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By: Leviathan, Mike Morales
Jun 09 2011 9:48am
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Time for another budget deck!  I have liked making the budget decks, because they make me think of and use cards that I don't think would normally see the light of day in any of my regular decks.  Anyway, I think long time readers will know that I like to play beatdown.  Aggressive decks are my favorite, mainly because I don't like to think too hard about decisions that need to be made.  It's pretty easy when you can just F6 through opponents' turns and only have to worry about who to attack and with what monster to smash with.  Simple minds, simple pleasures I guess.  So for this article I knew that I wanted to do another budget deck and thought that I should use Green as my color.  After all, Green is known for large beaters and smashing into the red zone.  Nothing fancy about that, just beating face. 

Large Green things can be scary.

So I went through my Green legends, and found Omnath.  He was a guy that I had never really put much thought into.  I had seen him played a decent amount after he first came out, but he had sort of decreased in popularity recently.  Omnath seemed pretty simple:  Build up mana and smash face!  But it turned out to be a little bit more complicated than that.  And since I set a limit of 20 tickets for the deck, it made deck construction even more difficult.  But first, let's get on to the deck. 


Let's take a look at what we got in our Commander:

omnath, locus of mana

Basically he acts as a mobile Upwelling for you only.  So you can do some crazy stuff with all that mana, or just make him huge and smash things.  If you plan on smashing with him, you obviously need to give him trample or make him unblockable as he does not come with any form of evasion on his own.  And there are a few spells and ways to use up a bunch of that mana.  It is also probably a good idea to have a couple of ways to double up my mana and protect the big guy.

There is actually another way to make an Omnath deck besides just trying to smash things:  Control.  You could sit back and destroy things with cards like All is Dust and other removal.  You then eventually build up to large Eldrazi that can run around and annihilate opponents, or some other large beater.  This variant doesn't necessarily rely upon Omnath, but can use him beneficially when available.  Unfortunately control decks use cards like Oblivion Stone, Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre and others that would quickly put the deck I am making out of my self imposed cost limit.  But I wanted to make sure you guys knew that I at least considered this option.

So we are going to go the beatdown route with our deck.  However, the problem I first encountered was that my mana curve was too high.  When I played a little solitaire with the deck I found that my early hands were stuck with a bunch of stuff at the high end of the mana curve.  I originally thought that with the ability to store up the mana that I could play with more high cost stuff.  But I knew that I didn't want to scare people by rushing Omnath out there as fast as possible unless it was necessary, and that meant that I wouldn't typically have huge amounts of mana in the early turns.  And with the money limit, I couldn't just add Primeval Titan and call it a deck.  Omnath is a powerful legend, but he still needs some support.

Let's take a look at what I threw together: 


Probably some unusual card choices in there, but it all makes sense in the end.  Let's break things down.

Get Him Through  
sword of vengeance Baru, Fist of KrosaBellowing TanglewurmBrawnLoxodon WarhammerNim DeathmantleSword of VengeanceWhispersilk CloakCanopy CoverGaea's EmbraceRancorOverwhelming StampedeTower Above
Baru, Fist of Krosa, Bellowing Tanglewurm, Brawn, Loxodon Warhammer, Nim Deathmantle, Sword of Vengeance, Whispersilk Cloak, Canopy Cover, Gaea's Embrace, Rancor, Overwhelming Stampede, Tower Above:  Obviously the easiest way to get damage through with Omnath is to make him large and give him trample.  There are tons of ways to make him a huge, trampling monstrosity in this deck.  In addition, we can give him intimidate, or just make him plain unblockable.  Overwhelming Stampede is just a beating if you have a few other creatures out.
Big Mana Sinks  
gelatinous genesis

Ant QueenWolfbriar ElementalGelatinous GenesisGenesis Wave
Ant Queen, Wolfbriar Elemental, Gelatinous Genesis, Genesis Wave:  So if you are piling up a ton of mana, you are going to want to spend it at some point.  One of the easiest ways is through token production.  Ant Queen sticks around and gives you a constant way to make tokens, while Wolfbriar Elemental is a one shot deal.  Gelatinous Genesis is my favorite of these cards though.  I decided to not focus on the token theme, but you can certainly add other token generators if you want.

As this is a budget deck, Genesis Wave isn't quite as impressive as it could be.  But it is still nice to put half your deck into play in one shot.

Big Mana  
caged sun

Patron of the OrochiSakiko, Mother of SummerSeedborn MuseCaged SunDoubling CubeGauntlet of PowerNature's WillUpwellingVernal Bloom
Patron of the Orochi, Sakiko, Mother of Summer, Seedborn Muse, Caged Sun, Doubling Cube, Gauntlet of Power, Nature's Will, Upwelling, Vernal Bloom:  Most of these are pretty standard.  Seedborn Muse and the Patron both work extremely well if you have Omnath out.  Sakiko was a legend that I wrote about a while back in my Unloved Commanders article, and she proved her worth in this deck.

