Polukranos, World Eater has its pros and cons depending on what you're facing. I've been playing this deck for quite some time and have found that there are some clearly beneficial decks to go against and some clearly detrimental decks to go up against. However, I don't feel like it's so black and white since there are some grey areas. Therefore, I will explain them all in greater detail. It should be noted that this is the deck I usually turn to when my body aches for that win. This deck has a nice win/loss record both in real life and online (Cockatrice). For a quick summary as to how your match-ups should go, see below.
How well this deck fares against other EDH archetypes:
I refuse to ask permission to cast things!
* Control: Control can be quite problematic. Fortunately, there are cards like City of Solitude and Dosan the Falling Leaf. I don’t run Dosan in the main build because creatures are easier to remove than enchantments. However, if your meta has annoying control, include him for redundancy’s sake. This deck runs Hall of Gemstone for added measure, as well. Not only does it disallow that control player to cast any annoyances during our turn (bounce spells, tap spells, removal, control magic, etc.) but it also has the added bonus of hurting multicolor decks.
* Graveyard Hate: This deck isn’t so affected by graveyard hate since there isn’t much recursion apart from the Eternal Witness staple. PK doesn’t care if the graveyard is exiled because more often than not it’s just ramp spells that will reside there and any creature killed. Since graveyard isn’t a strategy here, PK should be fine against graveyard hate.
* Mid-range: Depending on the tempo, mid-range could be a pretty epic battle - these are the decks I prefer facing against. Sometimes PK can start off slow and be a bit mid-range itself. When that happens, it's literally "may the best planeswalker win" type of situation. However, no fear should come from facing against a mid-range deck since they usually get the wind in their sails from mid-game onward. By then, you should have the same advantage - if not more. This is the more neutral type of menace so just play against it normally, without too much thought. The advantage that this deck has against mid-range decks is that PK with deathtouch can basically nuke the table with a minimal mana investment.
* Aggro: Depending on how the match goes, these players can be our natural enemies or natural friends. These types of decks hate control and lock players so they usually target them first. If that's the case, tagteam that natural nemesis out of the game and then proceed to see whose board state is superior. If you find yourself against an aggro player early on, the deck should be able to hold its own by chump-blocking with mana dorks until you can get your bearings. Hopefully, you'll have a superior board set up by mid-game. Also, PK is a big creature with 5/5 at 2GG so it’s quite the blocker. Aggro decks run many tokens or weenies which is easy for PK to wipe without deathtouch. This deck’s goal isn’t about amassing life so if you find yourself in the beeping, red-flashing heart-zone, be careful. There is a Loxodon Hammer as well as a Basilisk Collar in there, so equipping PK with it and getting a monstrous monstrosity means recovering a huge amount of life.
* Stax: Depending on your meta, stax can be a commonplace archetype. The most competitive and ruthless decks out there are total lock and stax. Stax can be a pretty tricky match-up because sometimes you produce a bunch of tokens and wouldn't have to worry while at other times that won't be the case. Since the deck produces so much mana, you can pretty much sacrifice the mana dorks to the stax. You could also sacrifice some lands since you’re gonna be ramping pretty hard. If worse comes to worse, PK is cheap enough to be cast quite frequently.
Indestructible? Hexproof? What does that mean?
* Milling: This archetype isn't that common in EDH circles but a deck devoted to milling may appear every now and again (lookin' at you, Phenax, God of Milling). If your meta is rich in millers, you may consider adding Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre and Kozilek, Butcher of Truth just in case. That being said, this deck isn't too combo-oriented so there aren't "key pieces" that need saving. There's minimal graveyard recursion, as well. However, if you just plain don't like facing against decks that mill, just take out that player. Chances are that PK is a faster deck than the one that's milling. It is important to note, though, that the deck ramps hard and cheats a lot of cards into play. This means that your deck size gets considerably smaller the longer the game goes. So having someone mill you out in the mid to late game is quite possible.
* Pillow Fort: This archetype is extremely annoying by preventing you from attacking with PK or with a lot of creatures at once. These types of decks tend to force other players to fight each other first. This may stall the game a lot. Also, since you'd have to go against other players, you'd be wasting resources on them while the control player is setting up the win condition. Hopefully, other players may have their own answers to deal with pillow fort so you may be able to save your own resources. Certain pillow forts that restrict the amount of creatures attacking or forcing you to pay to attack is not so much of a problem in this deck. The reason being that PK can get ridiculously huge and you can win by commandar damage. Also, you can just sink all that mana into being able to attack. However, cards like Humility, Moat, and the like can really be a pain. We run our fair share of removal spells that can deal with these threats specifically, so as long as you can cast them without them being countered, you should be able to trample the pillow fort and take that player out of the game. If this type of strategy is prevalent in your meta, you may want to consider adding Nullmage Shepherd for added measure.
A MtG-buddy who used to play in my pod designed an infinite mana Polukranos, World Eater deck and it was pretty interesting. It was when Theros first came out and I was using PK in Standard so I was already familiar with its potential. Unfortunately his deck was a one-trick pony but I immediately saw the potential of using it as a commander. When he stopped playing MtG, I decided to build upon the majesty of PK and make it truly monstrous.
Searching through the forums, I saw only four other threads for Polukranos in multiplayer. Four. Other. Threads. The only one of these that stood out was this one by tooWhite2ball (though it’s been a whole year since it’s been touched upon). So yeah, I’m pretty sure if Polukranos, World Eater weren’t from a relatively recent set, it’d be pretty obscure as far as multiplayer EDH generals go.
