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 Post subject: HELP WITH ELESH NORN EDH
AgePosted: 2015-Sep-01 1:15 am 

Joined: 2015-Jul-16 6:12 pm
Age: Wyvern
Hi everyone!
I'm writing this topic because I have in mind the idea of building an EDH with Elesh Norn, grand cenobite as a commander.
Since I'm not an expert on mono W decks, I wanna ask you all for ideas on which cards should I play.
My idea was of a control deck more than a token one, focusing on using Elesh only at the end: put into the deck tons of removal and, after having wiped the board several times, play some finishers like white sun's zenith, then elesh and win. I seek cards that can help me achieve this goal.
I would like this deck to be as competitive as possible: in my local group we play a lot of infinite combos or unfair strategies, so there is no room for fun/flavorful cards, sadly.
I appreciate every help you can possibly give me. Thank you for your time and patience!


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 Post subject: Re: HELP WITH ELESH NORN EDH
AgePosted: 2015-Sep-01 1:59 am 

Joined: 2013-Aug-20 4:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Boston
You're going to have an uphill battle with monowhite against infinite combos and such. You're probably going to need to get a decent number of rule-setting cards in there to stop that kind of crap. Rule of Law, Cursed Totem, Suppression Field, that sort of thing. You might also be able to protect yourself with effects like Leyline of Sanctity or Ivory Mask. Leonin Arbiter and Aven Mindcensor can help if people are generally tutoring up their combos.


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 Post subject: Re: HELP WITH ELESH NORN EDH
AgePosted: 2015-Sep-01 2:09 am 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
Some addtional suggestions to build on JJacksons;
Spirit of the Labyrinth
Eidolon of Rhetoric
Curse of Exhaustion
Grand Abolisher (if counterspells are a problem)

Mono-white suffers from a severe lack of card draw. You'll want as much as you can get, mainly in the form of artifacts, such as Staff of Nin or Mind's Eye.

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 Post subject: Re: HELP WITH ELESH NORN EDH
AgePosted: 2015-Sep-01 5:28 am 

Joined: 2015-Jul-16 6:12 pm
Age: Wyvern
Isn't it a bit too risky to simply try and prevent infinite combos (or standard combos) strategied instead of having my own battle plan? After all, since we play only multiplayer games of at least 4 people, I suppose I just need to be able to put some combo blocking stuff and not all of these cards you suggested (hoping other more qualified players, such as the ones with counterspells, will deal with it). Which ones interact best with the battle plan I have in mind, namely using tons of removals and winning by tokens pumped by elesh?
About card drawing effects, I had already in mind to include mind's eye and staff of nin. Can you tell me what other cards could I play in order to get some card advantage in a colors that struggles to obtain it?


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 Post subject: Re: HELP WITH ELESH NORN EDH
AgePosted: 2015-Sep-01 7:23 am 
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Joined: 2012-Dec-03 3:16 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Cariddis wrote:
Isn't it a bit too risky to simply try and prevent infinite combos (or standard combos) strategied instead of having my own battle plan? After all, since we play only multiplayer games of at least 4 people, I suppose I just need to be able to put some combo blocking stuff and not all of these cards you suggested (hoping other more qualified players, such as the ones with counterspells, will deal with it). Which ones interact best with the battle plan I have in mind, namely using tons of removals and winning by tokens pumped by elesh?
About card drawing effects, I had already in mind to include mind's eye and staff of nin. Can you tell me what other cards could I play in order to get some card advantage in a colors that struggles to obtain it?


The problem with this is that not everyone will be able or willing to help stop combos. Often Elesh Norn will get hated on because of being a Praetor.

I love using Land Tax and Scroll Rack both are good but together they are insane.

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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


Last edited by Inkeyes22 on 2015-Sep-01 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: HELP WITH ELESH NORN EDH
AgePosted: 2015-Sep-01 7:41 am 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I'm sorry to say this, but it's true: mono-white just plain sucks in a hyper competitive meta. There isn't even a single general that's considered viable. Especially a big mono white general just can't compete in a competitive meta. Combo decks will kill you too quickly, control decks will win the war of attrition, midrange will do a mix of both, and mana denial/lockdown will put a stranglehold on your already suboptimal card/mana advantage. And Elesh Norn is unfortunately one of hose generals that only does good work if you're ahead or at a standstill. She is terrible at the catch-up game, which is unfortunately the game mono-white is basically forced to play against generals like Mimeoplasm, Brago, Riku, and Derevi.

Now, you're describing a pretty standard control deck: keep crap from getting out of hand until you can stick a win condition. There are several white generals that excel at this category: Teneb, Zur, and Oloro come to mind if you're looking for straight-up control. If you want to mix mana denial, lockdown, or combo into the mix then you could consider Derevi, Brago, Roon, or Marath. There are also a few non-white control guys that sound like what you're trying to do, specifically Edric and Kruphix.