Upwelling served as a backup to Omnath.  If for some reason Omnath died, Upwelling would make sure that all the mana that was saved up wasn't immediately lost.  However, the effect helps your opponents as well, so be careful with it.  But with the way that the deck is built you should be better able to abuse Upwelling than your opponents.

vines of vastwood

Spearbreaker BehemothLightning GreavesNim DeathmantleWhispersilk CloakAsceticismBear UmbraGaea's EmbraceAvoid FateVines of VastwoodCanopy Cover
Spearbreaker Behemoth, Lightning Greaves, Nim Deathmantle, Whispersilk Cloak, Asceticism, Bear Umbra, Gaea's Embrace, Avoid Fate, Vines of Vastwood, Canopy Cover:  These are all ways of making sure that Omnath sticks around.  Giving him regeneration is nice, since you usually have a ton of mana for the activations.  And Avoid Fate and Vines of Vastwood were effective in countering the targeted removal that usually comes Omnath's way, and are especially nice due to the surprise factor.  Plus, Avoid Fate can protect any permanent you control, not just creatures.

Nim Deathmantle is a great way to save Omnath and his stored up mana if he was to die.  Just let him go to the graveyard, then bring him back with your stored up mana.  That way you don't have to worry about your mana pool emptying, and you still have your Commander in play after a Damnation or Wrath.


Acidic SlimeBrutalizer ExarchIndrik StomphowlerSilklash SpiderSteel HellkiteTerastodonWickerbough ElderBrittle EffigySpine of Ish SahRelic CrushMwonvuli Acid-MossTower Above
Acidic Slime, Brutalizer Exarch, Indrik Stomphowler, Silklash Spider, Steel Hellkite, Terastodon, Wickerbough Elder, Brittle Effigy, Spine of Ish Sah, Relic Crush, Mwonvuli Acid-Moss, Tower Above:  I tried to have a variety of methods of removal in the deck.  On top of Green's strength of being able to destroy enchantments and artifacts, I have a couple methods for getting rid of creatures in Brittle Effigy, Steel Hellkite, Tower Above and Spine of Ish Sah.  I never actually drew Tower Above, but I think it would have done well with getting rid of utility creatures that are held back from combat, like Oracle of Mul Daya or Magus of the Future

Why Spine of Ish Sah over something like Desert Twister, which is one mana cheaper?  Well, Spine gets around protection, which happened more than once.  And then, when the occasional Planar Cleansing gets played, you have the opportunity to use the Spine again.  It has worked well for me so far.

Card Draw  
momentous fall

Masked AdmirersMind's EyeGreater GoodMomentous FallSoul's MajestyMikokoro, Center of the SeaPraetor's Counsel
Masked Admirers, Mind's Eye, Greater Good, Momentous Fall, Soul's Majesty, Mikokoro, Center of the Sea, Praetor's Counsel:  Not a huge amount of card draw, but most of it works well with Omnath.  While Praetor's Counsel isn't technically card draw, it will do a good job of refilling your hand usually.

On thing to keep in mind is that you want to avoid having Omnath's power get larger than 60.  Greater Good, Soul's Majesty and Momentous Fall all draw cards based upon how large Omnath gets and you don't want to have to worry about decking yourself accidentally.

Finally, I tried not to get too tricky with the mana base.  Omnath only stores up Green mana, so if you are playing with lands that only produce colorless mana you should have a pretty darn good reason for doing so.  Mystifying Maze obviously helps your defense against fliers, and Reliquary Tower for when you draw a ton of cards with Greater Good or Momentous Fall.  Another land that should be considered is Miren, the Moaning Well.  It provides another sacrifice outlet, and can give you a good amount of life if you need it.  However, I would definitely not put in less than 30 Forests in the deck.

The deck may seem pretty simple in that you primarily build up mana to make Omnath big, and use that mana on your big finishers when you draw them.  But in the early game there are decisions that need to be made on a game by game basis about whether to play Omnath, try to build up mana, stay non-threatening or just play the cards you are able to right away.  This is something that you will end up picking up over time if you decide to give the deck a shot.

