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 Post subject: Yeva, Nature's Herald - Hold on, I have a response..
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-08 10:39 am 

Joined: 2008-May-01 3:07 am
Age: Dragon
My first EDH deck was mono green (Molimo, Maro-Sorcerer), and was totally fun to play at the time. Since then (almost 10 years...) my deck building philosophy has changed a bit and I have played enough EDH to want something else out of a deck than ramp and play haymakers.

Enter Yeva, Nature's Herald. I've tried my hand at Yeva decks before, but somehow they never stuck. After an MTGSalvation user posted his Yeva list and started a discussion, I've been playing and tuning again and it's been great. I've never understood that Yeva didn't seem to get the attention as commander. She makes the deck play out very differently from other green decks, even though there's a huge overlap in the cards included. This play style difference is exactly what I needed to become interested in mono green again.

--
About this deck

Yeva is a reactive control deck that wants to play 90% of the game on other players' turns. By being unpredictable, the whole deck becomes a huge rattlesnake with Yeva out (for those of you not familiar with the animal elements, go here).

I want to play into this by making sure I'm never the biggest threat on the table, while not being low hanging fruit either. This means not ramping too hard and playing huge threatening cards early, not destroying other people's stuff unless it potentially threatens you, not randomly attacking for 1 or 2, etc.
Generally, when playing this deck, you don't want to do anything unnecessary that people might freak out about.

Basically: sit back, draw some cards, ramp a little, flash in some guys to block and control the board when needed.

Draw, go. In green.

--
The deck

General
Yeva, Nature's Herald

Control
Caustic Caterpillar
Viridian Zealot
Manglehorn (NEW)
Reclamation Sage
Acidic Slime
Bane of Progress
Terastodon
Woodfall Primus

Spore Frog
Ulvenwald Tracker
Nightshade Peddler
Polukranos, World Eater (watchlist)
Spike Weaver
Timbermare
Willow Satyr (watchlist)
Silklash Spider
Hornet Queen

Scavenging Ooze
Loaming Shaman

Protection
Sylvan Safekeeper
Caller of the Claw
Temur Sabertooth
Vigor

Recursion
Riftsweeper (watchlist)
Eternal Witness
Genesis

Draw
Duskwatch Recruiter
Elvish Visionary
Heartwood Storyteller (NEW)
Ohran Viper
Tireless Tracker
Yavimaya Elder
Momentous Fall (*)
Vizier of the Menagerie (NEW)
Primordial Sage
Regal Behemoth
Soul of the Harvest
Regal Force
Lifeblood Hydra (NEW)

Tutors
Fauna Shaman
Woodland Bellower (NEW)
Survival of the Fittest (*)

Finishers
Wolfbriar Elemental
Kamahl, Fist of Krosa
Avenger of Zendikar
Craterhoof Behemoth

Ramp
Joraga Treespeaker
Gyre Sage (watchlist)
Priest of Titania (NEW)
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Farhaven Elf
Shaman of Forgotten Ways
Wood Elves
Yavimaya Dryad (NEW)
Karametra's Acolyte

Other stuff
Essence Warden (NEW)
Scryb Ranger
Stampeding Wildebeests
Seedborn Muse

Lands
25 Forest

Myriad Landscape
Blighted Woodland (NEW)
Terrain Generator

Command Beacon
Homeward Path
Miren, the Moaning Well
Mosswort Bridge
Oran-Rief, the Vastwood
Rogue's Passage
Winding Canyons

Scavenger Ruins (NEW)
Desert of the Indomitable (NEW)
Endless Sands (NEW)


--

Almost all creatures, which is something I really like. While playing the deck, I found that I basically never wanted to tap mana on my turn with Yeva out. The non-creature spells are slowly leaving the deck and (most of) the ones still in the deck are on a short leash. I don't think I'll be cutting Survival anytime soon, and Lifecrafter's Bestiary has been very good, but for example Cloudstone Curio has been sitting in my hand doing nothing.

Anyway, suggestions anyone?

