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 Post subject: Xenagos, God of Revels Hydras
AgePosted: 2016-Mar-30 3:06 pm 

Joined: 2016-Mar-16 12:03 pm
Age: Drake
Taking some inspiration from ancient world legends, I was thinking some gods and hydras could form the seed for a fun Gruul-colored deck. The following decklist is the edited version found below, reflecting the current card lineup for easy reading.

So here is the decklist. This Xenagos hydra deck is designed for early/mid game destruction of resources such as non-basic lands, creatures, and enchantments with ramping creatures. I kept my lands to all but two basic lands so that when a card like Ruination hits, it doesn't hammer me. I would have gone all basic, but the extra two sources of trample are too useful for the hydras.

Commander: Xenagos, God of Revels

Lands: (34)
Forest x16
Mountain x16
Skarrg, the Rage Pits
Kessig Wolf Run

Artifacts: (2)
Brittle Effigy
Duplicant

Instants: (3)
Artifact Mutation
Arachnogenesis
Blastfire Bolt

Sorceries: (16)
Overrun
Soul's Majesty
Shamanic Revelation
Hunter's Prowess
Hull Breach
Savage Twister
Kodama's Reach
Cultivate
Journey of Discovery
Decimate
Multani's Decree
Creeping Mold
Shatterstorm
Whirlwind
Primal Command
Turn to Slag

Gods: (2)
Nylea, God of the Hunt
Purphoros, God of the Forge

Creatures (non-hydra): (16)
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Dawntreader Elk
Eternal Witness
Reclamation Sage
Yavimaya Elder
Borderland Ranger
Farhaven Elf
Civic Wayfinder
Taurean Mauler
Nullmage Shepherd
Oxidda Scrapmelter
Ondu Giant
Silklash Spider
Acidic Slime
Bane of Progress
Genesis

Hydras: (26)
Feral Hydra
Mistcutter Hydra
Protean Hydra
Apocalypse Hydra
Genesis Hydra
Hooded Hydra
Primordial Hydra
Rock Hydra
Savageborn Hydra
Vastwood Hydra
Lifeblood Hydra
Managorger Hydra
Scourge of Skola Vale
Polukranos, World Eater
Ulasht, the Hate Seed
Ancient Hydra
Heroes' Bane
Kalonian Hydra
Spitting Hydra
Sprouting Phytohydra
Hydra Broodmaster
Hydra Omnivore
Khalni Hydra
Nessian Wilds Ravager
Oran-Rief Hydra
Ulvenwald Hydra

_________________
Current decks:
Xenagos, God of Revels - Hydras

Under Re-Construction:
Hazezon Tamar - Defenders of Dune (only 8 less Fremen/equipment, adding ramp and answers)
Prime Speaker Zegana - Zegana's R&D
Jenara, Asura of War - Jenara's Celestial Army (needs more answers, ramp, less angels...turns out Jenara can tank quite effectively as a voltron.)

Nuked decks:
Sliver Queen - Tokens (converted back to the 60 card deck it originated from, ending its edh dependency on tutors)


Last edited by Arcane Archer on 2017-Jan-07 5:30 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Xenagos, God of Revels Hydra/Control deck
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-01 7:43 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Uh...so you'll have to explain more on the control side of Gruul, since such a thing doesn't really exist. I mean, there are sort of control-ish cards. There's certainly cards which destroy other cards. Do you mean land destruction?

Anyway, there actually are a few hydras which are expensive $$: Hydra Omnivore (~$2.70), Kalonian Hydra (~$10.70), Khalni Hydra (~$12.90), Managorger Hydra (~$3.00), Primordial Hydra (~$7.60), Savageborn Hydra (~$2.25), and Ulvenwald Hydra (~$3.60). Probably a lot of these are ones you'll be wanting.

As you build this deck, you're going to want to include a number of cards which prevent your opponents from countering your creature spells. Without that, you're likely to pay a big cost for a hydra X-cost, only to have it countered. Or destroyed, that too.

_________________
Current:
Decklists are posted here. They can all be found in the Decklist Forum.


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 Post subject: Re: Xenagos, God of Revels Hydra/Control deck
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-01 9:03 am 

Joined: 2016-Mar-16 12:03 pm
Age: Drake
Segrus wrote:
Uh...so you'll have to explain more on the control side of Gruul, since such a thing doesn't really exist. I mean, there are sort of control-ish cards. There's certainly cards which destroy other cards. Do you mean land destruction?

