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 Post subject: I need some help with winning with my Savra deck!
AgePosted: 2014-Jun-09 10:31 pm 
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Age: Wyvern
First off, I don't have a decklist written out, but I will sort that out sooner or later. Anyway, I have a Savra deck that I really like playing. Golgari are my favourite colours, and after working through most of the golgari coloured generals I ended up having the most fun with Savra, since I loved building the deck, I like the synergy with sacrifice and tokens and whatnot, and I find it typifies what I like the most about the colour combo (life/death, rebirth etc.), and finally I don't have the £££ to really do a jarad deck properly!

So the deck plays well, it has no problems controlling the board and keeping creatures in check (although it struggles a bit against the Riku tokens deck I play against sometimes), but the main problem is I end up in situation where there are very few creatures in play, and I don't really have a clear way to close out the game fast. I am not really all-in on tokens enough to use overrun or Garruk, and there isn't really a lot of fat to threaten a win in there either.

So here is my question, what are common win conditions for a Savra deck? Not specifically how could I make MY deck more win-orientated, but in general how are Savra decks looking to win?


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 Post subject: Re: I need some help with winning with my Savra deck!
AgePosted: 2014-Jun-09 11:21 pm 
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Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Savra + sac outlet + small, recurring creatures (Bloodghast, etc.)/token creatures

Add Grave Pact, Butcher of Malakir, and a few others, and suddenly no one gets to have any creatures but you--so then you kill your opponents at your leisure. Then again, Lord of Extinction would be good to have about that time.

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 Post subject: Re: I need some help with winning with my Savra deck!
AgePosted: 2014-Jun-10 2:37 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
I second Lord of Extinction. That dude is a monster.

I have a couple suggestions, but they all depend on how your deck is built and how cutthroat your meta is.

Ob Nixlis is a great finisher if you've got a lot of ramp

If you have a lot of "pain" effects, Wound a Reflection wins games.

Creakwood Liege is a nice buff and token maker.

Doomgape is undercosted fat with an attached-sac engine.

Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord is pretty much perfect for any Golgari deck.

Blood Artist and Falkenrath Noble are great ways to capitalize on the sacrifice synergy.


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 Post subject: Re: I need some help with winning with my Savra deck!
AgePosted: 2014-Jun-10 3:13 am 

Joined: 2013-Jan-07 1:45 am
Age: Dragon
really good suggestions so far. I think the most common route to victory is some kind of recursion-people-to-death thing, based on blood artist, falkenrath noble, and sometimes bloodchief ascension.

I'd add that the flip side of doomgape is xathrid demon, which is awesome.

A big finisher I like that costs little ($$$) is colossus of akros. Or rise of the dark realms.

grave betrayal seems fun, too.

I just assume you're not using this because no one does, but soldevi adnate is pretty good for powering out fun stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: I need some help with winning with my Savra deck!
AgePosted: 2014-Jun-10 4:15 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Washington D.C.
Before I went elfball tribal with my Savra deck (which I plan to undo shortly, due to it not being nearly as strong or fun), I ran this devour package in the deck:

Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder (combo with Conspiracy in case I don't want to sacrifice all of the token right away - usually calling elf to kill people with Coat of Arms + Savra)
Gluttonous Slime
Marrow Chomper
Mycoloth
Skullmulcher
Tar Fiend
Fresh Meat

Creatures that like other creatures dying:

Vulturous Zombie
Scavenger Drake
Mortician Beetle

Creatures that like things in the yard are good beaters:

Boneyard Wurm
Splinterfright
Scavenging Ooze
Lord of Extinction (as mentioned)

Equipments/enchantments that are sweet with Savra:

Bonehoard
Fallen Ideal
Wreath of Geists
Grave Betrayal (why not steal their creatures to hasten their defeat?)
Grim Feast (I've recouped so much life with this card, it's a sleeper hit)

Uktabi_Kong wrote:
Blood Artist and Falkenrath Noble are great ways to capitalize on the sacrifice synergy.

