Budget cEDH Deck - Prime Speaker Vannifar

Magic: the Gathering

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Budget cEDH Deck - Prime Speaker Vannifar

This Article discuss a decklists focused on resilient combos for Prime Speaker Vannifar as a budget deck for cEDH

By Kaylani, 12/30/20, translated by Humberto

Introduction
Let's look at the first in a series of decks built with the following conditions / restrictions:
  • Estimated value of U$ 40,00
  • The deck should be as strong as possible and should try to win consistently when playing against other decks in the same price range.
  • Basic land does not count towards the final value of the deck. Snow-covered lands enter the final deck's value.
  • The commander's value goes into the final price of the deck.
The first deck presented is within the

combo

archetype. A good tutorial on how to use this type of strategy can be found in the cEDH Manual.

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Gameplan
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The decklist belongs to the player hyperlink (Lucas Guimarães) and is valued around US$ 40,00 on 12/26/2020. There was a small increase in

Birds of Paradise

from the tests until the publication of this article. Vannifar's ability works as a "one" card combo, so the game plan is pretty consistent: ramp up a bit at the beginning using mana-generating creatures (in turns 1 and 2), summon the commander and protect her for a turn (in turns 3 and 4), then activate the commander and win the game (in turns 4 and 5).
Combo Lines
In order to avoid using more dead cards on the deck, the combo lines culminate in looping some magic through the interaction between

Memory's Journey

and

Reclaim

. Usually the combo lines will be something like this:
  • To have the commander in the battlefield field without summoning sickness
  • Activate Vannifar multiple times until you put a Protean Hulk onto the battlefield
  • Sacrifice the Hulk and take a pile of cards to make infinite mana.
  • Draw the entire deck.
  • Loop spells that give + 1 / + 1 to your creatures and hit for lethal.
Now let's look at one of the simplest combos to execute, present possible points where other cards can help to correct weaknesses and then present those cards.
The Ladder
The objective here is simple: put Protean Hulk on the battlefield and sacrifice him. Initial condition: Vannifar in the field without summoning sickness. A creature with CMC 1 nn the battlefield (Elvish Mystic in this example). We will put the CMC of the creatures in parentheses. A magic to trigger the Chakram Retriver. Some way to untap Vannifar. The mana required depends on the magic used to trigger the Chakram and the untapper for Vannifar.
  1. Activate Vannifar by sacrificing

    Elvish Mystic

    (1), tutoring

    Monitor Corridor

    (2)
  2. Activate Vannifar by sacrificing

    Monitor Corridor

    (2), tutoring

    Pestermite

    (3)
  3. Activate Vannifar by sacrificing

    Pestermite

    (3), tutoring

    Breaching Hippocamp

    (4)
  4. Activate Vannifar by sacrificing

    Breaching Hippocamp

    (4), tutoring

    Chakram Retriever

    (5) and casting a spell to untap Vannifar
  5. Activate Vannifar by sacrificing

    Chakram Retriever

    (5), tutoring

    Great Oak Guardian

    (6)
  6. Activate Vannifar by sacrificing

    Great Oak Guardian

    (6), tutoring

    Protean Hulk

    (7)
  7. Use some untapper to untap Vannifar
  8. Activate Vannifar by sacrificing

    Protean Hulk

    (7)
  9. Protean Hulk

    triggers, take one of the stacks:

    Incubation Druid

    (2) +

    Vigean Graftmage

    (3) +

    Spectral Sailor

    (1) OR

    Grand Architect

    (2) +

    Pili-Pala

    (3) +

    Spectral Sailor

    (1)
  10. Pass the turn
  11. Generate infinite mana with one of the stacks and draw the deck with

    Spectral Sailor

  12. With the deck in hand, use the loop combo with

    Memory's Journey

    +

    Reclaim

    detailed below
Steps 7 and 10 are noteworthy. Step 7 requires that you have some additional way of untapping Vannifar. Step 10, perhaps as a much higher order, requires you to spend the turn with the combo on the table. With more than US$ 40,00 to spend on the deck it is possible to solve these problems with other cards, however, let's see some cheaper and, unfortunately, less efficient ways of circumventing these weaknesses.