On top of the cards that are in the deck, there were a few other budget options that I tried or wanted to use that didn't make the cut:

kamahl, fist of krosaeldrazi conscriptionoverrun Kamahl, Fist of Krosa, Eldrazi Conscription, Overrun:  Each of these trample enablers seem like they would be a good fit in an Omnath deck.  However Kamahl and Overrun work better when the focus is on tokens, and there were many games when Omnath was the only guy out there on my team.  Overwhelming Stampede just seemed better because the bonus it gives would be much greater.  Conscription costs a lot of mana, and the annihilator doesn't seem like it would be all that fun for opponents.  However, I could see games where it could come in handy to wear opponents down.

cloudthreshertornado elementalarashi, the sky asunder Cloudthresher,  Tornado Elemental, Arashi, the Sky Asunder:  I was a bit worried about fliers at first, but Silklash Spider seemed to be good enough for the job all by himself.  If you are worried about fliers, I would recommend adding at least one, and maybe two of these guys to the deck.

awakeningrites of flourishing Awakening, Rites of Flourishing:  Additional ways to ramp mana.  Awakening is a Seedborn effect for all players.  This can be a problem when facing Blue decks, but if you want additional ways to increase your mana it is worth a shot.  Plus with Omnath out you get to save up all that mana while your opponents don't.  Rites cost more than I wanted (in terms of tickets, not mana), and I wouldn't get the effect if it was blown up before it became my turn.  Plus giving my opponents cards to try and deal with Omnath seemed counterproductive.

regrowthrevive Regrowth, Revive:  There isn't a whole lot of recursion in this deck.  I wanted more action spells, and these didn't make the cut.  If I was playing with more powerful cards then they might make it back in.

Aspect of Mongoose Aspect of Mongoose:  I liked this one for the Rancor-like ability to bounce back to your hand if Omnath died.  I never actually got a chance to use it before I cut it though.

Depending on what you like, you can try each of these cards.  I wouldn't recommend making the mana curve any higher than it already is, though, because sometimes you can get stuck with lots of high casting cost stuff in your hand in the early game.  But it is important to know that there are plenty of budget options out there to consider when putting a deck together.

So the deck as built is pretty Commander dependent, and as such has the usual weaknesses to Hallowed Burial and the like.  With the way this is built Omnath is fairly resistant to targeted removal though.  However, with only 2 ways to sacrifice your big guy, you are vulnerable to losing your Commander to random effects like Warp World.

Right now the deck costs fewer than 20 tickets, and even has some room to spare.  There are currently only 4 cards in the deck that cost a ticket or more:

rancor mind's eye lightning greaves omnath, locus of mana

Three of these cards are pretty much Commander staples, and the remaining card is your Commander for the deck.  That's not bad.  However, if you picked this deck up and wanted to add some money to it, I would think that among the first two purchases you would make would be the following cards:

Vedalken Orrery Winding Canyons

Nothing sucks more than having Omnath blown up with a bunch of mana built up, and losing all that mana.  With both of these cards you have the ability to replay him at instant speed, almost immediately after he dies.  These, combined with Nim Deathmantle, give you several ways to bring him back from the dead without losing the mana that you have saved up.  And that's the name of the game.

So now that I have put it all together, let's see how it does.


Here are my opponents for this game:

Rhys the redeemed Jhoira of the ghitu Kresh the bloodbraided

All of these are fairly well known archetypes.  Rhys is going to pump out a lot of tokens, Jhoira is going to suspend bombs, and Kresh is going to get big by using sacrifice effects and big Jund beaters.  The only real question is just how out of control Jhoira is going to be.  Is she going to suspend Decree of Annihilation right before suspending an Eldrazi?  Or is it going to be more fun stuff?  I find that a lot of Jhoira players are new to Commander and don't typically realize that they have stumbled upon one of the more powerful Commanders out there, so usually I am willing to give the player a chance to show us if they are going all out.  Only one way to find out, and that's by playing the game.  Rhys wins the roll.

Here is my opening hand:

ForestHarmonizeNim DeathmantleSword of VengeanceVines of VastwoodforestWickerbough Elder
Forest, Harmonize, Nim Deathmantle, Sword of Vengeance, Vines of Vastwood, Forest, Wickerbough Elder

There are only 2 lands, and no real early turn plays.  I decide to send it back for a new 7.

Three VisitsLoxodon WarhammerSpine of Ish SahForestVernal BloomSilklash SpiderForest
Three Visits, Loxodon Warhammer, Spine of Ish Sah, Forest, Vernal Bloom, Silklash Spider, Forest

This is another 2 land hand, but it does have Three Visits so that I can at least move toward 3 mana and play either Omnath or the Warhammer.  I decide to keep.  As usual, R = Rhys, J = Jhoira and K = Kresh.

Round 1
R:  Forest, Sol Ring.  Always a strong start.
Me:  Draw Ant Queen.  Play Forest.
J:  Island.
K:  Savage Lands.