Keep in mind that:
- Non-creatures have to be really frakking good to crack my list
- I'm not going to run more tutors

_________________
Generals:
Endrek (my main squeeze)
Yeva, Nature's Herald (hold on, I have a response)
Kami of the Crescent Moon (mass draw, bounce and shenanigans)
Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs (you did this to yourself: mono red edition)


Last edited by Squirrely on 2017-Dec-09 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Yeva, Nature's Herald - Hold on, I have a response..
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-08 10:52 pm 

Joined: 2015-Mar-04 12:43 am
Age: Drake
Have you considered Pathbreaker Ibex? Overwhelming Stampede on legs seems pretty good in this deck.


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 Post subject: Re: Yeva, Nature's Herald - Hold on, I have a response..
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-10 1:41 am 

Joined: 2008-May-01 3:07 am
Age: Dragon
I have, but I've found Craterhoof Behemoth and Kamahl, Fist of Krosa to be enough overruns to have (find) one when I need one. This deck is not super aggressive, so I don't need that many actual finishers.

The reason I chose Craterhoof and Kamahl is that they're harder to disrupt and have uses outside of the attack step. Craterhoof furthermore is also reusable through self-bounce, and both can be used as combat tricks on attack as well because they don't need to be around to trigger on attack.

_________________
Generals:
Endrek (my main squeeze)
Yeva, Nature's Herald (hold on, I have a response)
Kami of the Crescent Moon (mass draw, bounce and shenanigans)
Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs (you did this to yourself: mono red edition)


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 Post subject: Re: Yeva, Nature's Herald - Hold on, I have a response..
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-10 10:39 pm 

Joined: 2008-May-01 3:07 am
Age: Dragon
(likely) Incoming changes:

+ Beast Within
- Cloudstone Curio

+ Thragtusk
- Veilstone Amulet

Both the Curio and Amulet were meant as protection for my board, but I think I have enough of that and now need some more protection against my opponents' boards.

Curio may be a bit of a controversial cut, but - like Panharmonicon - has proven itself to be win-more. I basically never want nor need to play them unless I'm already so far ahead that it doesn't really matter. Both are kill-on-sight cards that freak out players more than I want them to, and - more importantly - I have to tap mana on my turn for them.

This change brings me to only 5 non-creature cards, of which only 2 (Lifecrafter's Bestiary and Survival of the Fittest) are restricted to sorcery speed. Both Survival and Bestiary are powerful enough that I'm happy enough to cast them on my turn, and both can help me advance my situation if I draw ANY creatures. With 57 creatures in my deck, that doesn't seem like a problem.

_________________
Generals:
Endrek (my main squeeze)
Yeva, Nature's Herald (hold on, I have a response)
Kami of the Crescent Moon (mass draw, bounce and shenanigans)
Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs (you did this to yourself: mono red edition)


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 Post subject: Re: Yeva, Nature's Herald - Hold on, I have a response..
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-13 3:10 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Danbury, CT
Squirrely wrote:
I'm not going to run more tutors


Like, definitely not going to run more tutors? 'Cause Elvish Harbinger and Fierce Empath both seem really handy for this list.

I get a lot of mileage out of Magus of the Library in my mono-green deck. When it's a mana dork, it's fine, and when it draws cards, it's great! I imagine it's even better when you're playing draw-go most of the time.

And one of my friends has been playing Tireless Tracker in his stompy green deck; it seems quite good, but I was going to wait for it to rotate out of standard before I tried it.

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 Post subject: Re: Yeva, Nature's Herald - Hold on, I have a response..
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-14 1:19 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Kemev wrote:
I get a lot of mileage out of Magus of the Library in my mono-green deck. When it's a mana dork, it's fine, and when it draws cards, it's great! I imagine it's even better when you're playing draw-go most of the time.

And one of my friends has been playing Tireless Tracker in his stompy green deck; it seems quite good, but I was going to wait for it to rotate out of standard before I tried it.

Yeah, both of these seem good. Magus of the Library is probably one I should play more often than I currently do, and Tireless Tracker is close behind.