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Before isolating specific cards to correct these problems, it is important to note that the deck was built with the aim of being dense in ways of fulfilling (step 7) or skipping (step 10) those steps. Stem enablers like

Lightning Greaves

and

Swiftfoot Boots

can skip step 10, while untappers like

Vitalize

and

Cerulean Wisps

seek to serve as enablers of step 7 and be less dead as a card.
Thornbite Staff
The use of

Thornbite Staff

alone allows the combo to be executed completely on the turn itself and without using any additional cards (there is no need to have specific cards in hand). The Staff's untap trigger causes step 7 to not require an additional card. Or even the condition of deviating from step 4 that we assume as always possible. To solve the problem of passing the turn (step 10), note that when sacrificing the

Protean Hulk

, Vannifar will untap again. Thus, it is possible to include some 0 CMC creature (

Ornithopter

in the example) in the Hulk stack and start a new ladder. The new combo, starting from step 10, will be:
  1. Protean Hulk

    trigger, include

    Ornithopter

    (0) on the original stack
  2. Activate Vannifar by sacrificing

    Ornithopter

    (0), tutoring some drop 1 (

    Llanowar Elves

    (1) in this example)
  3. Activate Vannifar by sacrificing

    Llanowar Elves

    (1), tutoring some drop 2 creature (

    Kiora's Follower

    (2) in this example)
  4. Activate Vannifar by sacrificing

    Kiora's Follower

    (2), tutoring

    Tribute Mage

    (3)
  5. Tribute Mage

    will trigger, tutor

    Lightning Greaves

  6. Cast

    Lightning Greaves

    and equip the mana-generating creature to start the combo on the same turn
For the last step, it is possible to notice that it is necessary 2 additional mana to execute the combo on the turn (assuming that

Thornbite Staff

is equipped in Vannifar, otherwise it is necessary to add 4 mana to equip or 6 to cast and equip ).
Memory's Joruney & Reclaim's Loop
Initial condition: deck in hand. Spectral Sailor in the battlefield. "Infinite" mana. Let's choose some magic to loop, how about

Autumn's Veil

:
  1. Cast

    Autumn's Veil

  2. Cast

    Reclaim

    , placing

    Autumn's Veil

    on top of the deck
  3. Casting

    Memory's Journey

    , shuffling

    Reclaim

    on the deck
  4. Activate

    Spectral Sailor

    to draw

    Reclaim

    and

    Autumn's Veil

  5. Cast

    Autumn's Veil

  6. Casting

    Reclaim

    , placing [card (Memory's Journey) on top of the deck
  7. Activate

    Spectral Sailor

    to draw

    Memory's Journey

    and

    Autumn's Veil

From there, just repeat starting at step 3. Replace

Autumn's Veil

with bounces or pumps to clean the board and attack. The deck runs 3 haste enablers, which is enough to remove all three opponents in a turn.
How to Combat
The deck relies too much on the commander, so it is necessary to keep Vannifar in check. It is good to remember that combos of infinite mana work without the commander, they are just more difficult to establish without her. For the Vannifar pilot it is interesting to note which pieces of hate hinder the deck. Cards like

Rest in Peace

prevent the Hulk from triggering, while pieces like

Cursed Totem

prevent Vannifar from being activated. The deck countswith a general removal package, usually in the form of bounces. These should only be used as a last resort, although it is a Simic deck, this deck is not a control deck.

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Card Discussion

Combo and support parts

The creatures needed to make our staircase reach the

Protean Hulk

, such as

Corridor Monitor

(2) and

Pestermite

(3) have been mentioned previously. For them to work correctly and linearly, we have to ensure that they are all on the deck, so that no Vannifar activation fails to find a necessary creature. On the deck there are two ways to deal with unwanted cards in your hand. First, we have the instant card

Brainstorm

that makes us draw three cards and return two cards from our hand to the top of our deck. There is also the

Riverwise Augur

whose effect of entering the battlefield is equivalent to that previously mentioned, which makes it into a

Brainstorm

in the form of a creature. Because it is a creature, it is easily tutored with the help of our commander, which makes its mana cost negligible. However, you must remember of always be careful when this effect will be used, since the cards are placed at the top of your library and not reshuffled in it. Although it is not possible to win in the same turn or the next turn, it is good that the commander is activated as soon as possible so that the deck is shuffled. Cards that give haste are good on this deck because they allow the combo's resolution to happen on the same turn as it hits the table.

Lightning Greaves

,

Instill Energy

and

Crashing Drawbridge

are the honorable mentions in this category. The boots are old known to Commander players, can be tutored via

Tribute Mage

and equipped for free. In turn, the enchantment, in addition to giving haste to the creature to which it is attached, also serves as a way to untap it. Finally, the Bridge has the ability to boost all of its creatures that are on the battlefield at the time their ability is activated.