If you add these two, make sure to include Blade of the Bloodchief for maximized profit. I recommend Viscera Seer as well.

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 Post subject: Re: I need some help with winning with my Savra deck!
AgePosted: 2014-Jun-10 4:25 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
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Savra was the first EDH deck I built myself, and I recognize your problem. There are some off the trodden path solutions like Lumberknot and Algae Gharial. Don't forget to bring Worm Harvest.

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 Post subject: Re: I need some help with winning with my Savra deck!
AgePosted: 2014-Jun-10 4:46 am 
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Tsk tsk, I forgot to mention Vicious Betrayal. Would be fun to pull off a Savra-damage win with this at least once :)

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 Post subject: Re: I need some help with winning with my Savra deck!
AgePosted: 2014-Jun-10 3:56 pm 

Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
greenbeangreen wrote:
In general how are Savra decks looking to win?


This is a problem with Savra decks in general; they're not very good at closing out the game. For a long time she was the go-to lady for grindy GB games, but when the first batch of Commander pre-cons came out, a lot of players switched to a GBw or GBu general who was a better closer. If you start getting frustrated with Savra, this is probably your best option.

In the mean time, you're looking at how GB wins in two colors while still running a ton of small value effects. It leads you down three basic paths:

- You can ramp mana off your utility dorks pretty well, which means you can close out games with a big Exsanguinate or other X-spell.

- You're probably playing a few sac/recursion cards, which means you could cycle Kokusho repeatedly until the table keels over.

- You could play some of the not-quite-Overrun effects that work without a huge number of creatures, like Triumph of the Hordes or Overwhelming Stampede (you only have 3 dudes but you've got Lord of Extinction in play? ok).

P.S. I'm not sure why you feel short on tokens... Savra loves having tokens...

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 Post subject: Re: I need some help with winning with my Savra deck!
AgePosted: 2014-Jun-11 1:05 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
My Savra deck has little problem closing games. That was a big problem in early versions, but I managed to overcome it. I use:

Massacre Wurm, Blood Artist and Falkenrath Noble to bleed people to death as I kill their guys. Crypt Ghast and that six-drop, black Extort dude also help in the slow-bleed category.

Then I bring out the big guns - Kokusho, Jarad, or Sepulchral Primordial. BTW, Jarad is a dick, but if he's not your general, no one can complain too much, and most players would PREFER a Savra deck that can end games rather than dragging them out ad infinitum. (It's a small concession to the social contract, but I DO refuse to run Lord of Extinction in the same deck as Jarad).

Or I can just beat down with Dead Mike giving all my little tokens and utility dorks evasion and a nice anthem effect, and swarm people.

Finally there's good ol' boring Avenger of Zendikar, which is actually relevant and on-them in most Savra decks, thus is fair game even if you don't like "good stuff".

But I'll be honest. I HAVE won with ever single win-con listed up there, as well as just randomly getting there with like a Grave Titan or a ridiculously lucky Bloodgift Demon... but the truth of the matter is, Savra decks usually win by just making everyone else scoop. Usually, once you're in control, opponents will put up with that one or two turn cycles, in hopes they topdeck a Krosan Grip or something, and then if they don't, they just give up. At least in non-Combo metas, where being unable to stick creatures literally means you cannot win.

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 Post subject: Re: I need some help with winning with my Savra deck!
AgePosted: 2014-Jun-11 2:52 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
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thaumaturge wrote:
but the truth of the matter is, Savra decks usually win by just making everyone else scoop.

LOL, well there is this too :)

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 Post subject: Re: I need some help with winning with my Savra deck!
AgePosted: 2014-Jun-11 3:39 am 

Joined: 2013-Aug-20 4:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Boston
Bestowing a Night Howler or equipping a Bone Hoard to Savra tends to end things in a hurry.