PK is a mana sink, board wipe, self-pumping all rolled into one. So, I decided to find strategies that were synergistic with PK without being dependent on it. I also didn’t just want a run-of-the-mill ramp/ramp/ramp monoG EDH deck, either. However, the deck does require an epic ramping suite to fully function. This makes it capable of running some pretty epic Genesis Wave plays. So, if you can do it, do it!
2.1 - Current build:
Here's the competitive build. It includes many expensive cards that may be out of budget for some folks (myself included) and also very cutthroat with the possibility for plays that some may deem too degenerate or obnoxious. But, it’s an unassuming general so it’s fun to whip out those kinds of plays every now and again. This is the current version I'm running and is the one I've been working on the most. It's super easy to pilot, which makes it a lot of fun for people who like simple and to-the-point decks. It may seem slow at first because most of the ramping spells costs 4 mana. However, they bring two lands into play and is faster in the long run (it’s also great with the slight landfall suite of the deck). This is the version of the deck I will discuss most throughout this thread. I will discuss a more budget version in the Alternate Builds section.
I will eventually keep an updated version of this deck online. Every time I update the deck I will try to update it there. This is also a good tool for people to actually see the statistics of the deck (by type, CMC, color, etc.) so it's easier to visualize with the graphs and whatnot. Also, you can see the updated prices on the cards (though I can't guarantee that deckstats.net will always use the cheapest version of the cards (as far as expansion set goes). You'll soon find the deck there.
2.1.2 - Strategy:
The main strategy of the deck is to ramp, ramp, ramp! We produce ludicrous amounts of mana in order to take full advantage of PK's mana sink ability. Not only will it clear the field of any possible blockers, but pump PK up in the process in order to deal some epic commander damage. This is the main strategy for all versions of the deck I discuss this post.
Synergy & Combos:
The deck doesn’t aim to go infinite; it’s sort of a happy accident when it happens. You need 3 cards in order to produce infinite mana and a certain condition met in order for it to happen. Here’s what you need: Temur Sabertooth + Karametra’s Acolyte + Lightning Greaves + at least 7 devotion.
Unfortunately, monstrosity can only be activated once. We don't want that. So we have to find ways to bounce, sacrifice, or blink PK in order to use its monstrosity as many times as possible. This is done thanks in part to a couple of cards, particularly Conjurer's Closet and Temur Sabertooth. However, sacrificing a massive PK to Greater Good is always greatly good!
Making PK Dangerous
So how is it that Polukranos can wipe the board? Deathtouch. This could also lead to some interesting politics since you can go monstrous at instant speed. So players usually tend to avoid attacking you in order to avoid getting destroyed. Even when opponents decide to gang up on you it's because your board state is too advanced, it's very easy to wipe their boards when PK has deathtouch. Either way, let's face it, who sees Polukranos as a general and immediately says "Hey, we gotta get rid of this guy first!". Exactly. Giving PK trample and lifelink is also a broken thing. Making it unblockable with Rogue's Passage is even better.
Removal needs to happen for this deck to win. Artifacts and enchantments aplenty can stunt your attack step, control how you attack, hinder your creatures, etc. Hell, even lands like Maze of Ith and its ilk can be a nuisance. Fortunately, we run the gauntlet on removal spells so we should be fine. Also, the deck has many ways to draw cards and thin the deck so you should eventually get rid of any problems.
Being the Monarch
There are only two cards that make you the monarch: Throne of the High City and Regal Behemoth. Becoming the monarch is just a bonus because you get to draw a card at the end of your turn. However, with so many creatures to block with and sniping the opponents' creatures, we are able to maintain monarch status for quite some time. Also, Regal Behemoth gives us the added bonus of extra mana when we tap a land whilst being the monarch. Again, the deck is not devoted becoming the monarch, but it is something worth mentioning.
2.1.3 - Piloting the Deck:
Remember that the deck wants to produce as much mana as possible. A good hand should have either 2-3 lands with mana dorks or 3-4 lands with ramp spells. There's sufficient ramp spells and mana dorks for the probabilities to be in your favor. If you have a good hand of 3-4 lands and not that many expensive spells you could probably keep it because casting PK is never a bad thing. It is a 5/5 for 2GG, after all. Even if you don't have one of the two previously described hands, you could risk keeping a hand that has 2-3 lands and cheap cards (no greater than a CMC of 3). PK is unassuming so you won't be targeted early on while you're able to set up a slow board state.
You want to get as much mana into mana pool as possible, whether dorks or lands. The deck isn't that mana hungry but you do want to get PK online as quickly as possible. Polukranos is unassuming enough as a general but getting a lot of available lands will make your opponents leery. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that you're gonna sink it all into Polukranos or make an epic play that green decks love to do. You gotta read the room, so to speak. If everyone is going fast, ramp hard. If other opponents are setting up board states, do the same. If your opponents are attacking each other then continue building your board state. Don't worry too much about what the others' board states are until you're ready to do something epic. Basically, early game consists of ramping, dropping key artifacts (equipment that give deathtouch), dropping mana dorks, and just reading the room. If you're being targeted early on, try and hold out as much as your life will allow you in order to not lose mana dorks in chump blocks. Keep in mind that brutal ramping during the early game may make you an early game archenemy. Also, remember that an early monstrosity activation may take out some creatures being used to lower your life. So worry about resetting that monstrosity later and concentrate on surviving until your mid game. Don't forget to check the decklist labeling the functions of the cards to have a solid idea of what's being discussed in this section.