Ramp

Our list runs a large number of mana dorks in order to get into a comfortable position as quickly as possible to perform our victory combo. Cards like

Birds of Paradise

,

Arbor Elf

,

Llanowar Elves

and the like are great at the beginning of the game for facilitating the commander's entry and are part of the game plan.

Seeker of Skybreak

can also function as a ramp if you have some mana dork in the battlefield. One of the best creatures for the deck, however, is

Kiora's Follower

. Because it is a permanent untapper, it can function either as a ramp, untapping land or a dork, or untapping commander so that it can be activated again.

Interaction

In general, it is necessary to keep the commander on the field for one turn so that our game plan can reach the end. Thus, we run a large number of ways to protect it.

Autumn's Veil

,

Blooming Defense

and many others are spells capable of giving protection to our creatures that are already on the field.

Mizzium Skin

is one of the deck's honorable mentions because it brings with it the flexibility to protect one creature or to protect all of our creatures that would be the target of spells. But in order to protect something in the field, we must first summon that something. So we run a considerable amount of counterspells on our deck. We opt, mostly, for low cost spells, usually with some condition (usually some cost that the opponent must pay) for the counter to be successful. As it is a deck focused on going off quickly, it does not seem absurd to think that the amount of mana available to all players is small. Thus, we assume that the probability that a player will answer some of his creatures is low and still have mana available to pay the fees applied by our counters.

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Mulligan Guide

Perfect Hand

This hand gives us all the important ingredients to make the winning strategy work. Among mana dorks and lands, it has what it takes to summon our commander early. It has protection, in the form of

Lightning Greaves

or

Mizzium Skin

and also has a way to untap the commander to sacrifice the

Protean Hulk

and get our combo pieces. Finally, it is capable of giving haste to one of the pieces needed to generate infinite mana. With this hand it is possible to win in turn 4.

Acceptable Hand

A hand with 4 lands is better than a hand with no lands on that deck. With two mana dorks and a creature untap spell, these cards are able to summon our commander as early as turn 3. The lack of haste can be corrected on the turn following the commander's entry using her ability to sacrifice the

Leafkin Druid

in search of a

Tribute Mage

that would, in turn, search for

Lightning Greaves

. That done, we can pass and go in search of victory in the next turn, that is, with the prospect of victory in turn 5.
Two-land hands are also clearly viable hands. In this one we have a drop 1 that can help Vannifar to start her chain of tutors, we have an acceleration in the form of

Paradise Druid

, which even helps when generating infinite mana. We have specific protection against removals and a counterspell, in addition to also having the

Thornbite Staff

playing the role of untapping our commander. With this hand and drawing more lands, it is possible to win on turn 5.

Bad Hands

This hand has everything wrong. One land (different in color from most spells), no ramp, no untapper, two creatures that do not help us at all initially, only reactive spells and one of the creatures on our activation ladder.
Conclusion

This Deck Needs Knowledge

Since the deck has very convoluted and a little fragile combos, it is necessary to be quite comfortable with all the lines before adapting to the deck. It is not the kind of deck that you lend to your friend who has learned to play in an FNM right now.

Strengths

The deck is quite consistent, manages to emerge victorious frequently and has ways to react to opponents' interactions.

Weaknesses

The deck operates with a linear and easy to predict strategy, which makes it simple to stop it. In addition, it is necessary to have a strong knowledge of the other decks at the table in order to plan your plays accordingly.
Goldfishing
Since the deck falls within the combo archetype, the average winning turn is a good metric to watch.

Number of goldfishes

: 50

Average win turn

: 4.96

Standard deviation

: 0.48

Mulligan for how many cards

: 6.8

Standard deviation

: 0.65 Naturally, the deck is slower than its alternative without a budget limit, but it is also extremely consistent. Usually the combo's turn was also performed with some protection in hand. This ends the first article in the series. I will be back soon with another budget deck in a new archetype ...

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Grade

0

Commander EDH Budget
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Kaylani

Kaylani Bochie iniciou no Magic em Mirrodin, no final de 2003. Foi iniciado no cEDH em 2016, pelo interesse natural em otimizar estratégias no Commander. Busca decks control em todos os formatos e está sempre à procura do “2-por-1” perfeito.

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