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 Post subject: Re: I need some help with winning with my Savra deck!
AgePosted: 2014-Jun-11 3:50 am 
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Joined: 2013-Aug-29 9:48 pm
Age: Wyvern
Thanks for all the help! There's some great suggestions here.

I tried Blood Artist for a while, but he's so fragile it never panned out, I'd completely forgotten about Falkenrath Noble though, who seems a lot more robust, and can do some fighting as well. I'm pretty sure I already have a Pontiff of Blight as well, who seems perfect to not only help with closing out the game, but also offsetting some of the life loss from Savra. Massacre Wurm seems great as well, if I can get my hands on one. I don't know why I never thought of Sepulchral Primordial either! Seems perfect in a way...

I'm not really willing to go into BGx, since I'm really into Savra, and also I tend to find going into 3 colours leaves me building tooo much like a good stuff deck, a two colour restriction makes deck building a bit more fun for me.

Worm Harvest is the best in this deck. In addition, I have a soft spot for that card. When I first went down to the card shop with my freshly made Thelon deck, not knowing anybody and thoroughly nervous, I played a dude who gave me a Worm Harvest for my deck, and helped me meet all the cool people at the store and made me feel way less nervous.

So I'm thinking a Grave Betrayal, Falkenrath Noble, Pontiff of Blight and one other winconish card to go in, some durdly stuff to come out.

Also, just to say, you guys are great here. This seems like a MUCH better place to talk commander than the EDH subreddit; I feel like you guys (or at least, based on the comments here) play for the same reasons I do, and it's nice to look around and not just see discussions of goodstuff decks and nuclear missile decks!


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 Post subject: Re: I need some help with winning with my Savra deck!
AgePosted: 2014-Jun-11 4:45 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Oh yeah, I have Worm Harvest as well. Forgot about that one. Creakwood Liege + Worm Harvest + some lands in the GY is a good finisher as well. I run all the on-color cycling lands, fetches and stuff like Terramorphic Expanse/Evolving Wilds, plus a couple of Dredge cards to ensure I can stick some lands in the 'yard. It's more of a Plan C or Plan D with my deck, and isn't that reliable, but if you go a bit more into the dredge/life from the loam angle, it can easily be made a more prominent focus of the deck.

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 Post subject: Re: I need some help with winning with my Savra deck!
AgePosted: 2014-Jun-11 8:39 pm 

Joined: 2012-Oct-09 1:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Stoke-On-Trent, England, UK
I had a Jarad deck that functioned much the same as Savra, its was brutal though so I ended up taking it apart for my more casual meta. I had a land abuse package in tehre with life from the loam, crucible and some dredge and consistently got to 8-10 lands by turn 3. It was horrible, although that was in the Prime Time days, who helped close the game out with cabal coffers and urborg fetching (which is still pretty easy with scapeshift, reap and sow, sylvan scrying, expedition map, Crop Rotation and of course normal tutors. Then I had the whole sacrifice package built in too to control creatures and had the resources to abuse this. Win con was usually beat down or Jarad life suck. Not fun for my friends to play against so no its a Glissa Junk deck, but I thought some of the ideas my gel with you, its very possible to have the land package and not ruin the game I think, but I had it on the wrong side of the line

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 Post subject: Re: I need some help with winning with my Savra deck!
AgePosted: 2014-Jul-28 12:31 am 

Joined: 2012-Apr-04 3:52 pm
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My name is Ely, I’ve been learning—honing my skills as an EDH player on for about five years now. And in that time I’ve built many decks, wandered from camp Johnny, to team Timmy, and everywhere in between.

Savra has been a labor of love for me for the past four years. In that time I’ve played in local shops, in tournaments, and I’ve spent endless hours in that pit of vipers on Cockatrice; I’ve worked with Savra to turn her in to something I hope is unique, flavorful, and potent. The green/black color combination provides players with a multitude of extraordinarily powerful options that other color combinations just cannot provide as effectively. And, if you enjoy a deck that will provide YOU with the power to both control the board state and produce a wide array of threats, then Savra is a Golgari commander you will enjoy.