Your other option is to play in a less competitive meta.

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 Post subject: Re: HELP WITH ELESH NORN EDH
AgePosted: 2015-Sep-02 4:23 am 

Joined: 2015-Jul-16 6:12 pm
Age: Wyvern
Ok I get it. I suppose I can convince my friends not to run the best of the best among their commanders and to use the ones they have which are still built competitively but not unfair (they have an Olivia Voldaren, a Eight-and-a-Half-Tails and Norin the wary).
Could you still help me building a mono W Elesh norn deck with a control plan? Thank you for suggesting scroll rack: I didn't think about it.
Are there any source of card advantage or board advantage? How many swipes should I include?


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 Post subject: Re: HELP WITH ELESH NORN EDH
AgePosted: 2015-Sep-02 5:27 am 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Alright, so as I implied earlier, choosing Elesh Norn means you have given up any chance of winning or even making good plays in the early game. So, what you need to do is focus on building up your board early game and then controlling the mid and the endgame with as much card efficiency as possible.

The first thing you need is mana. Not only do you have an expensive general, but all of white's good draw options are stupidly over costed. So you need lots of mana. Lots. If you think you have enough, you probably need just a little more. Since your early-game presence will be second to none, your mana ramp choices should always be quantity over speed. Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, Mind Stone, Ur-Golem's Eye, Extraplanar Lens, Gauntlet of Power, Caged Sun, Thran Dynamo Gilded Lotus, Dreamstone Hedron, Kor Cartographer, Solemn Simulacrum, Coalition Relic, Knight of the White Orchid, and Tooth of Ramos are all some of your better starting points. These cards aren't ramp per se, but the aforementioned Land Tax alongside Journeyer's Kite, Pilgrim's Eye, Tithe, and Endless Horizons are all cards that can help get lands into your hand while thinning out the deck.

Next up is card draw, which is essential for any good control deck. A lot of your draw spells will come in the form of cantrips and cycling spells, such as Akroma's Vengeance, Hallowed Moonlight, or Angelsong. As for actual draw spells, Inheritance and Armistice, and Wall of Omens are your only real options within the color white. Depending on what other cards you include in the deck, Puresteel Paladin, Mesa Enchantress, and Mentor of the Meek may or may not be useful as well. You do have tons of artifact means of draw, but it depends on just how overpriced you're willing for it to be. Staff of Nin is a must though; you won't get better than it in white.

Next up is removal, which with Elesh Norn is a hyper paradox. Spot removal is technically card disadvantage in a multiplayer format, but at the same time you sometimes only need to kill one target and other times you need a specific target to die instantly. Sword and Path are definitely musts, and I would probably include Crib Swap and Oblation for good measure (oblation doubles as a draw spell late game). Using sweepers with her is also weird because she is sort of a sweeper. Long story short, you will need to play many games with different densities of each type of removal before you can find out what works best. I can tell you that I personally have absolutely no idea.

And finally, you need to win. Your win conditions should mostly be giant pieces of fat that either win or die. Blightsteel, any Eldrazi, Iona, Akroma, and Serra Avatar are some of your best options there. You could also try to throw in some little dudes that make a rush for the endgame like Transcendent Master or Silverblade Paladin.

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 Post subject: Re: HELP WITH ELESH NORN EDH
AgePosted: 2015-Sep-02 11:29 am 

Joined: 2013-Oct-09 7:02 am
Age: Elder Dragon
You could get some ideas for mono white control from this:
http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/yosei-the-morning-star-2/
Keep in mind the list hasn't been updated in a year.


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 Post subject: Re: HELP WITH ELESH NORN EDH
AgePosted: 2015-Sep-02 1:33 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
And finally, you need to win. Your win conditions should mostly be giant pieces of fat that either win or die. Blightsteel, any Eldrazi, Iona, Akroma, and Serra Avatar are some of your best options there. You could also try to throw in some little dudes that make a rush for the endgame like Transcendent Master or Silverblade Paladin.

That's a pretty generic control deck finish, but it doesn't play to Elesh Norn's strengths very well - by the endgame, her -2/-2 effect is going to not kill as much (though it will certainly swing things your way) and the +2/+2 doesn't seem as relevant when you're swinging with Eldrazi and Blightsteels anyways.

I'd lean toward something that will generate a massive flood of tokens, followed by casting Elesh and crushing with the tokens. So use all that mana and cast Martial Coup for 14, or end step a White Sun's Zenith for 13, wrath then drop a Storm Herd, something along those lines. Backups for Elesh would be Mirror Entity or Leonin Sun Standard. Coat of Arms too, depending on the meta. Eldrazi Monument could be strong here, if you're building a swarm. Akroma's Memorial as well. Cathars' Crusade is another very strong effect when generating swarms.