Anyway, there actually are a few hydras which are expensive $$: Hydra Omnivore (~$2.70), Kalonian Hydra (~$10.70), Khalni Hydra (~$12.90), Managorger Hydra (~$3.00), Primordial Hydra (~$7.60), Savageborn Hydra (~$2.25), and Ulvenwald Hydra (~$3.60). Probably a lot of these are ones you'll be wanting.

As you build this deck, you're going to want to include a number of cards which prevent your opponents from countering your creature spells. Without that, you're likely to pay a big cost for a hydra X-cost, only to have it countered. Or destroyed, that too.


Good questions, so a little more explanation is in order. By control, I mean resource denial through destruction, which red/green is good at. The idea is to not rely on enchantments/artifacts unless they are indestructible like the gods, things like Darksteel items and the flexible Rancor. That way I can boardwipe resources that others rely on and not damage my board position.

The early game, along with destroying basic items, is ramping by putting basic lands into play from the deck as opposed to just dropping from my hand. I will use creatures with etb or else sorceries. In addition, I've researched by now many creatures to give me resource spot removal in between resource wipes and ramping while including cheap bodies to block with. I will also stock creature wipes, such as they are. From there, I switch into the hydra assault. I will probably use most of them since it's a fun deck.

One thing you said that I am unsure of, though. How are my hydras any different than any other large creature that other people would counter or destroy, such that I would need to be specifically worried? I can think of a thousand reasons why they would save their creature removal for better targets (such as titans, dragon lords, boss angels, commanders, etc.)

_________________
Current decks:
Xenagos, God of Revels - Hydras

Under Re-Construction:
Hazezon Tamar - Defenders of Dune (only 8 less Fremen/equipment, adding ramp and answers)
Prime Speaker Zegana - Zegana's R&D
Jenara, Asura of War - Jenara's Celestial Army (needs more answers, ramp, less angels...turns out Jenara can tank quite effectively as a voltron.)

Nuked decks:
Sliver Queen - Tokens (converted back to the 60 card deck it originated from, ending its edh dependency on tutors)


Last edited by Arcane Archer on 2016-Apr-01 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Xenagos, God of Revels Hydra/Control deck
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-01 9:06 am 

Joined: 2016-Mar-16 12:03 pm
Age: Drake
And on the note of expensive hydras, agreed there are a few, but very cheap compared to a lot of staple heavyweights even so.

_________________
Current decks:
Xenagos, God of Revels - Hydras

Under Re-Construction:
Hazezon Tamar - Defenders of Dune (only 8 less Fremen/equipment, adding ramp and answers)
Prime Speaker Zegana - Zegana's R&D
Jenara, Asura of War - Jenara's Celestial Army (needs more answers, ramp, less angels...turns out Jenara can tank quite effectively as a voltron.)

Nuked decks:
Sliver Queen - Tokens (converted back to the 60 card deck it originated from, ending its edh dependency on tutors)


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 Post subject: Re: Xenagos, God of Revels Hydra/Control deck
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-01 10:04 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Arcane Archer wrote:
One thing you said that I am unsure of, though. How are my hydras any different than any other large creature that other people would counter or destroy, such that I would need to be specifically worried? I can think of a thousand reasons why they would save their creature removal for better targets (such as titans, dragon lords, boss angels, commanders, etc.)

Hydras can't be cheated into play (generally speaking). The X cost prevents you from sticking them into play for cheap, or jumping them out onto the battlefield from your graveyard or deck. You'll be forced to pay a large cost for them every time, and large spells are generally vulnerable to counter spells. And if you pay a large cost, it means you may end up getting virtually time-walked if your 8-cost spell gets destroyed by a 2-cost kill spell.

Now, many of the modern hydras are moving away from that, but many of the best hydras are the X-cost ones. I'm not trying to suggest you'll have some terrible time with the hydras, just be aware of their natural weaknesses so you can work around them.