Round 2
R:  Razorverge Thicket, then Rhys.
Me:  Draw Wolfbriar Elemental.   Play a Forest, then Three Visits for another Forest.  Hopefully I start drawing some more Forests here soon.
J:  Island, Prismatic Lens.  So probably not an all out stomp-your-butt Jhoira deck, but still scary.
K:  Jwar Isle Refuge (41).

Round 3
R:  Gaea’s Cradle.  Uh-oh.
Me:  Draw a Forest and play it.  I decide I’m going to risk things and play Vernal Bloom.  Obviously this is going to help R a good amount and K some as well, but hopefully not as much as it will help me.
J:  Mountain, then a morph creature.  I like that she isn’t rushing Jhoira out there.
K:  Forest, then Civic Wayfinder, searching up another Forest.  Then Skullclamp.  At the end of the turn R makes an elf token with Rhys.

Round 4
R:  Avenger of Zendikar.  Obviously the Bloom helps him some, but he only gets 3 plant tokens.  Gaea’s Cradle is going to be a problem soon.
Me:  Draw Greater Good.  I tap all my mana and play Omnath, who is a 6/6 (5 mana in my pool).  I’m hoping to be able to use the Spine of Ish Sah to destroy Gaea’s Cradle next turn.  I could have done it this turn, but I figure I would let things develop and see if something else shows up that is worse.
J:  Plays Jhoira, then Izzet Boilerworks.  Can’t suspend anything yet.
K:  Forest, then Broodmate Dragon.

broodmate dragon
Double dragons baby!

Round 5
R:  Uses Rhys’ ability to double his tokens then plays Mycoloth, eating 4 tokens and leaving 3 behind.  (Mycoloth) is something that I have to deal with now, unfortunately, due to the stupid amount of tokens it can produce.  Probably should have blown up the Cradle last turn.
Me:  Draw a Forest and play it.  Fill up my mana pool and play Spine of Ish Sah, destroying Mycoloth.  I follow that up with Greater Good.  Omnath is 5/5 now and I have no beneficial attacks, so I sit back.
J:  Island, then Keiga, the Tide Star.  That’s a good way to keep me from attacking her, at least temporarily.
K:  Swamp, then Nezumi Graverobber.  Uses the Graverobber to remove Three Visits from my graveyard, causing him to flip and become Nighteyes the Desecrator!  (I love how the client gives an exclamation point when a card flips.)  Then equips the Wayfinder with the Skullclamp.

Round 6
R:  Uses Rhys to double his plant tokens to 6 total.  Then casts Eternal Witness, returning Mycoloth back to his hand.
Me:  Draw Seedborn Muse.  Things are about to get silly if people leave me unchecked, but that's the idea behind the deck.  I tap all my mana and play my Loxodon Warhammer, equipping Omnath.  He is now 12/9.  I attack R, who lets it all through (28, 12 Commander damage).  I go up to (52).  I then play my Seedborn Muse.  I have 3 mana in my pool now.
J:  Mountain, then Mind Control targeting R’s Avenger of Zendikar. 

mind control
Don't forget that Control Magic is online now, and costs 1 less than Mind Control.

She couldn’t have stolen any of my guys due to Greater Good, and obviously wants a blocker.  At the end of the turn I have 13 mana in my pool.
K:  Evolving Wilds, sacrificing it for a Forest.  Then plays Brawn.  At the end of the turn I add another 10 mana to my pool.

Round 7
R:  Plays a Forest, then doubles his tokens with Rhys, getting 12 plants total.  Then casts Gelatinous Genesis for 3 3/3 ooze tokens.  Then casts Mycoloth, eating all his plants and leaving the ooze’s behind.  Mycoloth is now 28/28.  At the end of the turn I have 33 total mana in my pool.


Me:  Draw Brawn.  I kind of out think myself here, and I know that there are better ways to use the mana that I have built up, but this is what I did.  I add another 2 mana to my pool, making Omnath 39/36, and attack R.  He blocks with the Mycoloth, Eternal Witness and 3 ooze tokens.  I add 4 more mana to my pool, and kill all his blockers, knocking him down to (23, 17 Commander damage).  I go up to (95).  If I had tapped out, I could have killed him then.  Oh well.  After combat I play Wolfbriar Elemental kicked 27 times, leaving 12 mana in my pool.  This kills Omnath, but I just replay him, leaving 7 mana in my pool.  At the end of my turn J suspends Time Stretch with Jhoira.  Hmmm.  Maybe it isn't as friendly a deck as I first thought.

time stretch
A favorite if Jhoira players everywhere.