This deck aims to have enough mana available as possible. This allows casting an early Boundless Realms, which can be pretty epic. Drawing a lot of cards off a monstrous Polukranos with Greater Good should be enough to have you set for the rest of the game. Producing a lot of tokens thanks to landfall should be occurring here as well. You should try to have at least one source of deathtouch for PK by now and at least a couple of answers in your hands (removal). The deck runs a lot of equipment with deathtouch and a lot of removal spells so by probability, you should have these by now in the mid game. If you have any mana doublers or enablers out, you should be set. Mana doubling will allow for an epic monstrosity and allow you to take out any available blockers and swing for some massive commander damage. Remember that one of the main wincons for PK is precisely commander damage. Again, don't forget to check the decklist labeling the functions of the cards to have a solid idea of what's being discussed in this section.
With a solid game you should be able to achieve late game pretty early in the match. A turn 1 Amulet of Vigor usually accomplishes this. Late game should see you with a lot of mana for an epic Genesis Wave. Also, you could be giving the game ending commander attack because you don't have to wait for PK to have a high p/t to be attacking with it. With a mere 7/7 p/t it's a 3-turn clock. It's important not to lose sight of that, either. A wincon doesn't necessarily come from a blowout play like an epic Genesis Wave (even though people usually scoop afterwards) or attacking with a super pumped horde thanks to Avenger of Zendikar + Craterhoof Behemoth. A wincon can come from something as simple as a 21/21 PK that wasn't blocked. So it's very important to try and get in as many jabs with PK throughout the match. This will force opponents who would otherwise die, to chump block with important creatures in order to save themselves, so it's usually win/win to always keep the pressure applied with PK.
2.1.4 - Card by card analysis:
A commander deck has 100 cards. Out of which I already explained most of the contents of my deck in great detail. However, if you want even greater detail, click the spoiler to see a list explaining every single card in the deck that is not a mana producing, non-utility land.
Ashnod’s Altar – Great artifact that not only allows you to sacrifice PK in order to be able to recast to reuse monstrosity, but also give you that extra edge when sacrificing tokens to get more to boost those X spells or just as an alternate mana source.
Basilisk Collar – PK loves having deathtouch. It also loves having lifelink. Why not both! Remember that PK with deathtouch means clearing the field of opponents' creatures.
Conjurer’s Closet – I loved this card since it first came out in Avacyn Restored. Here, it’s just broken. It helps reset PK at the end of each of my end steps. Sure, it removes any +1/+1 it already has and detaches any equipment, but it resets the monstrosity. That is paramount to this deck. Not only that, but you can also blink Eternal Witness, Avenger of Zendikar, and any other creature you may have that has an “enter the battlefield” ability.
Doubling Cube – In this deck this artifact produces a ridiculous amount of mana. The amount of mana this thing has allowed me to produce is beyond staggering.
Gorgon’s Head – One of the main strategies is giving PK deathtouch in order to nuke the entire board with a minimal investment in mana. This card provides just that.
Lightning Greaves – Free-to-equip shroud and haste enabler. Too useful to pass up for PK (or any commander, for that matter).
Loxodon Warhammer – PK loves having trample. It also loves having lifelink. Why not both! This equipment allows us to regain a lot of life whatever creature it's attached to. Other excellent creatures to equip this to include Silklash Spider and Omnath, Locus of Mana.
Quietus Spike – Not only does this give PK deathtouch, but it can also halve an opponent’s life total. This can also be equipped on any other creature as well in order to destroy the life totals of opponents who love skyrocketing their life.
Seer’s Sundial – Part of the landfall subtheme, this card is great when lands are entering the battlefield. For a mere 2 you get to draw a card. It’s a great way to use all the mana that’s being produced. I always love getting this online in the early game.
Shadowspear - Not only does this make PK dangerous by giving it +1/+1, trample, and lifelink, but it can also take away hexproof and indestructible from opponents' creature, making them easier to snipe with PK.
Sol Ring - Standard EDH mana rock. This grants a PK as early as turn 2. Should definitely be included.
Thousand-Year Elixir - Gives "haste" to all mana dorks in the sense that they can tap for mana the turn they enter the battlefield. Not only that, but it can untap a huge mana dork like Karametra's Acolyte.
Whispersilk Cloak – Not only does this thing give PK shroud, but it also makes it unblockable! This card has singlehandedly won me the game so many time. Those times that PK doesn’t have trample, any chump blocker deters me from attacking. But a pumped and unblockable PK means that you can get lethal commander damage in without any hassles.
Avenger of Zendikar – Practically a staple in green decks, this card really shine here. There’s a landfall subtheme in the deck and this guy helps produce a lot of tokens thanks to that. Additionally, I have ways to bounce and blink my creatures so this guy definitely sees some use.
Craterhoof Behemoth – An amazing card that almost always wins me the game when cast. It pumps all my creatures and gives them trample, which is something PK loves having. With a board full of tokens and creatures, that pump and trample usually means someone’s getting devoured by a very large Polukranos.
Dryad Arbor – A mana dork that’s also a land. Bouncing this creature triggers landfall. It can also be tutored as a Forest. Definitely the best mana dork in here.
Elvish Mystic – Standard one-drop mana dork. This deck is mana hungry and requires a lot of mana dorks. Also, getting one in your opening hand means casting PK that much faster and it’s an elf as far as Elvish Archdruid is concerned.
Eternal Witness – This card is a must in any EDH deck running G. It recovers any card from your graveyard and has a body for chump blocking (or anything else you may want a creature for).
Fyndhorn Elves – Standard one-drop mana dork. This deck is mana hungry and requires a lot of mana dorks. Also, getting one in your opening hand means casting PK that much faster and it’s an elf as far as Elvish Archdruid is concerned.
Karametra's Acolyte – The amount of mana I’ve had this mana dork produce is insane! Almost all permanents in the deck supply more than 2 devotion points. Even if the field has only a couple of green permanents, that’s enough for this guy to produce a ton of green mana. Also, as previously mentioned, is able to produce infinite mana when comboed with Temur Sabertooth and Lightning Greaves (if you have at least 7 devotion).