Have you not liked Polukranos all that much, Squirrely? There's so few direct creature destruction cards in mono Green that it seems pretty good (my own mono Green has Polukranos as the commander).

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 Post subject: Re: Yeva, Nature's Herald - Hold on, I have a response..
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-18 5:23 am 

Joined: 2008-May-01 3:07 am
Age: Dragon
Kemel wrote:
Like, definitely not going to run more tutors? 'Cause Elvish Harbinger and Fierce Empath both seem really handy for this list.

I get a lot of mileage out of Magus of the Library in my mono-green deck. When it's a mana dork, it's fine, and when it draws cards, it's great! I imagine it's even better when you're playing draw-go most of the time.

And one of my friends has been playing Tireless Tracker in his stompy green deck; it seems quite good, but I was going to wait for it to rotate out of standard before I tried it.


@Tutors: not likely, no. There are so many cool cards I want to try out that I don't really want to 'water down' the awesome cards :P. In reality though, I tried Fierce Empath but didn't really like it that much. It's good, but it's *just* a tutor. I know I can reuse it, but this almost never came up.

@Tireless Tracker: It should be in the list, it's great.

@Magus: Holy shite, that's a good suggestion. It was in my old Molimo, Maro-Sorcerer deck. I had totally forgotten about the card, but I remember it playing out very well. This deck should be even better suited to take advantage of its card draw as it's basically a control deck. At the very least it hits the sweet spot of ramping out to Yeva on turn 3.

After that, I went back to my old Molimo list to see if it had any sweet tech I forgot about. It did: Heartwood Storyteller. What I remember when playing the card was that it was often a liability in the deck with more than a few good non-creature spells. However, my version of Yeva runs almost no spells at all. This might draw the ire of the table, but it looks like too good of a fit to not at least test out.

Segrus wrote:
Kemev wrote:
Yeah, both of these seem good. Magus of the Library is probably one I should play more often than I currently do, and Tireless Tracker is close behind.

Have you not liked Polukranos all that much, Squirrely? There's so few direct creature destruction cards in mono Green that it seems pretty good (my own mono Green has Polukranos as the commander).


Haven't gotten Polukranos in play much, tbh. The reason he's on my watchlist is that this is not really a super big mana deck, and I'm not sure he'll be able to shoot a lot of worrisome creatures down. That said, he's in no real danger of getting cut, because the removal aspect entices me.


--

For now, I think I'm going to test:

- Heroic Intervention, + Magus of the Library
I still like the idea of the Intervention, but I've never gotten to actually cast it for benefit. It's quite situational, and this deck is already quite vulnerable to drawing too many situational cards.

- Wirewood Symbiote, + Heartwood Storyteller
Symbiote hasn't really had a chance to shine yet, but there's something about it only returning elves that turns me off. It might come back if I notice a problem with people removing Yeva too often.

It's more likely that I end up returning Intervention and Symbiote at one point in favor of something else, but the other questionable cards haven't seen play yet. Ohran Viper, Essence Warden, etc.

_________________
Generals:
Endrek (my main squeeze)
Yeva, Nature's Herald (hold on, I have a response)
Kami of the Crescent Moon (mass draw, bounce and shenanigans)
Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs (you did this to yourself: mono red edition)


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 Post subject: Re: Yeva, Nature's Herald - Hold on, I have a response..
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-20 12:24 am 
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Joined: 2017-Mar-11 6:43 am
Age: Dragon
So, I find myself sortof befuddled that Woodland Bellower and Fierce Empath aren't present. They really do all of the tutoring you'll need outside of Fauna Shaman (and Shaman is a very viable part of your Bellower package.)

While I wouldn't consider this a "Control" deck in the hard sense, you could certainly buff it to be more midrangey. Making the deck more capable of finding Nightshade Peddler makes Polukranos and Triskelion (should you choose to play it.) very strong at dominating the board (also helps Silklash take care of larger airforces.)