_________________
Current:
Decklists are posted here. They can all be found in the Decklist Forum.


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 Post subject: Re: Xenagos, God of Revels Hydra/Control deck
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-01 10:18 am 

Joined: 2016-Mar-16 12:03 pm
Age: Drake
Ah, gotcha. That makes sense. My meta isn't heavy into counter/permission and this is pretty casual even by casual standards, but it's a fair point. I will look to post an initial decklist this weekend.

_________________
Current decks:
Xenagos, God of Revels - Hydras

Under Re-Construction:
Hazezon Tamar - Defenders of Dune (only 8 less Fremen/equipment, adding ramp and answers)
Prime Speaker Zegana - Zegana's R&D
Jenara, Asura of War - Jenara's Celestial Army (needs more answers, ramp, less angels...turns out Jenara can tank quite effectively as a voltron.)

Nuked decks:
Sliver Queen - Tokens (converted back to the 60 card deck it originated from, ending its edh dependency on tutors)


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 Post subject: Re: Xenagos, God of Revels Hydra/Control deck
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-02 1:01 pm 

Joined: 2016-Mar-16 12:03 pm
Age: Drake
So here is the decklist. This Xenagos hydra deck is designed for early/mid game destruction of resources such as non-basic lands, creatures, and enchantments with ramping creatures. I kept my lands to all but two basic lands so that when I hit Ruination, it doesn't hammer me, and my opponents can't use much non-basic land hate. I would have gone all basic, but the extra two sources of trample are too useful for the hydras. Interested in suggestions for improvements, budget can afford cards up to about $15, as long as there aren't too many suggested.

One of the things I'm interested in is an opinion of what cards to remove so I can put in Genesis and Overrun. I know that some of the hydras are not the best here, such Molten and Balduvian Hydras, so I'm not opposed to taking a few of the worst out for better cards that will make the deck work better, but I'd like to leave at least 25 hydras still in my deck.

Commander: Xenagos, God of Revels

Lands: (34)
Forest x16
Mountain x16
Skarrg, the Rage Pits
Kessig Wolf Run

Artifacts: (2)
Brittle Effigy
Duplicant

Instants: (5)
Atarka's Command
Artifact Mutation
Eaten by Spiders
Arachnogenesis
Blastfire Bolt

Sorceries: (12)
Hull Breach
Savage Twister
Kodama's Reach
Cultivate
Journey of Discovery
Decimate
Multani's Decree
Ruination
Shatterstorm
Whirlwind
Primal Command
Turn to Slag

Gods: (2)
Nylea, God of the Hunt
Purphoros, God of the Forge

Creatures (non-hydra): (16)
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Dawntreader Elk
Eternal Witness
Reclamation Sage
Yavimaya Elder
Borderland Ranger
Farhaven Elf
Civic Wayfinder
Taurean Mauler
Nullmage Shepherd
Oxidda Scrapmelter
Ondu Giant
Stingerfling Spider
Silklash Spider
Acidic Slime
Bane of Progress

Hydras: (28)
Feral Hydra
Mistcutter Hydra
Protean Hydra
Apocalypse Hydra
Balduvian Hydra
Genesis Hydra
Hooded Hydra
Molten Hydra
Primordial Hydra
Rock Hydra
Savageborn Hydra
Vastwood Hydra
Lifeblood Hydra
Managorger Hydra
Scourge of Skola Vale
Polukranos, World Eater
Ulasht, the Hate Seed
Ancient Hydra
Heroes' Bane
Kalonian Hydra
Spitting Hydra
Sprouting Phytohydra
Hydra Broodmaster
Hydra Omnivore
Khalni Hydra
Nessian Wilds Ravager
Oran-Rief Hydra
Ulvenwald Hydra

_________________
Current decks:
Xenagos, God of Revels - Hydras

Under Re-Construction:
Hazezon Tamar - Defenders of Dune (only 8 less Fremen/equipment, adding ramp and answers)
Prime Speaker Zegana - Zegana's R&D
Jenara, Asura of War - Jenara's Celestial Army (needs more answers, ramp, less angels...turns out Jenara can tank quite effectively as a voltron.)

Nuked decks:
Sliver Queen - Tokens (converted back to the 60 card deck it originated from, ending its edh dependency on tutors)


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 Post subject: Re: Xenagos, God of Revels Hydra/Control deck
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-03 3:35 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
With your list, I would consider trading out Stingerfling Spider and Eaten by Spiders for Genesis and Overrun. Turn to Slag and Blastfire Bolt cover all your needs on Equipment destruction, and Stingerfling's effect isn't going to be as good top-decked as Genesis'.