J:  Time Stretch loses a time counter.  Island, then Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind.  I add 10 mana to my pool.
K:  Mountain, then Kresh.  I have to watch out for my tokens dying and making Kresh huge.  I don't have to worry about a large Omnath making Kresh big because Kresh only triggers when stuff goes to the graveyard, and Omnath will go to my Command zone when he dies.  K then uses the flipped Nezumi Graverobber to steal Mycoloth from R’s graveyard, eating Brawn and the Wayfinder, drawing 2 from Skullclamp and making Kresh a 9/9 trampler.  I add 10 more mana to my pool.

Round 8
R:  Nothing.  10 more mana goes into my pool, making Omnath 38/38. 
Me:  Draw Mosswort Bridge.  I attack J with Omnath and R with enough wolf tokens to take him out.  R dies, but J hopes for an out by flipping her morph, which turns out to be Fathom Seer.  She draws 2, using the 2 damage from Niv-Mizzet to kill Nighteyes the Desecrator, making Kresh larger.  Then she throws all her creatures in front of Omnath, but it’s not enough to save her.  After combat Kresh is 24/24.  I then sac Omnath to Greater Good, drawing 41 cards.  I forget to dump Brawn in my graveyard right away though.  I then play a Forest instead of the Reliquary Tower I drew (dumb).  I then replay Omnath.  I play Doubling Cube, and use it, giving me 52 mana.  I use Gelatinous Genesis to make 11 11/11 ooze tokens.

Because I didn’t play Reliquary Tower, I have to discard to 7 cards.  One of the cards I keep is Chord of Calling, because I haven’t drawn Acidic Slime yet, and I want to keep it just in case K drops something that I have to destroy.
K:  K says that his only out is to draw Whispersilk Cloak and get through with Commander damage.  He plays Greater Good and sacs both his dragons to it.  Not finding what he wants, he Dread Returns the Broodmate Dragon and sacrifices both of them again.  He doesn’t find what he’s looking for, and I kill him the next turn.


Admittedly, most games don't go this smoothly.  Not a single one of my permanents was destroyed, and not only did I have Greater Good, I also had Seedborn Muse.  This game was about as smooth as you can get with the deck, so don't expect it to go like this if you decide to put it together.

A couple of pointers I want to give you guys from my experience playing with this deck.  First, there are a bunch of people who hate playing against Omnath.  They know that he can get huge and that it isn't hard to give him trample in order to get through and kill them with Commander damage.  So be aware that you may be singled out by opponents who have experience playing against the big Green guy.

To help avoid getting ganged up on, I would recommend you avoid playing Omnath until the 5th turn or so, even if you don't have any other plays.  People know from experience that when powerful Commanders get rushed out onto the battlefield, bad things will happen quickly.  Just think about how you feel when someone plays a turn 3 Zur, or turn 4 Uril.  Giving your opponents an extra turn or 2 to set up and get their game plan going will usually make you seem less cutthroat, and therefore less of a threat.

The deck is a budget deck, and therefore it has some holes.  There is currently no mass destruction in the deck, which is always good to have when other people have crazy board states.  In addition, Silklash Spider is your only real way of dealing with fliers.  There are the occasional Isperia and Linvala decks out there full of fliers to watch out for and be aware of.  Finally, the deck doesn't have a whole lot of recursion.  This problem is especially prominent when playing against 5 color "good stuff" decks.  Those types of decks typically pack several methods of clearing the board.  With so many re-set buttons, this deck can have a hard time recovering.  If you are playing a game and there is no clear threat, always try and take out the 5 color "good stuff" deck first.

However, I did have a lot of fun when playing the deck.  It is a truly budget deck, which you can find for download or purchase HERE.  The deck is missing the cards from the most recent block, meaning all the Scars block cards, as well as Yavimaya Elder, which can be found for .40 tickets. Like I said, the deck comes out under 20 tickets.  Even if it doesn't win all the time (and trust me, it won't) you should still have fun with it. 

If you have money, Primeval Titan, Tooth and Nail, Oracle of Mul Daya, Burgeoning, Duplicant, Genesis, Avenger of Zendikar, Beacon of Creation, Gaea's Cradle, Snow lands, Rofellos, Woodfall Primus, Mana Reflection, Natural Order, Survival of the Fittest and Sword of Feast and Famine are all definitely worth consideration.  And that list is just off the top of my head.

I hope you enjoyed the deck!  On another note, I know there are boatloads of spoilers for the new Commander product out there right now and there are going to be a lot more in the near future.  I plan on doing an overview of the new cards and the decks as a whole closer to when they will become available online.  So I haven't forgotten about them, but feel free to talk about Kaalia and Skullbriar as much as you want in the comments.

Until next time!