The Lady of Life and Death, is generally a control deck, although I call it growth deck, Savra won’t win games on turn one the way a Karn or Niv-Mizzit deck might. The focus here is on synergy and controlled dominance. Savra’s aim is to keep problem creatures and commander-centric decks under her thumb while growing her own field of varied threats. Here I have compiled a list that I believe is competitive, but does not utilize anything that players may deem—janky, or unsportsmanlike (with two possible exceptions). The deck listed here has some high value cards; however, I have also worked to post a budget version of the deck that contains no cards over $20 dollars (US) in value. Which isn’t quite as competitive, but will provide a budget player a chance to really get to know Savra without devoting big money to her.

Why play Savra

Savra often flies beneath players’ radars as she is an older legend that does not see heavy play in the present commander climate. At her core, she is essentially Grave Pact on legs, which provides her pilots with a very potent method for controlling the board. Against creature dependent decks, particularly voltron decks or general-centric decks, Savra can be one of the most crippling generals your opponents can face. She is evenly costed at BG2 and as her ability triggers on any sac—including her own. If you have a sac outlet available then she generally represents a poor, or at the very least a less than ideal, target for removal spells which allows her to remain a presence on the board.

Her ability to both gain life and address threats is quite strong, her colors provide her with nearly every tool you will need to tackle threats, and in this list she has a few nasty tricks up her sleeve which may be used in a pinch, or ignored depending on your play group.

The question one should ask when determining if Savra is the right general is, Do I understand and enjoy intricacy and control, or do I want raw power?

The black/green color combination allows for quite a bit of variation in decks; however, if raw power is what you are looking for, you may be better off taking a look into other Golgari commanders such as Varolz or Jarad. Savra is about subtly and examination of the board state, depending on your politics, she may—or may not—win you many friends at the table. So knowing what play to make and when is vital. Savra's strength lies in her ability to dominate the board addressing the opponent directly by forcing the sacrifice, and there are very few things that can disrupt her as most all of the sacrifice effects are costs and not abilities.

• Controlling the battlefield
• Utilizing various types of threats: creatures, enchantments, artifacts, big spells, even lands.
• A deck that grows steadily, allowing all players to enjoy the game.
• A political style of gameplay
• Love tokens, sac effects, recursion, and synergistic card combinations

There are generally two routes players tend to go when playing Savra, the first is the recursion route, which utilizes many creatures (mostly black) that when sacrificed trigger some sort of effect of their own in conjunction with Savra's forced sac or life gain. Creatures like Abyssal Gatekeeper or Kokusko, The Evening Star are common in this version of the deck. Quality decks that go this route are reliant on a higher number of powerful critter sac effects, and a great deal of reusable recursion—things such as Sheoldred, The Whispering One and Phyrexian Reclamation. The recursion version of the deck looks to use Savra’s sac triggers and the various sac triggers of the creatures as a means to winning.

The other method utilizes primarily token generation as sac fodder, and looks to repeatable token generation as a means of keeping the board clear of creature threats. Utilizing token generation allows for the token player to commit more of his/her deck to playing and developing a strong board presence. In this version of the deck, Savra lives and dies by her sac outlets. Because very few tokens come with an inherent sac ability (colorless eldrazi tokens aside) the sac outlets used in the deck become vitally important and potent weapons against your opponents. In this version of the build, cards like Sadistic Hypnotist and Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord are powerful and common additions.

Each version has its merits, I personally prefer the token route and the deck listed utilizes this path primarily. By choosing to focus on token generation I am less vulnerable to graveyard hate. One late game Bojuka Bog or Tormod’s Crypt can really ruin a GY deck’s game. So I look to critters I don’t mind losing forever. Tokens and sac outlets may be an integral part of the play, but they are not the only means of winning--while this deck can certainly flood the field with tokens, that is only one method in which this list can eliminate opponents.

