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 Romeu, with help from our readers

Versions:

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.
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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

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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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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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