Totally in agreement that your proposed "Finisher" package is more than enough. If you had more token production Beastmaster Ascension would be a great backup for Kamahl & friends, but at this point, it would just be to pad redundancy.

Something I'm a very big fan of for Green Flash is Primeval Bounty. Might not be your cup of tea, but definitely worth the try.

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 Post subject: Re: Yeva, Nature's Herald - Hold on, I have a response..
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-20 7:45 pm 

Joined: 2008-May-01 3:07 am
Age: Dragon
Admittedly, Fierce Empath and Woodland Bellower are always on my mind to add back in, simply because they're creatures that do something very useful. Maybe I should just add them again if something else doesn't work out. Your Nightshade Peddler argument - weirdly - is the best I've gotten for them :P.

Having said that, I still have a bit of a love-hate relationship with tutors. They make decks more consistent and therefor better, but also more repetitive. On the one hand, I'd like to have more copies of my workhorse cards (Nightshade Peddler, Spike Weaver), but in practice it's often just better to go for the power plays (Avenger of Zendikar, Regal Force). The reason I cut down on tutoring is that I still want the powerful cards in my deck because I like playing with them, but I don't want too access to them to be too easy and often. For example, the only tutors my Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder deck runs are Sidisi, Undead Visier and Corpse Connoiseur.

But, I do like tutors, so I'll usually just play a couple I just really like as a card. Survival and I go way back, which is why I include it (and Fauna Shaman). Yisan is just the right amount of telegraphed clunkiness that I don't mind it being repetitive. Empath and Bellower are somewhat hard to leave out because they're so on-theme, but I simply get less excited about them than the other cards.

-

Ooh, I like Primeval Bounty quite a bit in green decks. However, I'm really trying to shy away from non-creature spells here. I've found that I basically never want to play spells on my turn if I can help it, and Primeval Bounty likely not doing anything the turn it comes down only adds to this.

_________________
Generals:
Endrek (my main squeeze)
Yeva, Nature's Herald (hold on, I have a response)
Kami of the Crescent Moon (mass draw, bounce and shenanigans)
Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs (you did this to yourself: mono red edition)


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 Post subject: Re: Yeva, Nature's Herald - Hold on, I have a response..
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-22 2:32 am 
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Joined: 2017-Mar-11 6:43 am
Age: Dragon
Well, specifically- I'd like to make the case for Woodland Bellower, because it isn't so much a tutor in terms of getting a win condition, but it's a ridiculously good toolbox-building tool- whether because you need to disrupt a recursion string with Loaming Shaman, get something important with Witness, or blow up an artifact/enchantment with Reclamation Sage. Most tutors just fix your hand, but the Bellower has to enter play to toolbox out your deck which also adds a level of interactivity. Empath on the otherhand just tends to find stompy fatties, so I can understand eschewing it.

I'm under the impression that you're not a new player, so I won't beat around the spore frog here :P

My only major concern with the deck is that you're too all-in on playing during your opponent's end steps- which has a huge opportunity cost, and makes your mana easy to lock up. What's cool about Yeva is that she gives you options and works as a rattlesnake. Against experienced players, trying to play exclusively on their turns is something of a high risk subgame- and I feel that a deck like this suffers from not being able to utilize it's own turn enough.

Also, have you considered Thousand-Year Elixir? I know it sucks to Bane your own Elixir- but the raw acceleration might make it worth considering.

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 Post subject: Re: Yeva, Nature's Herald - Hold on, I have a response..
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-22 8:03 pm 

Joined: 2008-May-01 3:07 am
Age: Dragon
@Woodland Bellower - Alright, you've convinced me. It always feels so unexciting to cast it, but having an extra copy of (almost) all my favorite utility is too good not to run.

@Spore Frog - whatwhatwhat :P

@Thousand-year Elixir - I haven't, let me think about it.