In this list, I hope you'll find that threats come from all angles. I have worked to try and utilize Savra's strengths as threats, attempted to minimize her weaknesses, and looked for unique cards that synergize well with multiple cards within the deck. Savra's flavor is about seamlessness--that perfect balance between life and death, growth and decay, here I hope you'll find some of that.

Before diving deep into the deck, I suggest taking a look at Jason Rice's article on commander deck building, while it is a bit more reading, I believe he is on to something worthwhile. Readers may find it at
http://brainstormbrewery.com/a-unified- ... commander/ although I think he undervalues synergy (although simple good stuff decks are certainly a thing), in the long run, I believe his acronym for deck building is a great place to start with EDH decks. And if you're looking to build a variation of a Golgari control deck I think this is a good place to start.


Deck Building: Golgari Control

Let's talk a bit about the control archetype before going forward. Most players are familiar with the three main types of decks Agro, Combo, and Control. It doesn't take much to look up what these deck are and what they're designed to do. Many players are familiar with the Magic Clock/Trifecta, whatever you want to call it, which details how the decks interact, agro beats control, control beats combo, and combo beats agro. The premise is simple enough, and albeit a bit outdated, but it important to understand if we want to understand how decks are "supposed to work."

Why is "supposed to work" in quotations? Well, in part because midrange and other deck types have sprouted up, but more so because EDH/Commander is a very different beast than your typical constructed format. Here, and it pains me to say this, Combo is king. The nature of the formats rules naturally tend to favor combo. 40 life is hard for even a very good agro deck to burn through before something janky hits the board and sticks, and the multiplayer nature of the format means that traditional means of control (counters and removal) are simply too inefficient to deal with all the threats that arise within a given game.

So why build a control deck? Well as any EDH vet will tell you, everything depends on your meta, and the eternal and slower nature of the format provides you with a wide array of options, which your opponents may not have prepared for. And because, if you're like me, you believe combos can be stopped, agro can be controlled, and with a bit of patience and some good politics, you can wrap your tendrils around your opponents' throats without them even knowing it.

What will this deck fail to do for you? Well no deck can prepare for everything, this deck doesn't tackle everything with ease by any stretch of the imagination. Savra's strengths are in her ability to control critters on the board, and decks that dump critters on the board en mass can be a problem. Animar, Maelstrom Wander, Rhys, and Edric all play green and can ramp hard into critters that are easily sac'd. Savra has enough recursion to be relevant but decks that repeatedly wipe the board is also a problem as she needs to be able to play permanents in order to develop a winning board. Oh, and if you come up against Sigarda, well, all you can really do there is try to ramp like crazy and out threat her--put a laser focus on her and kill that player as quick as possible.

The Deck

One thing is for certain, if you're going to survive, you're going to need mana, and you're going to need it rather quickly. Some decks can get by on only six or seven lands. Savra is one of them. But having access to more is always better, and if we can get the mana we need faster than the Esper deck--or even the Naya deck at the table. Well that's just gravy.

Let's examine the as a whole.
Lands
Bayou
Verdant Catacombs
Woodland Cemetery
Overgrown Tomb
Gilt-Leaf Palace
Golgari Rot Farm
Llanowar Wastes
Golgari Guildgate
Command Tower
Exotic Orchard
City of Brass
Reflecting Pool
Temple of Malady
Vesuva
Temple of the False God
Strip Mine
Miren, the Moaning Well
High Market
Phyrexian Tower
Grim Backwoods
Reliquary Tower
Yavimaya Hollow
Volrath's Stronghold
Bojuka Bog
Barren Moor
Tranquil Thicket
6 Snow-Covered Forest
5 Snow-Covered Swamp


Artifacts
Altar of Dementia
Phyrexian Altar
Ashnod's Altar
Birthing Pod
Golgari Signet
Sol Ring
Skullclamp
Lightning Greaves