Llanowar Elves – Standard one-drop mana dork. This deck is mana hungry and requires a lot of mana dorks. Also, getting one in your opening hand means casting PK that much faster and it’s an elf as far as Elvish Archdruid is concerned.
Nylea, God of the Hunt – An indestructible mass trample enabler that also pumps a creature. This is something that PK definitely loves having by its side on the field. An excellent mana sink that can pump up any creature(s).
Omnath, Locus of Mana – This guy has been mentioned quite extensively throughout the post. Basically, it allows your green mana to never leave the mana pool between phases and turns. Meaning that you can tap all your green mana production at the end of the turn before yours and always have that mana available as long as Omnath remains in play. Oh, and it’s as big as your mana pool. Broken. It’s even more broken when comboed with Seedborn Muse and Doubling Cube. Try equipping it with Loxodon Warhammer to make your opponents really nervous.
Patron of the Orochi – Another guy that has been mentioned quite extensively through the post. This allows you to untap all your forests and green creatures once per turn. You can use this to take your green mana production to the next level thanks to your forests and/or mana dorks. You can also use it to launch an alpha strike and then untap all your creatures to have blockers until your next turn. Simply amazing. Oh, and ridiculously broken when comboed with Omnath, Locus of Mana.
Rampaging Baloths – Another component of the landfall subtheme. When left unchecked, the amount of 4/4 Beast tokens produced can really get out of hand.
Regal Behemoth - A 5/5 body with trample for 4GG, it makes you the monarch when it enters the battlefield. This means that if you're ever not the monarch, you can either blink it or bounce it to become the monarch again. Additionally, it makes your lands give an additional mana whenever you are the monarch.
Riftsweeper – I find that this elf is severely underrated. Exiling is a thing in EDH. This guys helps recover anything dire that has been exiled. Oh, it’s also an elf as far as Elvish Archdruid is concerned.
Seedborn Muse – A card so broken that it tripled in price the day after Prophet of Kruphix was banned from commander. It’s just as well ‘cause we can’t play Prophet of Kruphix in a mono-G commander deck. However, Seedborn Muse has always been broken here. I can alpha strike and then have all my creatures untapped at each untap step. That combined with some mana sinks makes this card a powerhouse in this deck.
Selvala, Heart of the Wilds - Most of the creatures here have a high power so we're usually drawing a card whenever our creatures enter the battlefield. On top of that, you get X-1 green mana when tapping, where X is the greatest power among creatures you control. Combined with a large PK or Omnath and the amount of mana produced is ridiculous. Oh, and Elvish Archdruid very well knows this elf's name.
Silklash Spider – Flyers have always been a problem when you don’t have flyers of your own. However, not only does this large arachnid have reach, but it’s an amazing mana sink for taking down flyers. And, just as PK, it loves having deathtouch.
Temur Sabertooth – This card is too broken in this deck. It can bounce creatures to effectively protect them and it makes itself indestructible in the process. Use this to bounce utility creatures that have an effect when cast or entering the battlefield. Use this to bounce PK also, thus resetting its monstrosity. This card is simply amazing.
Terastodon – Sure, this guy gives 3/3 Elephant tokens but it destroys 3 very annoying cards be they a planeswalker, artifact, land, or enchantment. This guy has been key to clearing the path of any annoying pillowfort pieces hindering my advancement into attacking my opponents. Oh, and bouncing and/or blinking it is always amazing.
Tireless Tracker – Another component of the landfall subtheme, this guy makes Clue tokens which are used as card advantage. When paired with cards like Ghost Town and Thawing Glaciers, things can get pretty out of hand.
Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger – A very evil guy to have around, I’m able to double my mana production all while hindering my opponents. This may make you a target so make it count when you get him out.
Bonds of Mortality – It's very annoying when PK wants to take a huge chunk out of a creature and it can’t because it’s indestructible. It’s also annoying if PK can’t even target the creature 'cause it has hexproof. So for all those creatures that wave their hand in their face to PK much like John Cena does, we have Bonds of Mortality. PK can see you now and it’s hungry.
Burgeoning – This deck doesn’t run Azusa, Lost But Seeking and Oracle of Mul Daya but it does run Burgeoning and Exploration because these enchantments are one-drops so it’s always broken to drop them turn 1. Also, enchantments are much harder to get rid of than creatures. Getting this enchantment into play in the very early game means having way may more lands in play than your opponents for a much earlier casted PK and getting your midgame online while your opponents are still in the beginning of their early game.
City of Solitude – Getting key cards countered can be very annoying. Having your creatures destroyed, tapped, exiled, or bounced in response to combat, attack, or block can be very annoying. Luckily, we can prevent that during our turn with City of Solitude.
Exploration – This deck doesn’t run Azusa, Lost But Seeking and Oracle of Mul Daya but it does run Burgeoning and Exploration because these enchantments are one-drops so it’s always broken to drop them turn 1. Also, enchantments are much harder to get rid of than creatures. Getting this enchantment into play in the very early game means having way may more lands in play than your opponents for a much earlier casted PK and getting your midgame online while your opponents are still in the beginning of their early game.
Greater Good – Not only does this provide some insane card advantage, it also resets PK. Sure, it’s gonna cost 2 more to cast PK afterwards, but it’ll give you cards in your hand and the opportunity to once again make PK monstrous. This card is also amazing to have when someone casts a wrath. Just sacrifice your creatures in response and get a hefty hand for it. It truly is for the greater good.