Leviathan, aka Tarasco on MTGO
mrmorale32 at yahoo dot com



Just a note: Wizards says by Leviathan at Thu, 06/09/2011 - 12:21
Leviathan's picture

Just a note: Wizards says that the new Commander product will be coming to MTGO, but that there is no official date for the online release. Sad times for us online players.

Mehhh...I found all the by ShardFenix at Thu, 06/09/2011 - 12:33
ShardFenix's picture

Mehhh...I found all the decklists but GWB...hopefully its the good one. RUG really let me down.

banned by Lythand at Thu, 06/09/2011 - 14:30
Lythand's picture

Beacon of creation is banned in Commander.

Primeval titan down to 12 bucks....

You must be thinking of by xxxbretweedxxx at Thu, 06/09/2011 - 16:25
xxxbretweedxxx's picture

You must be thinking of Biorhythm? Beacon of Creation is perfectly legal...

Oh yes. Sorry, you are by Lythand at Fri, 06/10/2011 - 14:15
Lythand's picture

Oh yes. Sorry, you are correct. I will shut up now :)

Count me amongst the Omnath by Scartore at Thu, 06/09/2011 - 15:31
Scartore's picture

Count me amongst the Omnath haters. Here's a fun trick, and you almost had all the pieces in play. Make your Omnath big, say 50/50. Play Psychosis Crawler. Sac Omnath to your greater good, or Momentous fall, draw 45 cards. Kill the board. And if you really want to be a jackass about it... do it on turn 6... ;)

When you say this deck has a by themonkey at Thu, 06/09/2011 - 18:07
themonkey's picture

When you say this deck has a lot of expensive spells exactly how expensive are you talking about. What is the average cost as shown under the "stats" window?

Do you usually have a number you shoot for when building a deck? I know a lot will depend on deck type.

It seems like a lot of the decks I build are in the 3.5 to 3.75 range.

Beacon of Creation is legal, by ForestFire0 at Thu, 06/09/2011 - 18:41
ForestFire0's picture

Beacon of Creation is legal, but Rofellos is not. In paper, Rofellos is only banned as a general, same as Braids. Since they can't code a card as a banned general, they just ban Braids and Rofellos outright.

And to Scartore, that is probably the least reliable way to kill with Omnath. Omnath is mana acceleration and a giant beater all in one. You can play him similarly to Azusa or as a straight voltron. Combo is not too consistent in Mono Green though. Regardless, he is one of the fastest and, imo, best generals available. He can easily kill the table in a short time.

This was a good choice for a budget deck though, since aside from the green staples and flash-enablers, Omnath doesn't need many expensive cards to be a very strong deck. Nice job Leviathan.

I knew that the Commander by Leviathan at Thu, 06/09/2011 - 19:42
Leviathan's picture

I knew that the Commander decks wouldn't be all that powerful. I was expecting stuff similar in power to the Xira and Rubinia precons that are available, and I think that ended up being about right. Maybe a smidge more powerful. What I really want is access to the new cards and new Commanders. Unfortunately looks like we may have to wait a while.

The average CMC for the deck is 4.1, which isn't horrible. But I often found myself with a bunch of stuff that costs 5 in my hand early on in games. Plus, the X spells aren't meant to be played at their cost either. I aim for around 4 or just under, but don't always make it that low.

Forgot about Rofellos being banned already. My bad.

After this game I got to talking to the Kresh player, and gave him the list. He said it was fun, but he was always getting ganged up on. Part of the issue is that he was rushing Omnath out. And like I said, a lot of people don't like the big O. Patience is usually respected by your opponents.

That Psychosis Crawler kill is brutal though, especially since it can be done so early. Not going to make you many friends. Even in this game, Kresh had a shot (or would have if I had drawn my Acidic Slime).

upwelling by caterpillar at Fri, 06/10/2011 - 10:08
caterpillar's picture

While I can see the point in having a backup plan in case Omnath goes away, I think Upwelling really has the potential to backfire spectacularly. Would Gemstone Array not be better in that slot? It's only half as efficient as Omnath or Upwelling but it doesn't help your opponents.

PatrykG's picture

It's great seeing how other people envision decks, especially when you have your own best-of lists.

Most of my objections have already been noted - Rofellos banned, etc - but here are some ideas just from my experience - I think Arashi is definitely a card you want in the deck, since it's the only out you'll have against Iona or Linvala (that channel ability has saved my Omnath deck a number of times because it's not a green spell :-D).