Creatures
Savra, Queen of the Golgari
Glissa, the Traitor
Lord of Extinction
Kokusho, the Evening Star
Eternal Witness
Sheoldred, Whispering One
Mikaeus, the Unhallowed
Fauna Shaman
Scavenging Ooze
Brutalizer Exarch
Acidic Slime
Woodfall Primus
Oracle of Mul Daya
Deathrite Shaman
Viridian Emissary
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Yavimaya Elder
Mitotic Slime
Mycoloth
Creakwood Liege
Grave Titan
Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder
Sengir Autocrat
Avenger of Zendikar
Flesh-Eater Imp
Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
Sadistic Hypnotist

Planeswalker
Garruk, Primal Hunter

Enchantments
Mind Slash
Bitterblossom
Defense of the Heart
Grave Pact
Phyrexian Arena
Necropotence
Greed
Grim Feast
Sanguine Bond
Phyrexian Reclamation

Instants/Sorcs
Harrow
Putrefy
Chord of Calling
Beast Within
Krosan Grip

Toxic Deluge
Maelstrom Pulse
Damnation
Living Death
Victimize
Natural Order
Diabolic Intent
Tooth and Nail
Demonic Tutor
Cultivate
Sylvan Scrying
Skyshroud Claim
Nature's Lore

Every deck hinges on its lands, that's why land is so expensive. Here we have quite a list, twelve lands that tap for two or more colors, ten colorless producers, and fifteen single color lands. Thirty seven in total is a respectable number of lands for a two color deck, some may argue it's a bit many; particularly in green where ramp is so prevalent. But I believe it is a fitting number for this particular deck. You may find your deck can get by with less, or may need more.

Why is it important? As a control deck that looks to control creatures in particular, this deck needs to be able to keep pace with its opponent's, if not outpace them. Zur only needs to swing once in order to pick up Diplomatic immunity, so if we want to keep generals like that under wraps, we need to beat them to four mana and we need a sac outlet.

Which brings us to our next big point...Savra lives and dies by her sac outlets. Because Savra's ability triggers on her own sac, you can remove a critter from each player's board on turn four or sooner, but having to sac Savra is a less than ideal situation, you really only want to do it if she is about to be tucked or if there is a singular threat that must be addressed immediately. Let's examine our sac outlets.

Flesh-Eater Imp
Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
Sadistic Hypnotist
Altar of Dementia
Phyrexian Altar
Ashnod's Altar
Birthing Pod
Miren, the Moaning Well
High Market
Phyrexian Tower
Grim Backwoods
Mind Slash

There's a total of 12 dedicated sac outlets, which is fair, but admittedly I could use another one. But with the available recursion--if one of them goes, there's should always be an out. Lands are particularly important options, as they are uncounterable, and will provide Savra and valuable creatures with a source of exile/tuck protection.

Next, let's look at our token generators and valued sac targets.

Sengir Autocrat
Avenger of Zendikar
Woodfall Primus
Bitterblossom
Viridian Emissary
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Garruk, Primal Hunter
Kokusho, the Evening Star
Mitotic Slime
Mycoloth
Creakwood Liege
Grave Titan
Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder

One thing that many Savra decks I've examined online have is a real imbalance between black sac fodder and green sac fodder. While I believe that black creatures/tokens are inherently more valuable, on more than one occasion, I've found that without green critters to sack, my life total drops pretty quickly, making it more difficult to take the game. Relentless life gain is a nice feature in the deck, and when you couple it with something like Sanguine Bond, all the sudden you're green critters are means to winning.

The relationship between sac outlets and token generators/sacrifice targets serve as the primary engines of a Savra's deck. Much of what this list aims to do is to put the above cards to work in conjunction with one another. Ideally, there should be no sac fodder too valuable to sac to at anytime, and no outlet which is better off left unused. Of course, when piloting a deck such as this, it's helpful to be smart about things--not sacking Sakura Tribe Elder until the EOT of the previous player's turn, waiting to sack Kokusho until after you've gotten that extra five damage in. These things seem like common sense plays, but sometimes a chump blocker can make all the difference.