Growing Rites of Itlimoc / Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun - The enchantment part of this card is definitely easy to get to flip in this deck. It costs 2G so I can cast it fairly early and before Polukranos hits the field. It does something when I play it, which is a plus. With so many cheap creatures (mana dorks, etc.) and tokens produced in the deck, it will very easily transform into the main reason I even want to run it: Itlimoc. Although it may seem winmore and like I'm jumping through hoops simply to get another Gaea's Cradle, having access to tons of mana in this deck is no joke. Lots of mana early on provides that quick a victory.
Hall of Gemstone – Again, it’s pretty annoying getting your things countered. Thankfully, this card not only shuts down multicolored spells (most of the time), but the only mana produced by lands during your turn is G. So lands that produce can now produce G. Also, unless opponents can do anything with G, they’re pretty much locked out of casting anything that isn’t colorless or green during your turn. Very useful.
Mana Reflection – My mana dorks and lands produce twice as much mana as it can produce. The deck loves making blowout plays. Also, PK is an epic mana sink. The more mana you can invest in PK's monstrosity the better. This helps provide an insane amount of mana.
Sylvan Library – A great way to filter through what you need from the top deck or take a hit and draw some more. Definitely some great tech for a deck can that run neither U nor B.
Zendikar Resurgent – Not only do my lands produce an additional mana when tapped for it, but I get to cantrip whenever I cast a creature. A great enchantment to have. It may seem overcosted, but not so much when you produce a ridiculous amount of mana.
Beast Within – Provides some much needed instant-speed removal for any permanent. Getting a 3/3 Beast out of it is no consolation.
Force of Vigor - A free spell to get rid of up to 2 target artifacts and/or enchantments is definitely amazing here. Even then, hardcasting it isn't an issue and it can deal with some of the deck's weaknesses.
Krosan Grip – Practically all pillowfort effects come from enchantments and artifacts. This card takes care of that and all anyone can do in response is morph.
Scour from Existence – Okay, so it costs 7. Is that a problem for ramp deck? Of course not. Oh, the bright side of it being colorless is that your Hall of Gemstone doesn’t hinder you from casting it. Pretty sneaky.
Boundless Realms – One of the reasons I love commander is because of the blowout plays. Do you have any idea how ridiculous this card is when you already have a bunch of lands in play? How about when you have Amulet of Vigor in play? Still unimpressed? How about with cards in play that have landfall? Now we’re talking.
Bramblecrush – Again, we need cards that provide some much needed permanent removal. It doesn’t target creatures but PK can take care of them anyways.
Explosive Vegetation – Sure, it may seem overcosted for ramp but I get 2 lands into play for it. Landfall loves that.
Fade into Antiquity – This was basically designed for the Theros gods in mind, but I love being able to cast this to cards like Blightsteel Colossus as well. This card is just some sound removal.
Freyalise, Llanowar’s Fury - All 3 abilities are awesome. I can give it loyalty counters by popping out mana dorks (the kind Elvish Archdruid loves), I can destroy that annoying artifact or enchantment, or I can draw a ton of cards.
Nissa, Who Shakes the World - Makes all of our forests tap for double mana which on its own is great. She also makes creatures out of lands which is fine if we need blockers. Her ultimate is amazing since it cheats all of our basic forests onto the battlefield.
Vivien Reid - Can help filter our draws as well as destroy any annoying artifact, enchantment, or flyer. Her ultimate provides a very oppressive emblem, which is great since we can't run Domri Rade.
Arcane Lighthouse – Polukranos hates shroud and hexproof. This lighthouse helps it see those annoying enemies and consume them. Remember that PK's ability targets.
Blighted Woodland – Giving is not really a hindrance in this deck. However, landfall loves this land because it gets two triggers for the hassle. Besides, the deck is already used to paying 3G for getting two basic forests into play tapped. Also, this land doesn’t enter the battlefield tapped.
Gaea's Cradle – One of the best lands in the deck; the amount of G produced is ridiculous. Useless without a creature in play, which hardly ever happens, though.
Ghost Town – This land is here specifically for abusing landfall. Getting this back into my hand before my turn will always guarantee the landfall trigger during my turn. The colorless mana is irrelevant in this monocolored deck; it’s no hindrance since the land enters untapped.
High Market – Great sac outlet for PK. Sometimes the only way to reset PK is to sacrifice it and recast it. Fortunately, we can do that with a land for no hassle! It's also free to do!
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx – No monocolored EDH deck should be without this land. The amount of mana produced by this land is crazy. Even though it costs 2 to activate, it almost always provides more mana than even Gaea’s Cradle.
Oran-Rief, the Vastwood – Sure, it enters the battlefield tapped, but being able to give a +1/+1 counter to practially all my creatures that enter the battlefield is enough for an include. It also provides G, to boot.
Reliquary Tower – Sometimes you have too fat a hand and having this land in the deck is not a hindrance. The amount of cards you may draw in this deck will be a bummer if you have to discard almost all of them at the end of your turn.
Rogue's Passage – So useful for an EDH deck such as this one where commander damage is a thing. This allows you to swing unopposed and take someone out with a single attack from a very large Polukranos.
Sanctum of Eternity - We can only return PK to our hand during our turn but that's fine; it's still a great way to reset PK's monstrosity.
Thawing Glaciers – This land should be printed in every single Commader precon that has ever come out and ever will come out. What's the deal, Wizards? It’s not too broken and it’s uncommon. However, with the ramping and landfall subtheme of this deck, this land is all the more broken here.
Throne of the High City - The deck isn't centered around becoming the monarch but it's always a plus to do. Having a lot of creatures to prevent combat damage and having PK to snipe any attackers means that you remain the monarch for a lot of turns. It doesn't enter the battlefield tapped and it produces mana. It's also good to be the monarch when you have Regal Behemoth in play. Besides, monarch is a fun mechanic.
