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  • posted a message on Rhonas Takes on Armies - Come at Me, Bro!
    Vedalken Orrery is a very powerful card, and it puts you in so much more control of every turn the moment it hits the field. I love the occasional combat tricks that are possible with it, such as 'flashing' in Bow of Nylea during the combat phase for unexpected deathtouch on all my creatures, and/or Bonds of Mortality and activating it to remove indestructible on blockers to completely turn the tide in combat.

    It was a little difficult to judge your play style by your deck list with things like Bellowing Tanglewurm being included (which admittedly looks like an amazing creature that I am now considering). I probably need to take a page from your book and focus on making my deck(s) more interactive with others and in the process making the game more entertaining... if for no other reason than to simply make the games last a bit longer. I have constructed so many competitive Standard decks in the past year that it's hard to break free of that mindset. I get the feeling that some of my decks may be not too terribly fun to play against because they tend to 'go for the throat'... just a waiting game for others to see which one of them I'm going to be swinging out big trample damage to and a lot of "Please don't kill me yet" deals being made to stave off the inevitable. I actually end up doing the same thing against a player at my LGS who likes to run an Eldrazi titan deck a lot. But, my decks do seem in line with many of the decks I've seen played on The Command Zone's Game Knights broadcasts (which are very entertaining to watch), so I keep going with it.

    I love creature anthem effects, but I generally don't like ones that adversely affects opponent creatures... persistent -x/-x effects, at least. Temporary effects, especially ones that break tempo, I don't mind (like Authority of the Consuls). I don't usually like lock-down/out strategies either. At least give other players a fighting chance.

    Oh, and Shapers' Sanctuary looks really nice! Thanks Ertai (love your signature, by the way). I don't know why I tend to constantly neglect cards from newer sets when constructing. I guess I'm just used to powerful cards with low mana costs to only exist in older sets.

    I'm glad some of the suggestions were helpful. I appreciate all of the information you have provided so far in this thread as well. It has helped me a great deal, too, as I am a relatively new EDH/Commander player.

    EDIT: I just realized that Bellowing Tanglewurm probably wouldn't be the best idea for my deck if I continue to use Lure effects, which I really like. Oh well, that's a shame.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Rhonas Takes on Armies - Come at Me, Bro!
    I understand completely about the dislike for infect. I feel the same way. It was just an interesting interaction. I do not run Triumph of the Hordes in my deck either, but I've play tested it a few times in XMage, and it is unsurprisingly ridiculous. I also don't run Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger for similar reasons. I don't ever want my deck to not be fun to play against, but that does not mean I don't want it to be challenging though. For instance, I like having answers for one or two problematic lands, but I'm not an Armageddon type of person. I strive not to be 'that guy'.

    I understand and agree with your points about Predator Ooze. It was just an idea to consider if you had not already. I have had a few games where everything just seems to play out perfectly from the opening hand. My deck focuses on mana ramp/doubling pretty heavily. It is very possible to have both Rhonas and Predator Ooze out by turn 2, but as you say, 'God Mode' indeed.

    T1: Forest, Exploration, Forest, Sol Ring
    T2: Forest, Forest, Rhonas the Indomitable, Predator Ooze
    T3: Forest, Ancient Tomb, Nylea, God of the Hunt (now a 6/6 creature), Lightning Greaves (equip on Nylea for haste)

    All 3 can now attack on T3 for 13 damage (because the Ooze gets a +1/+1 counter when declared as an attacker making it a 2/2). If someone decides to block with a x/2, x/3, or even x/4 creature, there is still 3 green mana left over from casting Nylea and Lightning Greaves to boost Predator Ooze with Rhonas making it a 4/2 and allowing it to kill the blocking creature, making the Ooze a 3/3 with an additional +1/+1 counter.

    By T4, the Ooze attacks once again, making it a 4/4.

    Thank you for providing feedback. It's always nice to know which ideas are well-received and which ones are not, and why. I like your deck a lot, and there are some really great choices in it. My apologies for recommending certain pricier cards. I neglected to notice where you had specifically mentioned budget constraints.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Rhonas Takes on Armies - Come at Me, Bro!
    I agree completely. All 5 of the 'Archetype of' creatures are impressive. I try to include the relevant colors in just about any deck I build now.

    I removed almost every instance of 'fights / deals damage to target creature' mechanic in the deck, which is what I originally envisioned a Rhonas deck to be able to fully leverage and exploit... but it ended up being rather underwhelming. They ended up just being dead cards in my hand when up against decks that weren't creature-heavy or did a very good job of protecting their creatures. I now have no more instants or sorceries that deal that kind of damage and now rely completely on Thornbite Staff and Ulvenwald Tracker. At least I can get those out of my hand and have them ready to do something if the need arises. I prefer Thornbite Staff since it also untaps Rhonas whenever a creature dies (meaning always make sure the opponent's commander is the last one targeted, because that will not untap Rhonas... unless they choose to send their commander to the graveyard for some reason). These are repeatable, and if they are ever destroyed, I will most likely have Eternal Witness and Greenwarden of Murasa to recur them from the graveyard if desired. Problematic lands controlled by opponents are also easy targets for Thornbite Staff and Rhonas with help from Kamahl, Fist of Krosa.