Value is a fundamental element to an edh deck, getting the most bang for your buck is an important idea to take into the deck building process. It's part of the reason why some cards which may seem great are not included here and others are. Let's take Fauna Shaman vs. Survival of the Fittest. I opted for an additional green creature which I could sac and was easily recurable, rather than a permanent which did not inherently benefit Savra's concept, and was more difficult to bring back if I needed it. (The price difference between the cards was also a factor).

Let's break down our remaining permanents and spells into relevant categories. Now, because many pull double duty the reader will find certain cards may show up in two or more categories. I have provided another comprehensive deck list by category as well.

I break down my deck into the following categories:

Card Draw and Tutors
Mana Fixing and Ramp
Token Generation
Sac Outlets
Multipurpose bombs
Recursion
Removal Mass and Spot
Odds and ends

I think it's important to look at how the deck plays a bit--Let's examine a few key cards, synergies and ideas. Like most control decks the idea here control your opponents while building enough of a board to either swing in and kill or utilize a combo of sorts to take them out. We'll call this section--Kill cons

Key cards:
Obviously, Savra is a key component, but both Grave Pact and Butcher of Malakir can perform in her place--the new Dictate of Erebos is also an option. (I generally consider go-to tutor targets or engine parts as "key" components to the deck. Additionally, cards I look for in my initial hand are considered here.)

Key Critters
• Savra, Queen of the Golgari
• Eternal Witness
• Deathrite Shaman
• Yavimaya Elder
• Mitotic Slime
• Creakwood Liege
• Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder
• Avenger of Zendikar
• Flesh-Eater Imp
• Sadistic Hypnotist

Key Lands (Sylvan Scrying is an underrated gem) it almost always picks up one of these four lands)
• High Market
• Phyrexian Tower
• Bojuka Bog
• Volrath's Stronghold
Many of the other lands are great, including the duals, but there's enough ways to grab them.

Key Artifacts and Enchantments
Skullclamp
Phyrexian Altar (or any altar)
Sanguine Bond
Bitterblossom
Phyrexian Reclamation
All of the enchantments and artifacts are great, but these are the ones I look for when I need to get the deck rolling early game, or a kill con late game.

Key Removal spells
• Living Death
• Woodfall Primus
• Brutalizer Exarch (this card is massively underrated)
• Beast Within
• Krosan Grip

Key Bombs (single cards that can swing games massively)
• Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
• Kokusho, the Evening Star
• Lord of Extinction
• Avenger of Zendikar
• Tooth and Nail
• Living Death
• Sheoldred, Whispering One
• Flesh-Eater Imp

Great Opening Hand Cards
• Obviously ramp spells and mana rocks
• Sengir Autocrat
• Sylvan Scrying
• Sakura-Tribe Elder/Yavimaya Elder/Viridian Emissary
• Bitterblossom
• Deathrite Shaman
• High Market/Phyrexian Tower


Now, for all the Johnny's out there, let's get into a few combos.
Let's get the two Janky infinite/psuedo-inf. combos out of the way.
• Mitotic Slime/Phyrexian Altar/Savra/Phyrexian Reclamation/Sanguine Bond.
This is one is a bit of a snake in the grass combo. As almost no one I've played has seen it when it hit the board. It'll work with Avenger as well, but you'll need to ensure you have at least 9 lands to utilize the Reclamation and recast Avenger.