------------------------------------------------------- Lands Just for the Mana:
As for cards that have become available with new sets, I will discuss in greater detail some of the cards from the most recent sets. This section will be constantly updated as new sets arise and other sets have been understood to have been discussed. I will not simply discuss all cards that comply with color. I will only discuss cards that could be useful to any extent in the deck - even if they don't make the cut.
Slippery Bogbonder - Is able to put a hexproof counter on Polukranos as well as all other counters on the rest of our creatures which isn't that often, but a hexproof counter is very helpful in protecting Polukranos from spot removal.
Sawtusk Demolisher - Mutating this onto Polukranos makes it a bit bigger while also giving trample. Also, when it mutates, it's a Beast Within. So it's amazing for 4 mana. Definitely worth a slot in the deck.
Here's my review for Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths:
Barrier Breach - Being able to exile 3 enchantments is no joke - especially when up against a pillowfort deck and wanting to get through with Polukranos.
Colossification - This is just hilarious in any commander deck. It turns any commander into a one-shot player eliminator. It taps down the creature, but if Polukranos is protected, then next turn it might definitely start eliminating players from the game.
Gemrazer - For just 3 mana you can mutate this under Polukranos to give it trample and reach. Oh, and when it mutates it naturalizes. It's definitely worth testing since Polukranos loves having trample.
The Ozolith - 100% going in the deck. Resetting Polukranos means we lose its +1/+1 counters. With this artifact we can store those counters and then put them back on Polukranos afterwards. Definitely going in the deck.
Titanoth Rex - For just 2 mana we draw a card and give Polukranos a trample counter at instant speed. The combat tricks alone are worth testing this card. It's also an 11/11 with trample if we need to send a message.
Invigorating Surge - A great way to make Polukranos potentially one-shot someone at instant speed.
Allosaurus Shepherd - It makes practially of all of my spells uncounterable as well as being uncounterable itself. The deck doesn't have that many elves (6) with Freyalise being the only other source of elf production. That being said, it's still amazing for a monogreen deck.
If gets more awesome cards in Æther Revolt (using Æ instead of 'Ae' is my revolt) it could definitely be a thing in this deck as a nice little suite with cards like Architect of the Untamed (which couples great with the landfall subtheme) which can give you some hefty tokens for . Decoction Module can also be added because whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control you get an , which would be quite oftern. Decoction Module also has the added bonus of bouncing a creature you control (although it has to be tapped to do so, limiting it to one creature). Unfortunately, the only good -based card in Æther Revolt was Gonti's Æther Heart. With enough and bouncing shenanigans with Temur Sabertooth and Riftsweeper, you could potentially get infinite turns. Then again, it would be a very convoluted way of going about it. Yet, just as S, I doubt we'll be getting any new -dependent cards anytime soon.
Praetor's Counsel will help recover your entire graveyard (great to use after an epic Genesis Wave) and you get a size-less hand for the rest of the game. Oh, and if you want to do it all over again, recover it with Riftsweeper.
Gilt-Leaf Archdruid is some great tech to disrupt your opponents and get you hated off the table. The deck runs a lot of druids (and can produce them with Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury) so it's quite easy to steal all of your opponents' lands.
3 - Alternate Builds:
3.1 - Budget Build:
Here's the budget build. It's very fun to play in a casual pod. However, it's not a weakling either and can easily win in a casual setting without being too mean. This deck is designed under the impression that it will be in a setting with similar decks. Otherwise, don't use it, lol. If you're starting in commander or don't have that much of a budget and want a kooky, uncommon deck, then this is for you!
3.1.2 - Deck Stats:
I will eventually keep an updated version of this deck online. Every time I update the deck I will try to update it there. This is also a good tool for people to actually see the statistics of the deck (by type, CMC, color, etc.) so it's easier to visualize with the graphs and whatnot. Also, you can see the updated prices on the cards (though I can't guarantee that deckstats.net will always use the cheapest version of the cards (as far as expansion set goes). You'll soon find the deck there. Average CMC:
3.56 Average Cost (as of 10/06/16): $76.23
3.1.3 - Noticeable Budget Substitutes:
With the Competitive Build at $825.95 (which is still considerably cheaper than most competitive EDH decks out there) and the Budget Build at a mere $76.23 in comparison, the Budget Build is 1,083% cheaper than the Competitive Build. That's a lot of savings!
These are the swaps that are more or less equivalent to the intended purposes. Other cards that aren't substitutes provide alternate strategies in order to compensate for the lack of the swapped cards.
Sylvan LibraryCream of the Crop - Sylvan Library provides an option for drawing and/or topdeck manipulation whereas Cream of the Crop just filters through the top X cards for a single card and bottomdecks the rest of them. Not exactly a tit-for-tat swap but it somewhat gets the job done for the same casting cost.
Genesis WaveAnimist's Awakening - Genesis Wave may send all nonpermanents to the graveyard but at least all permanents enter the battlefield untapped. However, it's too expensive. In a deck that cares about ramping, Animist's Awakening is a solid budget substitute and you don't lose what doesn't enter the battlefield; they're simply bottomdecked.
Cryptolith Rite - Makes every creature into a Birds of Paradise. Although the deck only needs to generate G, any creature that isn't a mana dork becomes one. This helps in making Polukranos even larger (or Silklash Spider become even more dangerous).
Nature's Revolt - A very budget way to be hated off the table. Making all lands into creatures means that you can snipe them off with a deathtouch Polukranos. This is a great strategy to add a more competitive edge to this build.
Nullmage Shepherd - Nullmage Shepherd is just an all-round great card to add to this build. It helps with getting rid of annoying enchantments and artifacts that may hinder you. Since the deck loses a great deal of its competitive edge due to budget, it is good to add cards like these that can provide consistent removal in order to level the playing field.