@playing at instant speed - The way I look at it is that the deck - when played at sorcery speed (and therefor with its gameplan telegraphed) is just a little on the underpowered side. It has some powerful cards, but above all a lot of utility. I actually cut a lot of powerful gorilla cards to keep the powerlevel lower on purpose, to not freak my opponents out too much.
Playing at instant speed has 3 benefits:
- Flexibility,
- The rattlesnake effect that you mentioned, and
- I'm likely never the obviously biggest threat at the table.
Especially the last thing is important to me, because this deck (like I mentioned above) has to play off of its utility instead of its power. There's a definite opportunity cost playing only at instant speed, but the above 3 benefits more than make up for that imo.

Btw, I'm fine with not playing something every turn cycle if I don't have to. Playing totally at instant speed also has the benefit that I can't ever 'zone out' of a game, something I've noticed when I played other green and/or tap out power decks: I do powerful stuff on my turn, and then can basically make a sandwich while I wait for my turn to get back.

_________________
Generals:
Endrek (my main squeeze)
Yeva, Nature's Herald (hold on, I have a response)
Kami of the Crescent Moon (mass draw, bounce and shenanigans)
Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs (you did this to yourself: mono red edition)


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 Post subject: Re: Yeva, Nature's Herald - Hold on, I have a response..
AgePosted: 2017-Dec-09 9:43 am 

Joined: 2008-May-01 3:07 am
Age: Dragon
Made a little update to the deck.

+Manglehorn
More artifact destruction is never unwelcome, and the Kismet effect is just great.

+Lifeblood Hydra
Found this one in a pile and it looks like fun. This *could* be Yeva's analogue to blue control's Sphinx's Revelation. Right?

+Woodland Bellower
Got convinced this should be in the deck. Yisan turned out to be a little too slow anyway. The fact that this doesn't tutor for my finishers, but does help my toolbox is great.

+Essence Warden
I wanted a little more life gain to combat non-combat damage. There's a couple of cards that give big chunks of life in the deck, but I wanted something innocuous and cheap that I could cast early. It was either this or Wellwisher, and I figured I'd pick the one that relied on my opponent building a board instead of me needing to build a board. The Warden is probably less likely to set off alarm bells than Wellwisher is.

+Vizier of the Menagerie
Future Sight for green, without costing a million mana like Garruk's Horde does.

+Heartwood Storyteller
One of my favorite cards from when I started playing EDH. If there was ever a deck that could run it, it's this one.

+ something I don't remember

+ Blighted Woodland
Ramp on a land, free include.

+Scavenger Ruins and Desert of the Indomitable
The Ruins is a card I wanted to try, and I thought I might as well add another desert just in case. Having a cycling land doesn't sound terrible anyway.

+Endless Sands
Cool effect, let's try it.

---
-Yisan, Wanderer Bard
Turned out to be a little bit slow, plus I really don't want too many repeatable tutors. I do want an extra Spore Frog in the deck (believe it or not), so this became Bellower.

-Lifecrafter's Bestiary, Heroic Intervention, Veilstone Amulet, Cloudstone Curio
All good cards, but they're not creatures. Not having any targets in my deck for artifact/enchantment destruction is very nice. Well, I still have Survival, but I generally don't play that without activating it at least twice immediately.

-Wirewood Symbiote
Too narrow. The untap was nice sometimes, but the rest was a little underwhelming.

-Gaea's Herald
I don't have a metagame. You could argue that the Herald would be a great security to have, but in practice I never found myself needing it. And, if I do, it might become a Prowling Serpopard. Or not, but that's for later.

-Gaea's Cradle, Yavimaya Hollow
BLASPHEMY! I sold mine to a friend, and I'm not really intending to buy them anew. So, I figured I should just see how the deck functions without. Probably just fine, and maybe even more on the power level I want. Cradle was always responsible for explosive plays and ticking people off.

-Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
And if I cut Cradle, what happens when I cut Nykthos as well?

-Reliquary Tower
This deck usually doesn't have tons of cards in hand, and I don't want to go too low on Forests.

_________________
Generals:
Endrek (my main squeeze)
Yeva, Nature's Herald (hold on, I have a response)
Kami of the Crescent Moon (mass draw, bounce and shenanigans)
Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs (you did this to yourself: mono red edition)


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