***Currently, the Italics tags don't seem to be working for me. I'm playing around with all the stuff to try and fix it. So currently, it looks like garbage, but i'm working on it.
Welcome to my thread for my Jeleva, Nephalia's Scourge EDH/Commander deck. I built this deck for many different reasons: I had just obtained a copy of Jeleva; I hadn't built a Grixis deck in quite a while; Almost every Grixis deck I've built has been with Thraximundar at the lead.
The deck is a basic Grixis Control deck, but the win conditions are where the deck really splits from how I play Thrax compared to Jeleva. The deck plays very similarly to Thrax, where swinging with my general is typically going to throw a removal spell at something. The difference is, that I typically use Jeleva to "mill" people with her Exiling cards and all the Wheel effects in the deck. I'm considering going for a more mill focus for the deck and adding in a bit more ramp and whatnot to make casting Jeleva repeatedly easier. So far, in my testing, mill has been the win in more games than not and i'm tempted to expand on that strategy.
A quick word on my playstyle when it comes to Grixis control with Thraximundar and Jeleva at the lead. First, removing every threat is both impossible for a control deck in multiplayer and just not needed with these two generals. Thrax makes the defending player sac a creature when he swings. This means that I can actively rely on Thrax to remove threats, and I can easily kill all but one creature and swing for 7 every time for a 3 hit kill. Jeleva has far less combat potential, but many times will also end up exiling removal spells and obtaining a similar use to thrax. Second, Grixis is the only color combination that I've always done hard counter control. This fact will be more important when I build other Grixis legends such as Mishra, Marchesa, Nekusar, and Sedris, the Traitor King.
---Creatures--- Djinn Illuminatus - [i]I honestly haven't played Illuminatus in years. There's quite a number of cards it works very well with. It's an insanely powerful effect when you play with it. However, I'm not even considering cards based on the fact that this is in the deck, so there are a few cards that work ridiculously well with it that won't even be considered for the deck.[/i]
Izzet Guildmage - Not as good as Djinn, but much cheaper. There's a considerable amount of cards that I could copy and at 3 mana a copy, it isn't that bad of a cost.
---Planeswalkers--- Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker - [i]It's Bolas. It's really nasty when your in control. Destroying things these colors have difficulty destroying and stealing creatures. Plus, pulled the foil out of my very first Conflux pack, like 6 years ago.[/i]
Praetor's Grasp - [I]I like stealing things, and this lets me steal things for ramp, jeleva's haste issues, and all sorts of neat stuff. Best part is, They don't know what I took, and I can spring it on them at any time. Surprise board wipe you didn't know I had? Surprise![/I]
Damnation - [i]Black staple and board wipes are staple for control anyway.[/i]
Double Negative - [i]You know what's better than countering a spell? Countering TWO spells. Niche, but I like it.[/i]
Memory Lapse - [i]Personally, I like it better than remand. I feel that a wasted draw rather than just wasted mana is worth the loss of a card draw. Plus, hitting something good and exiling it with Jeleva is pretty funny.[/i]
Negate - [i]It's a negate. Probably one of the most questionable cards in the deck. It's cheap, but more narrow. I already run a but ton of removal. Creatures really aren't the issue to me. Granted, if I find something better, then I'll use it.[/i]
Snuff Out - [i]Free Removal is both free and removal. It's pretty easy to get a single swamp out even in 3 color.[/i]
Cyclonic Rift - [i]Is it safe to call this a staple at this point? A lot of times, it just completely blows someone out and ruins their next few turns. If that's not tempo disruption, then I don't know what is.[/i]
Capsize - [i]Really good card. Shuts down a couple of strategies and with a lot of mana can just shut someone out of the game. Tbh though, very expensive cost wise, and I could easily see myself removing it.[/i]
Telling Time - [i]Love this card. Always have, always will. Nice cost, awesome effect, great art, and a sweet flavor text to back it all up. Imo, a perfectly designed card, and my absolute favorite draw spell.[/i]
---LAND--- Cavern of Souls - [i]Uncounterable Wizards. If you didn't notice, there are more that a few wizards. This is one of the two reasons why I chose some of the creatures I did.[/i]
Maze of Ith - [i]Generally good and makes control easier.[/i]
Reliquary Tower - [i]Staple. If you like drawing cards, then be ready to use one.[/i]
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth - [i]Mana Fixing. Pretty good in any deck that runs techlands that only tap for colorless, let alone multicolored decks and turning every nonswamp basic into a dual land.[/i]
Phyrexian Tower - [i]Mostly as a way to get Jeleva back into the command zone. I really like paying lots of mana for Jeleva.[/i]
Bojuka Bog - [i]Exiling a person's 'yard. Basic black staple.[/i]
Oboro, Palace in the Clouds - [i]I really love this card. Awesome name, gorgeous art, sweet ability, nice flavor text. Just the flavor and logic of the card is awesome, making it my favorite land of all time. Just the concept of it vanishing in the clouds that is your hand is awesome.[/i]
Riptide Laboratory - [i]Remember when I said there were two reasons that i played more than a few wizards? This is that second, but most important reason.[/i]
Academy Ruins - [i]Really, really good land, but easily replaceable in this deck. I really don't run enough artifacts to use it. It'll probably get dropped later. For now, it works really well with Phyrexian Metamorph to make Jeleva copies that exile people's cards.[/i]
Kher Keep - [i]Meh, It makes a blocker if need be. Easily Removable.[/i]
Nephalia Drownyard - [i]Mill typically isn't that good, but Instant speed messing with topdeck tutors is really nice, especially when it's on a land.[/i]
Rix Maadi, Dungeon Palace - [i]I really like this card. Downside is that it's a sorcery speed ability. It's still pretty nice, just salt in the wound for anyone low on cards in hand. On a land, this is an awesome ability, sorcery speed or not.[/i]
Nivix, Aerie of the Firemind - [i]I've never really liked this card's ability, but I've also never used it. I like every other part of the card, so I figured that I could at least test it out. Hasn't done much yet, and may be easily removable in the future.[/i]
Flamekin Village - [i]Yet another Haste option for Jeleva. Being a land and uncounterable by normal means is really nice. Unfortunately, I don't have one.[/i]
Curfew - [i]Each player bounces a creature of THEIR choice typically isn't something used a lot, but when it gives the ability to replay a few specific creatures? I really like this card, and I really want to Evacuation using Djinn Illuminatus, but It's just not good enough to make the list as a card on its own.[/i]
Reiterate, Reverberate, Fork, and [/c]Twincast[/c] - [i]They're normally cards that I try to fit into lists, mostly to copy my opponents' spells more than anything. With Jeleva as my general, I really don't see the need. I also just didn't have room for any of them. I came really close to fitting Reiterate in as a combo piece, but didn't want to fill the deck with tutors and things to use the combo with.