The difference between the two builds is quite stark. However, in a casual and budget environment, the Budget Build is great fun and very brutal. However, with a bit more budget, the deck can be greatly polished and still not break the $100-mark. Here're some changes you can make to the Budget Build and still be relatively budget. These changes add the more crucial cards like Amulet of Vigor and Hall of Gemstone. It also adds some more powerhouses like Genesis Wave. Also, for the small change in price, you get Patron of the Orochi and Tireless Tracker. These changes brings the Budget's Build price to $99.24.
4 - Change log:
Complete overhaul of the original post.
I'm going to summarize the overall changes in swaps since the deck has been posted and tested. Sometimes cards were removed and the returned and then removed again. Some cards were underperforming after much testing. Other cards were simply superior and needed to be added. Here're the significant changes discussed throughout the thread:
Yavimaya Elder, Yavimaya Dryad, Sakura-Tribe Elder, Farhaven Elf, Nissa, Vastwood Seer turned out to be a difficult cut. They ramp and provide bodies for Gaea's Cradle but at the end of the day I found them too inefficient for what I wanted. Honestly, through testing, the CMC=4 ramp spells were actually better. Late game, these creatures weren't that useful. However, the CMC=4 ramp spells are always useful. They're useful early game, mid game, and late game when I have a lot of permanents in play with landfall. It all boiled down to landfall triggers and use throughout the entire game.
Gilt-Leaf Archdruid just made me an archenemy the moment it got online. Unless I had druids in play or was consistently casting druids, it was pretty lackluster. Most of the time it was a dead draw. It seemed good on paper to get a lot of lands from opponents in order to sink into Polukranos. But, I already have so many ways to produce obscene amounts of mana that Gilt-Leaf Archdruid became win-more. Not only that, but it made opponents to weary of me when in play. It ended up not being worth the slot.
Tempt with Discovery was great during the early version of the deck. Lots of players would take the offer and I'd get a bunch of lands. However, some while ago, it would only serve as an overcosted Sylvan Scrying. No one would take the offer. Not only that, but opponents were taking as much advantage of it as I was. At the end of the day, only I want to be the one taking advantage of my spells in this deck. So, since it ended up only fetching me a single land, I swapped it for Reap and Sow which basically does the same thing for the same cost, with the added versatility of possibly blowing up a land.
Massive changes to the layout.
Added a more detailed Budget Section.
Finally obtained [Primer] status!
I hope my thread can continue to serve as a guide to those looking into this commander, these strategies, or looking for something different in monoG. I love this deck so I will definitely continue to work on it as more magic sets and new cards continue to come out.
Thanks to all those who've had any kind of interest and input in my thread!
Swapped out Krosan Tusker for Paradox Engine. This was a no-brainer. The deck already runs a lot of ramp. Tusker only ramps for one land. But Paradox Engine is too broken. Testing with Paradox Engine has proven that this card will undoubtedly be banned at some point. Enjoy it while it lasts!
With Paradox Engine being banned, it had to be removed from the deck. This is not a big deal since the deck didn't depend on Paradox Engine to win; it simply won the moment it entered the battlefield - just like many other decks it was included in. I swapped it out for Thousand-Year Elixir to at least be able to use mana dorks much more quickly. I feel this is a fair exchange.
5 - Acknowledgments:
DarklingScribe for suggesting Amulet of Vigor. That addition alone has made the deck exponentially better. Thanks a lot!
JDviant for all the suggestions that have made their way into the deck. Temur Sabertooth has become a cornerstone of the deck.
osieorb18 for helping to edit a lot of the layout and making the post neater.
all the Cockatrice players who've been making suggestions and observations ever since I've been playing this deck online way back since the beginning of its conception (particularly users 359763432 and Gidix).
The EDH Primer Committee for both helping me shape this into the guide it is and recognizing my effort with the much sought after [Primer] tag! Thanks!
And all of you reading for your interest, curiosity, suggestions, and attention!
Please let me know of any errors, typos, etc.! I want to keep this very presentable!
I don't have enough time to really look over your list card by card, but I did notice one missing card that has been a staple for me in just about every Gx commander deck I have. Reap and Sow may seem to have a high cost, but that is before you realize that it can search for any land in your deck and put it into play untapped. The entwine cost is mostly a bonus that you can pay extra for to get rid of an opponent's land, if they have one out that is causing you some trouble.
That's what's great about this community; you know all these cards but they always skip your mind when brewing and then helpful people come along to remind you of them. Temur Sabertooth and Silklash Spider are just those things. I have completely forgot about them. Thanks so much for reminding me! Not only is Silklash Spider a good mana sink, but flyers can really cripple this deck which lacks aerial blocking capabilities - and it's only $0.30. Temur Sabertooth is clutch not only to reboot monstrosity, but as protection from board wipes - and it's only $0.25. Mackelmore would be proud.
I have considered Hurricane, Squall Line, and even Borrowing the East Wind in order to give that much needed extra damage necessary to finish someone off. My worry with these cards is that I'm not always the one with most life. Once I get an impressive mana base, I get targeted. "They see me ramping; they hating." However, being able to at least clear the skies is good enough for me because once Polukranos gets deathtouch and I got enough mana, they leave me alone for fear of retaliation. Also, giving deathtouch to Silklash Spider is just as good; 1GG is enough to clear the skies.
On a side note, I'm also thinking about adding Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury. This planeswalker has it all: pops out mana dorks, destroys a troublesome artifact or enchantment, and draw power. Also, the tokens are Druid subtype so they go extremely well with Gilt-Leaf Archdruid, which is amazing mid to late game - especially against another ramping player. The trade is permanent (even if Gilt-Leaf Archdruid leaves the battlefield afterwards).