I think the thing I'm most concerned with about your deck is card draw. You need more of it if you're going to stick around for the late game. Harmonize is solid, but I find it to be overall too weak. Shamanic Revelation, Momentous Fall, Life's Legacy, Hunter's Prowess, and Soul's Majesty are all possibilities I'd look into. Slice in Twain is one I like to run instead of cards like Krosan Grip, as the Split-Second isn't always relevant and cantripping in G/R is always good. I would drop 2-3 of the hydras to make room for the card draw, starting with Protean Hydra (which is, in my opinion, a card that looks cool but always seems to never work out; it was the card which probably started Wizards down the path of "Hey, hydras are actually really terrible and we didn't mean to make them that way--we should try to make them better").

Another plan of attack you could take advantage of is Storm Seeker-type cards. Depends on your meta if you see people gripping large hands you can blast them for.

_________________
Current:
Decklists are posted here. They can all be found in the Decklist Forum.


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 Post subject: Re: Xenagos, God of Revels Hydra/Control deck
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-03 8:06 am 

Joined: 2016-Mar-16 12:03 pm
Age: Drake
The Stingerfling Spider and Eaten by Spiders are in there because I'm concerned by what I've heard of the format, in that people focus on both flying commanders pumped by equipment (largely) and a single large creature with infect swinging for the lethal hit. Are you thinking I have enough other defense in there to handle that, then, or are the other two cards simply so good that I can overcome any weaknesses I might create by taking these out? Green red has so much less removal options to stop such shenanigans.

Also, do you see that I have too much artifact and enchantment destruction? I counted it out, and with the current line-up, I have about ten forms of artifact removal, 8 or so forms of enchantment removal, and about ten forms of creature removal, to include mass-removal options in each of those categories. Too much?, or about right for this format?

Too much, not enough, or just about right for the ramp of basic lands?

Do you see Protean Hydra as less usable than, say, Rock Hydra because I can't spend red mana to reduce the loss of counters? I get the reason you're concerned with it is because a weaker creature could still weaken the Protean enough for a simple lightning bolt to kill it before the end step would grow back its counters. I will admit that I do like Shamanic Revelation, Hunter's Prowess, and Soul's Prowess for card drawing. Running a lot creatures in the deck and x-cost creatures leads to the possibility for huge card windfalls. Thank you, was not even aware these cards existed.

_________________
Current decks:
Xenagos, God of Revels - Hydras

Under Re-Construction:
Hazezon Tamar - Defenders of Dune (only 8 less Fremen/equipment, adding ramp and answers)
Prime Speaker Zegana - Zegana's R&D
Jenara, Asura of War - Jenara's Celestial Army (needs more answers, ramp, less angels...turns out Jenara can tank quite effectively as a voltron.)

Nuked decks:
Sliver Queen - Tokens (converted back to the 60 card deck it originated from, ending its edh dependency on tutors)


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 Post subject: Re: Xenagos, God of Revels Hydra/Control deck
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-03 9:23 am 
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Joined: 2012-Dec-03 3:16 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Voltron, or smashing in with a buffed commander, is pretty popular. I don't think those two cards are going to help much as giving the commander unblockable or hexproof is pretty popular as well.

_________________
Shabbaman wrote:
The usual answer is "the social contract", but I guess that is not what you are looking for. Try house rules.


With perfect mana, reasonable removal, disruption, and card advantage, we're back to pitchforks and torches. And it's about to get worse for those who do not enjoy the game as Richard Garfield intended, playing as few win conditions as possible and prompting concession after all hopes (and spells) are lost. - Shaheen Soorani


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 Post subject: Re: Xenagos, God of Revels Hydra/Control deck
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-05 9:37 am 

Joined: 2016-Mar-16 12:03 pm
Age: Drake
Hmmm...

Out:
Atarka's Command
Eaten by Spiders
Stingerfling Spider
Balduvian Hydra
Molten Hydra

In:
Hunter's Prowess
Shamanic Revelation
Soul's Majesty
Genesis
Overrun

A recount of things showed I have more flying protection than some of my other key game emphases, and the card draw will give me more flying protection by simply drawing more, so easily done. Any other suggestions?