I agree with Caterpillar - I would never use Upwelling, it's far too easy for others to abuse, especially blue players. He also lists my backup plan :-D

I would extend the warning for Omnath hate even more strongly - it's not a maybe, it's a definite. In all the games I've played (with my admittedly non-budget deck), I have been targeted in easily half of them, even when I was seriously landscrewed and there were far greater threats on the board. People are stupid a LOT of times, so expect to get targeted. That being said, the beauty of taking all that and coming up with a victory in the end is just that much sweeter.

I was going to try my hand at writing for Pure, and use my Omnath deck as my first article, but you beat me to it :-S I guess I'll wait a bit for the Omnath love to die down again, and go for it then :-D

Not sure I get why you call by Paul Leicht at Fri, 06/10/2011 - 17:46
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Not sure I get why you call people stupid for targeting you for playing a hated general. Single-minded? I get. Unwilling to get over "it", OK maybe...but stupid? Not seeing it.

Just a note: The online beta by Lord Erman at Fri, 06/10/2011 - 15:50
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Just a note: The online beta for commander has begun and even though I'm not allowed to talk about it, I think I can at least say this much:

Oh. My. God.

This stuff is soooo cool! Just can't wait to test these goodies!!


See you there! by Paul Leicht at Fri, 06/10/2011 - 17:46
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See you there!

Stupid... lacking in common by inneutral at Fri, 06/10/2011 - 17:54
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Stupid... lacking in common sense... failing to take actions which maximize ones chance of winning the game qualifies here in my opinion.

Yeah I understand the words. by Paul Leicht at Fri, 06/10/2011 - 18:29
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Yeah I understand the words. I don't see it. I see people getting frustrated by combo decks and decks with Generals that break the game and getting stuck in a rut. That isn't a lack of common sense or stupidity. It MIGHT be going on tilt. And if you say that being emotional is stupid well we don't have a lot more to talk about. Humans being what they are will be emotional even in no stakes games/situations.

PatrykG's picture

If they haven't played me before, they have no clue how I play. They have no clue what the deck is, only the basic abilities of Omnath and therefore what to expect. If I were to play my deck while Leviathan plays his, we would both be considered equal threats. This is logical and intelligent.

What is NOT logical (and therefore completely and utterly stupid) is that with my Omnath, someone else's Thada Adel, someone else's Zur, and their Geth, they will kill my 1/1 Omnath on my sixth turn with 3 lands, instead of targeting the Adel that's smacked everyone 4 times and stolen 3 mana artifacts, or the Zur that's been getting enchantment after enchantment. Yes, this sort of thing has happened. That is STUPID.

I expect that, on an empty board with 3 random people, I'll get the first attack - probably from everyone. But to target Omnath instead of a *far more dangerous threat*?

I also expect that, anyone playing my Omnath deck will target me forever after. That's also stupid, since my deck going off once does not mean it's still going off again and again ad naseum. Yes, Omnath can get funky, especially the way I play him - but you should ALWAYS be examining the threat levels of players and the board, working off the dangers that be rather than working *purely* off of the fear that may never be.

I know this can be a by Paul Leicht at Fri, 06/10/2011 - 23:03
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I know this can be a difficult concept to grasp. Logic is how we want to operate as gamers. Ill-logic there for "does not compute" as Spock would say. But MOST people do not operate purely off of intellect. People also operate off of prejudice, bias, fear, gut instincts, intuition, misclicks, etc and while we would hope they will eventually get past this it is a learning process. When you first started playing Commander were you immediately aware of the "smartest" most logical steps in any given situation or did you need to learn them over time? If your answer is you already knew, then congrats Zvi.

I think it is important (if you want to improve the people you are playing against) to not label them as idiots when it is their behavior you want to change. Patience is key as is a smidge of empathy. Imagine how frustrated they must have felt to be facing yet another Omnath deck.

OK now all that said, I have to give you the instance you provide as being ridiculous. Yes people make bad judgement calls etc but when the clear and present danger is elsewhere that person has obviously learned something wrong about commander.

I have occasionally gone after a weaker positioned player just to clear them out of the way when they were interfering with a plan but kicking someone when they are so obviously down is just immature. Unless that person happens to be AJ_Impy, in which case I refer to Rule Zero.

Regarding Upwelling, I knew by Leviathan at Fri, 06/10/2011 - 23:47
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Regarding Upwelling, I knew that I was going to be facing some Omnath hate and consider it a political card. Basically telling everyone, "Hey, you can store up mana too!" and therefore deflecting some of the unwanted attention from me. I know it has the chance to backfire, but it's a budget deck and meant to play some stuff considered outside the box. I only played it twice, and it didn't hurt me either time. Vedalken Orrery is a suitable replacement in this deck, as is the Gemstone Array.

Omnath does deserve much of the hate thrown at him. He is a powerful Commander who can go nuts quickly. And while every game is different and you should always be re-evaluating your threats, sometimes things, players or cards just get on your nerves. Happens to the best of us.