    I found Lure-type effects with Rhonas to be far more effective and efficient, which is why I probably need to put Nemesis Mask back in. There are plenty of other combat tricks to consider as well. Like the synergy between Polukranos, World Eater and Bow of Nylea. Declare Polukranos as an attacker, the Bow gives deathtouch at that moment, then before blockers are declared and depending on how much mana you have available, use that opportunity to make him monstrous, pinging several of your opponents' creatures with 1 deathtouch damage, allowing more combat damage to get through.

    I had given serious consideration to Spearbreaker Behemoth, but my 7-drop slot is already pretty crowded with Avenger of Zendikar, Engulfing Slagwurm, Hornet Queen, and World Breaker. I'm having a tough time removing any one of those. Avenger of Zendikar and Hornet Queen do wonders for getting a lot of value out of Gaea's Cradle and Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun. The deck is already rather weak against flyers, and getting 5 creatures with a combined total of 6 deathtouch damage in the air from Hornet Queen is hard to ignore. Also, following Avenger of Zendikar with Mycoloth and devouring all the 0/1 creatures that were just created to then create twice that many 1/1 creatures on your next upkeep (which then keeps doubling on future upkeeps) is particularly amusing. Avenger of Zendikar continues to add +1/+1 counters to those every time a land is played, too. Follow a board presence like that with a Triumph of the Hordes (depending on your play group's feelings on the infect mechanic), and it's lights out for probably everyone at the table simultaneously. Big trample damage is what this deck seems to do best, after all. If anything ends up getting cut in favor of the Spearbreaker Behemoth, it's probably going to be Engulfing Slagwurm. The only thing I don't like about Spearbreaker Behemoth, and probably the only reason I decided against it, is the requirement that a creature must be at least 5 power to become indestructible. For scenarios like that, I tend to prefer using Temur Sabertooth to bounce other creatures like Eternal Witness, Acidic Slime, World Breaker, or even Rhonas (if threatened with exile) back to my hand, in turn giving Temur Sabertooth indestructible.

    Another low-cost creature to seriously consider that I have had success with is Predator Ooze. I added this creature for a couple of reasons. First, it's a creature with inherent always-active indestructible that costs only 3 mana, which is already impressive and quite rare. Granted, it's only a 1/1 when it enters the battlefield, but it doesn't take long to get it to 4/4. When that happens, and since it's indestructible and harder to remove, it helps ensure Rhonas stays active longer. Secondly, it has GGG in the mana cost, most definitely not a problem in a mono-colored deck. This means even with just Rhonas, Predator Ooze, and Nylea, God of the Hunt on the field, Nylea meets the devotion requirement and is now a creature. That's 3 indestructible creatures with a combined total of 12-15 trample damage as early as turn 4. Not bad at all for just 3 non-land permanents.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Rhonas Takes on Armies - Come at Me, Bro!
    This looks very similar to my Rhonas deck in its 'final' form, including the evolutions it went through for many of the same reasons.

    I ended up using Extraplanar Lens instead of Vernal Bloom for one less mana. If you imprint a Snow-Covered Forest with Extraplanar Lens, no one else gets the benefit of double mana when they tap a regular Forest.

    Oh, and your reasons were the same as mine for Arena ultimately not making the cut. Every time I would use it, I would keep forgetting that the opponent got to choose which of their creatures ended up fighting... and it was always depressing to me when I realized I wasted 3 mana and Rhonas was now tapped for no reason.

    I would also suggest that if Majestic Myriarch is going to stay in the deck, consider replacing Boreal Druid (or any other 1-drop mana dork) with Birds of Paradise. Might as well give the chimera flying during each combat step, too. There are many instant, sorcery, enchantment aura, and artifact equipment solutions to make Birds of Paradise a viable attacker in the air as well, if desired. It's also quite hilarious when a seemingly innocuous 0/1 has been ignored for many turns, not worthy of an expensive removal spell, only to have it be the recipient of Epic Proportions and Berserk if necessary to fly over with 10+ damage and knock someone out of the game.

    Also, the funny thing about Kamahl, Fist of Krosa in my deck is that I rarely use him as a source of Overrun effects. I mainly use him as a deterrent for sweepers and board wipes that threaten my creatures. If I happen to have the mana available if someone attempts it, I say "Okay... well, I'd like to respond. All of your lands are now 1/1 creatures." That usually makes them immediately regret the Wrath of God they just played which has now performed double duty as a one-sided Armageddon against their own lands. Likewise, if Rhonas already has Lure effects, I can use Kamahl, Fist of Krosa on a defending player's untapped lands before my attack step. It forces them to tap their lands in response so they don't lose them (if they're wise enough to realize they can and should do that), but it also helps to ensure that they don't have mana available to respond either during my second main phase or during another player's turn. Yeah, it's dirty... but it works.

    If you are curious, this is what I have come up with so far after working on it for a couple of weeks. It tends to focus on lots of ramp, with multiple sources of mana doubling. The Landfall mechanic comes in handy on a few of the cards as well, especially Tireless Tracker, which I initially didn't think would work well, but I was very pleasantly surprised by how solid he has been. There are also multiple land untap sources (Garruk Wildspeaker and Nissa, Worldwaker, Deserted Temple, Seedborn Muse, Bear Umbra) that work brilliantly with Thawing Glaciers. With those in place, it's not uncommon to have Thawing Glaciers throw 4 or 5 Snow-Covered Forests on the battlefield (tapped) before it comes back to my hand at the end of the turn, ready to do it again. The most recent addition to the deck was Golden Guardian, a 4/4 by itself that can activate Rhonas, but can also fight Rhonas to easily flip into Gold-Forge Garrison, a 4/4 factory.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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