_________________
Current decks:
Xenagos, God of Revels - Hydras

Under Re-Construction:
Hazezon Tamar - Defenders of Dune (only 8 less Fremen/equipment, adding ramp and answers)
Prime Speaker Zegana - Zegana's R&D
Jenara, Asura of War - Jenara's Celestial Army (needs more answers, ramp, less angels...turns out Jenara can tank quite effectively as a voltron.)

Nuked decks:
Sliver Queen - Tokens (converted back to the 60 card deck it originated from, ending its edh dependency on tutors)


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 Post subject: Re: Xenagos, God of Revels Hydra/Control deck
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-06 1:38 am 

Joined: 2009-Jul-28 5:44 am
Age: Drake
Location: Delft, Netherlands
The first thing I noticed is the lack of lands. If you look at a traditional control decks in a 60-card format it has between 25 and 28 lands. This is comparable to 41 to 46 lands. I would increase the amount of lands to at least 38 and preferrably to 40.

In my Hydra deck I focused on the X-mana of the hydras. My commander is Rosheen Meanderer, because of her effect on these cards. I think she would be a good addition to your 99, not as the commander per se.

In my deck I run Primal Order instead of Ruination. Let them play their game, but bleed for their choice of lands is what I would prefer.

As mana fix you could use some fetch land to find basics. Things like Terramorphic Expanse and Evolving Wilds. They will fix your colours but will not hurt you for non-basic land hate.

Hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Xenagos, God of Revels Hydra/Control deck
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-06 3:44 am 

Joined: 2016-Mar-16 12:03 pm
Age: Drake
Nice input, thank you. Do you have the decklist typed up such that you wouldn't mind posting when you have a few? I didn't see it in decklist sticky up top, but would like to compare and see what other people plan for and against. Being new to the format, I learn a lot from analyzing the lists. Thanks!

_________________
Current decks:
Xenagos, God of Revels - Hydras

Under Re-Construction:
Hazezon Tamar - Defenders of Dune (only 8 less Fremen/equipment, adding ramp and answers)
Prime Speaker Zegana - Zegana's R&D
Jenara, Asura of War - Jenara's Celestial Army (needs more answers, ramp, less angels...turns out Jenara can tank quite effectively as a voltron.)

Nuked decks:
Sliver Queen - Tokens (converted back to the 60 card deck it originated from, ending its edh dependency on tutors)


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 Post subject: Re: Xenagos, God of Revels Hydra/Control deck
AgePosted: 2016-May-15 12:56 pm 

Joined: 2016-Mar-16 12:03 pm
Age: Drake
Had a get together with some friends yesterday, and a debut of this deck. It won both of the games it played in. The mana ramping gave me a steady stream of lands to power out massive hydras. In one game, Hunter's Prowess packed my hand with an 11 point hit on one of my opponents, and the game ended shortly after as I pulled way ahead on board presence as others ran out of gas. In the second one, Purphoros, God of the Forge kept chiseling away at opponents as we stalemated in pitched creature battles. In the end, though, an Ulvenwald Hydra, given trample by the Skarrg, the Rage Pits it pulled from my library and then was doubled to 28/28 by Xenagos, God of Revels, whacked the final opponent and he resigned since he had nothing to stop something that large. Somewhere in one of those games there, Polukranos, World Eater wiped out most of my opponents' weenie hordes. I love Gruul dirtbags...me is one.

In the end, the disruption and destruction of basic resources did exactly what they were supposed to do (cards such as Decimate, Whirlwind, and Bane of Progress) and the hydras did the rest. Simple, but effective. I really like this deck. Thanks to everyone who gave input.

_________________
Current decks:
Xenagos, God of Revels - Hydras

Under Re-Construction:
Hazezon Tamar - Defenders of Dune (only 8 less Fremen/equipment, adding ramp and answers)
Prime Speaker Zegana - Zegana's R&D
Jenara, Asura of War - Jenara's Celestial Army (needs more answers, ramp, less angels...turns out Jenara can tank quite effectively as a voltron.)

Nuked decks:
Sliver Queen - Tokens (converted back to the 60 card deck it originated from, ending its edh dependency on tutors)


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