Mana Geyser and Turnabout - [i]Combo pieces for Reiterate for infinite mana. I can't guarantee that jeleva won't exile them, making it so that I can't cast it at a more opportune time. I also really don't want to use up a bunch of spaces on fairly weak, expensive infinite mana combos that need a bunch of X spells that also don't work with Jeleva.[/i]
Pillar of Flame and Magma Spray - [i]I really like exiling creatures. I really like killing little tech creatures. Two damage just isn't enough though. Had I been thinking of Djinn Illuminatus, they would have been in the deck.[/i]
Cabal Coffers - [i]I normally don't even consider Coffers for a 3 color deck, but as costly as it is to cast jeleva over and over, I'm really considering it.[/i]
Toxic Deluge - [i]I simply don't have one. I was on Hiatus when it came out, it's fairly popular, and I just haven't picked up a few yet.[/i]
Laboratory Maniac - [i]Seems like a good alternate win con, but Jeleva exiles a lot of things. That, and I never kept a copy when it came out.[/i]
Dualcaster Mage - [i]OMG it's a Wizard. I could easily make the room for it, but I was on hiatus when it came out and It's just not in my budget right now. Currently, Everything in the deck is stuff I already had, short of jeleva that I bought with left over store credit with a purchase of a bunch of portfolios and sleeves that I needed. If I can get a few, then they'll be in every red deck I have.[/i]
Dark Deal - I really liked the idea of a black pseudo wheel effect. The issue is, I'm spending a card just playing it and then getting one less card back because of it. I really don't like the "discard your hand, draw that many cards" effect on Instants and sorceries because casting that spell means your down a card. I'd rather just play Divination or Sign in blood, at least I'd make a card profit. Dark Deal is literal card loss.
Glen Elandra Pranksters - Pet blue creature card for me. Works insanely well with Snapcaster mage, but that's about it in this deck. I considered it, denied it, and gave it an honorable mention for just having a really nice ability.
Hall of the Bandit lord - To be honest, I originally planned this as an auto-include. The only issue is that the 3 life really hurts when it can't tap for mana otherwise. There will be many times that i'll have to tap it for mana to counter a spell or play some removal, and the 3 life each time will lose me more games than the haste will win me.
- Ixidron - It just didn't do enough. A field full of 2/2's are still threats.
- Break Though the Line - I felt that I had a tad too many haste cards. I always ended up with most of them over the course of a game.
- Sudden Death - It's good and I hate to see it go but with Blasphemous act as its direct replacement, it's gone. Board wipe > spot removal.
- Preordain - Yeah, I know. I dropped a 1cmc draw spell. I did also replace it with a 1cmc draw spell that messes with my opponent's hands.
- Spellshutter sprite - Just didn't do enough. There really isn't enough faeries in the deck to make her worth it.
- Hex Parasite - Meh. Planeswalkers aren't that hard to kill.
+ Blasphemous Act - Board wipe. enough said.
+ Ovinomancer - Sheep. Sheep everywhere. *maniacal laughter*
+ Winds of Change - Messes with my opponents' hands.
+ Forced Fruition - To help my win condition which is basically to mill people out... kind of.
+ Goblin Electromancer - Cheaper things are better things.
+ Izzet Guildmage - He's kind of like a mini Djinn Illuminatus, but his abilities are more restrictive and expensive while he isn't 7cmc. I considered the RtR guildmage instead and I might just do that down the line. 4 mana to copy any of my spells off of RtR izzet guildmage is more expensive but less restrictive.
I'm also having issues with my mana base. I've decided that Tolaria West, Crosis's Catacombs, Kher Keep, Rix Maadi, Dungeon Palace, and Nivix, Aerie of the Firemind aren't quite as good as I thought they'd be. Catacombs bouncing that land is a real pain in the rear, though I have used it to bounce Bojuka Bog more than once. Tolaria West only Searches up lands and I've had too many times that I didn't have the double blue early game or didn't have the double blue with enough additional blue for another spell. It's been more of a nuisance than a help. Nivix is really quite bad, if I want an instant off the top then it's ok, but when I need a sorcery It's 4 extra mana and tapping Nivix to play it. Ninety percent of the time I'd rather have Desolate lighthouse. Rix Maadi is good, don't get me wrong, but I really need instant speed stuff in this deck and Rix isn't.
I've considered just throwing in City of Brass and Mana Confluence to replace two of my techlands, but the life loss will hurt. Still considering it, but my life already get's pretty low over the course of a game anyway.