Patry, don't let this article stop you from writing! I'm sure there are significant differences between the decks, and I know I wouldn't mind seeing a full powered take on the deck.

I really wish they would fix by ShardFenix at Sat, 06/11/2011 - 01:29
ShardFenix's picture

I really wish they would fix rofellos in the client. He is banned as a commander not a a normal card in the deck, its kinda lame.

There are some Commanders by themonkey at Sat, 06/11/2011 - 08:46
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There are some Commanders that I'll target right away. Omnath is one of them, along with Thada Adel, Zur, Uril, and Jhoira. But it seems like lately I'm running into new players that have one of these as a commander. I think without much experience they tend to gravitate to the more powerful commanders that are relatively easy to build a deck around.

If someone seems like a newer player I'll start a conversation with them and try to learn how long they've been playing. If they are new I'll welcome them to the format and explain the concept of commander hate. At that point everyone at the table usually chimes in with welcomes and advice. It makes for a very friendly game and the new player leaves even more excited about the format.

See I think that attitude by Paul Leicht at Sat, 06/11/2011 - 11:50
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See I think that attitude could be applied to everyone you play with, assuming they aren't hostile antisocials (in which case don't play with them.) The thing about commander is that outside of a couple PREs it is basically a completely casual (nontourney definition in this instance) game that 3-4 people agree to play. So it is in everyone's best interest to make it somewhat fun for all.

I like the idea of playing a hated general and NOT playing it out as soon as possible. Play style and demeanor have as much to do with how much people hate on your deck as do deck contents and commander. Aggressive strategies (be they combo kill, attack more or board control) tend to alienate everyone unless there is a sense that the game isn't just about getting rid of the bad guy to enjoy the rest of it.

My decks tend to do very little aggressively though they can be quite reactive. I am not above countering, exiling, stealing or otherwise hosing a plan that is screwing everyone. And I am also not above punishing an aggressor for overstepping.

PatrykG's picture

It's about the most unexpected answer I would ever expect, but definitely makes great sense. I like it.

Paul, I agree they're ridiculous - but I've truly seen each of those (though granted not all on the same table). I got targeted over and over while the Zur literally attacked the guy targeting me, getting enchantment after enchantment - but the guy still kept doing everything to get rid of me. Thada Adel I find many people underestimate and as such, he's sometimes allowed free reign for four or five turns before the person targeting me realizes that Thada's controller now has twice as much mana as everyone else.

I agree, it takes time to learn, but during those learning times, I didn't do some Commander-rage-killings, I sat back, played ultra defensively, and chose my attacks based mainly off of who hit me first. Not necessarily the best strategy either, but no one could ever really complain, since you'd be asking for it.

That being said, I still think the two generals that I cannot seem to play, based solely off commander-hate, is Momir and Azusa. There seems to be some demented Azusa combo deck running around, and whenever I choose her, I seem to get his lynch mob instead of a real game, and Momir has some crazy lockdown strategy that no one has yet to show me how it works. I ended up switching the UG general to Experiment Kraj just to stop the insta-hate.

Teferi + Venser (the mage) = by Paul Leicht at Mon, 06/13/2011 - 18:24
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Teferi + Venser (the mage) = the lock down I believe. You can't respond with spells to your spells so you can't protect them from Venser who bounces them off the stack. That plus some other counters is a lock and Momir helps enable all that by fetching them. It also generates incredible draw/card advantage. I prefer using Intet for UG decks with a splash of red.

Had an odd experience yesterday. Normally I do not play BW because people dislike the color combo and I don't like making people have an unfun game in general. But yesterday after getting my ass handed to me by some nasty decks I decided to bring my Teysa deck.

Got a fairly poor start but enough lands to cast a turn 3 Mortify on a Kemba about to equip Darksteel Plate fetched with Stoneforge Mystic. I was perhaps a little paranoid but I figured dsp + kemba = wrath at will.dec and didn't want to give him that advantage.

So of course he made a big deal about me being his only target that game. So I quit. I feel that perhaps I jumped the gun quitting but my position was poor (nothing nearly castable with the other guys building up quite nicely) and I felt it was going to be an unfun game with mr hostility.

Was it wrong to quit so early? Did I make a mistake hitting Kemba before he could become unkillable? I don't think so, but I was struck by the irony that the other players clearly did. So someone was wrong. It might have been me.

This is why I like playing with people I know. Being able to predict the social outcome of the game makes it more likely we will enjoy the game NO MATTER what generals are brought or what sick combos may occur. I can put up with a lot more from someone who I appreciate as not a jerk or whatnot.