• Woodfall Primus/Mikaus, The Unhollowed/any repeatable sac outlet
Nothing creative here, I know everyone says this--but the cards are so good separately I had to put them in--I claim incidental combo!! :P

Some of the other kill-combos
• Jarad/Lord of Extinction
• Altar of Dementia/Lord of Extinction
Other great works of synergy
• Sanguine Bond and Grim Feast: I opted for a powerful life gain option rather than the inf. combo with Exquisite Blood.
• Mitotic Slime/Phryexian Reclamation/any Altar: if you go with the two mana Altars you can repeatedly cast him, making Savra gain some serious life, if you go with the Altar of Dementia (depending on your mana) you can take huge chunks out of opponents decks.
• Savra and Creakwood Liege: Creakwood is usually the go-to token generator I fall back on in casual games as it creates both green and black tokens and pumps Savra into something somewhat formidable as a 4/4.
• Mikaeus, the Unhallowed/Kokusho, the Evening Star/Sanguine Bond: these three can clear a table at the end of a game)
• Mikaeus, the Unhallowed/Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord and any fatty: There's plenty of fat creatures that Jarad can fling at all players

Many Primers provide a "typical match ups" section; however, since this is edh, there's almost no such thing as a typical deck, let alone game. So I thought it might be helpful to look a few mulligan options with a few random hands and partial paris mulligan rules (one free partial mulligan, followed by discard 2 draw 1)

Hand 1
Sol Ring
Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian Reclaimation
Acidic Slime
Chord of Calling
Swamp
Reliquary Tower

This hand is pretty friggin' Ideal, I'd pitch the Chord of Calling and the Slime. I happened to draw into cards that made it nearly perfect: City of Brass and Maelstrom Pulse.
I think you keep this every time.

Hand 2
Exotic Orchard
Swamp
Skyshroud Claim
Damnation
Mind Slash
Greed
Mikaeus, The Unhollowed

This one is a little less straightforward, Exotic Orchard is a pretty solid land multicolor option. I like Mind Slash as a sac outlet, but I think I'd pitch the others and try for a third land. I happened to draw:
Golgari Signet
Maelstrom Pulse
Forest
--Pretty solid.

Hand 3
Tranquil Thicket
Forest
Temple of the False God
Bojuka Bog
Skyshroud Claim
Kokusho, The Evening Star
Flesh-Eater Imp

IT'S A TRAP! This hand is a gamble. Every land comes into play useless except the forest. The Skyshroud is an obvious keep, but keeping Temple of the False God is a trap, as is keeping the Tranquil Thicket. This hand is what I call an "If/Then" hand. If you draw into that 5th land it can be okay. But even Kokopuffs isn't enough incentive to keep it. I'd pitch everything but the Skyshroud and two lands (forest and Bog). It's a gamble either way, but I trust the deck. I drew into:
Golgari Signet
Tooth and Nail
Eternal Witness
Forest
Not terrible--not great.


Midgame Strategy
By about turn 10, the deck should be clicking pretty well, particularly if there haven't been any board wipes. If you haven't been able to find a token generator and a quality sac outlet by now then it's probably going to be a long game. Start looking to develop your board by playing draw spells and relevant small spells. Hold on to your bomb card and don't try to attract too much attention. If you're struggling for mana, just chock it up to one of those games. In the teen turns I'm generally looking to finalize my win con, If I draw into a tutor I'm examining graveyards (counting cards--thinking maybe a Lord of Extinction combo) or I'm looking to lock the game down of critters and big plays with Endrek Sahr and Sadistic Hypnotist. Keep an eye on your life total, green sac targets like Mitotic Slime and Mycoloth are valued sources of life in this period of the game.

End Game
With the board clear of critters, your tokens and beasties should be free to swing with impunity. ALWAYS kill the combo player first, as they can just win out at any point. Other control players should follow, and the poor sap playing agro will probably be your last target.


Alternative Deck lists (Budget/Non-token centered)
Non-token Route
http://www.mtgdeckbuilder.net/Decks/Vie ... edh-588939
This deck is a fair representation of a non-token style Savra deck, I would personally put more recursion in there, but I believe it should provide readers with a different take on the deck.


Good luck out there,
Ely

_________________
Did you not notice the two Island's I left untapped?


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