That seems like a good switch. Yavimaya Dryad only ever made cut in one of my decks that had reliably large forestwalk creatures, as it could ramp or give me a way to get damage in by assigning it to another player.
Another game the deck ran like a charm against an Oloro, Ageless Ascetic and Adun Oakenshield. Thanks to Ancient Tomb and Sol Ring, Oloro was getting smacked with PK by turn 4. A couple of turns later I dropped Hall of Gemstone causing Adun to cringe and eventually scoop due to a weak boardstate (PK constantly consuming everything in play). Oloro was hanging on a thread with 20 commander damage and doing everything possible to Terminus my field (thrice during the course of the match), overloading Cyclonic Rift, you name it. However, when the dust settled, PK was able to give him the final bite needed to win. The third time Terminus was cast was a game changer because my field was basically a very enraged and pumped Polukranos, Avenger of Zendikar with 20 2/3 plant tokens, Rampaging Baloths with 3 4/4 beast tokens, and a recently played Thelonite Druid. And Oloro has 0 creatures in play. But it's fine, all I needed was that sweet final point to finish the game. And I did. Polukranos, the unassuming became quite the menace quite quickly!
I'm really liking this deck. It produces a ton of mana because the general is a possible continuous mana sink (when everything goes right). I may spruce up the original post in the near future. This deck is a lot of fun to play and very simple and straightforward. It's not a monoG goodstuff and could be relatively cheap excluding some of the more expensive cards. I have taken the victory out of nowhere consistently even when my opponents are fully aware of what my deck is capable of doing. Just goes to show how Polukranos is an underestimated general in multiplayer EDH. However, with deathtouch and constant bouncing, blinking, and sacrificing, it can become pretty formidable indeed.
So, I hope to get more people involved in Polukranos. I'm currently trying to break Mazirek the way I broke Sidisi but I may just give Polukranos the OP attention before Mazirek. I still got a lot of work to do with that one and Polukranos is just a consistency machine!
With the Conspiracy 2 spoilers finally completed, two cards call to my attention: Throne of the High City and Regal Behemoth. Regal Behemoth can potentially allow my to continue doubling the mana output of my lands as long as I'm the monarch, which allows me to draw a card at the end of my turn. Throne of the High City is a colorless land source but it can make me the monarch without entering the battlefield tapped. I may end up adding only Regal Behemoth but at least the throne tickled my fancy.
Kaladesh brought a couple of goodies like Architect of the Untamed, Nissa, Vital Force, and Nissa, Nature's Artisan. Nissa, Vital Force's emblem is just ridiculous here. I like how Nissa, Nature's Artisan is not meant to be game-breaking but this deck produces so much mana, she's easy to cast. Her +3 ability gives a lot of counters and she can eventually ultimate relatively quickly. That effect is a great one for when I have a bunch of creatures and want to enter that red zone. Architect of the Untamed fits great with the landfall theme. Unfortunately, until Aether Revolt comes out I won't know what other energy cards I could add here, but for the moment, I could easily make 6/6 tokens just by having lands enter the battlefield. It's not as impacting as Rampaging Baloths, but it's still something to consider.
At some point, I'll have to try this deck out locally, as it is right up my alley. So thank you for posting it.
Seedguide Ash never fails me in my monogreen builds, beating, blocking, or ramping.
Thanks! When you try this deck locally don't be too surprised when you see it win out of nowhere or if people don't take it seriously at first. When they do, hopefully it'll already be too late for them, lol.
Massive aesthetic update.
It should now be neat on any size screen (large monitor, laptop screen, and smartphone).
As far as testing goes, I'm not too sold on what I'm doing with in the Budget Build. Hopefully there's more support for the mechanic with Æther Revolt (at least in a sense that's beneficial to this deck). I'm currently thinking of other cards that could fill in those slots should I choose to remove Architect of the Untamed and Decoction Module.
I hope my thread can continue to serve as a guide to those looking into this commander, these strategies, or looking for something different in monoG. I love this deck so I will definitely continue to work on it as more magic sets and new cards continue to come out.
Thanks to all those who've had any kind of interest and input in my thread!
And that was a good fight against that PK deck. Sorry, going to recount the summary of that game because it was one of the memorable ones. Started as a 4-way between PK, Commander Eesha, Heartless Hidetsugu, and myself piloting Ruric Thar. Heartless set the tone of the game with a single activation before we ganged up on him. Then Eesha, PK, and Ruric went back and forth (but mostly PK and Ruric). After PK did Tempt with Discovery (I got Kessig Wolf Run) he was open without PK on the field and I misplayed by attacking with Ruric and casting Knollspine Dragon to draw cards. If I'd sunk all my mana into the Run to pump Ruric I'd have finished him off and maybe had a shot at Eesha. Instead PK hit the field again, got monstrous to finish off my blockers with normal damage and swung at me unopposed to finish me off. But Eesha, who'd been very quiet with a handful of weenies and utility creatures and a ton of plains drew into Mirror Entity and finished PK off.
As for your notes:
I don't have Ghost Town yet but will soon. It'll be good along with Paradise and Glaciers if I ever rebuild Omnath2 (which is easy to make brutally competitive).
The Ooze is kindof a meta call. There are a couple Meren decks and sometimes somebody borrows my Chainer deck, so being able to nerf a graveyard might be handy. Time will tell if it's necessary or just superfluous and for fun.
Worldspine is indeed win-more, but I've been wanting to get it on the battlefield in something just for giggles, and there are a lot of good pieces in this build for abusing it. So it's visiting until some of the other pieces are acquired.