The plan, as Kong said, would be to build mana as much as possible - Gauntlet of Power, Caged Sun, Extraplanar Lens, various mana rocks - have all the mana you can. Control the board with wraths and occasional spot removal until you have enough to go for a win.

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 Post subject: Re: HELP WITH ELESH NORN EDH
AgePosted: 2015-Sep-02 9:08 pm 

Joined: 2008-Aug-08 6:34 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Rouen, France
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
The first thing you need is mana. Not only do you have an expensive general, but all of white's good draw options are stupidly over costed. So you need lots of mana. Lots. If you think you have enough, you probably need just a little more. Since your early-game presence will be second to none, your mana ramp choices should always be quantity over speed. Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, Mind Stone, Ur-Golem's Eye, Extraplanar Lens, Gauntlet of Power, Caged Sun, Thran Dynamo Gilded Lotus, Dreamstone Hedron, Kor Cartographer, Solemn Simulacrum, Coalition Relic, Knight of the White Orchid, and Tooth of Ramos are all some of your better starting points. These cards aren't ramp per se, but the aforementioned Land Tax alongside Journeyer's Kite, Pilgrim's Eye, Tithe, and Endless Horizons are all cards that can help get lands into your hand while thinning out the deck.


I'm not sure you need to make the Quantity/Speed distinction. Something like Wayfarer's Bauble in a mono list is only speed but it makes a Mono-W deck jump a turn of mana. I'd add stuff like Terrain Generator into that mix and go a little lighter on the "stays in play" artifact choices, prioritising ones that double all mana or provide more mana than their cost.

Depending on how aggressive your Meta is, you always have the choice of Rings/Monolith if you do opt for X-spell token generation. A slightly more acceptable route could be Auriok Salvagers/LED which also has the utility of bringing back other 1& 0cc artifacts. Tread carefully with these as every meta has a line and infinite mana is generally over that line.

Edit: Think Mirror Entity, Mobilisation or Sacred Mesa for the LED/Salvagers combo.

Someone mentionned Tax/Rack as a card draw solution, I'd have to second that. White has such a dearth of card-draw that almost any solution is worthy of consideration.

Emeria, the Sky Ruin does great work in Mono W, requiring GY solutions (if you're not heavy on those yourself).

Some of the Angels are worth considering: Iona, Linvala can both shut down decks. Karmic Guide/Reveillark/Mirror Entity provides a closed loop that can defend as long as none of the components are exiled (and Elesh Norn isn't in play!)

That's all I have off the top of my head.

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 Post subject: Re: HELP WITH ELESH NORN EDH
AgePosted: 2015-Sep-13 10:08 am 

Joined: 2015-Jul-16 6:12 pm
Age: Wyvern
After some tests with your advice in mind, I came up with this list.

GENERAL


ARTIFACTS


ENCHANTMENTS


CREATURES


SORCERIES


LANDS


INSTANTS


PLANESWALKERS


I would like to know from yuo which bomb cards did I miss and not include and which cards among those that I chose are suboptimal. For example, don't really find Karmic Justice as useful as it seems, but perhaps I'm mistaken.
Do you find this a good list?


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 Post subject: Re: HELP WITH ELESH NORN EDH
AgePosted: 2015-Sep-15 12:20 am 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
I recommend re-posting this to the decklists forum, since you're now at that point.

You seem light on land. I'd try to get that closer to 40. I know you've got a bunch of rocks, but that doesn't help if you don't get the land to cast your rocks. Maybe cut a few things you aren't happy with and just throw in some more plains.

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"The President's job - and if someone sufficiently vain and stupid is picked he won't realize this - is not to wield power, but to draw attention away from it." -- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide tot he Galaxy Radio Transcripts predicting the future.


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 Post subject: Re: HELP WITH ELESH NORN EDH
AgePosted: 2015-Sep-15 4:23 am 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Karmic Justice is a very niche card. It only works in certain decks AND certain metas. If your meta runs a lot of land destruction and targeted removal, it may be worth it. If not, it isn't.

The only card I find objectionable is Silverblade Paladin. It just doesn't synergize too well with the rest of your creatures. It's basically a Fireshrieker that's harder to reattach and it also does to wraths. If you had a more combat-oriented general he might be worth the spot but as of now he's just... Ok.

Speaking of wraths, why is Day of Judgment missing?

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 Post subject: Re: HELP WITH ELESH NORN EDH
AgePosted: 2015-Sep-15 5:21 am 

Joined: 2015-Jul-16 6:12 pm
Age: Wyvern
Quote:
I recommend re-posting this to the decklists forum, since you're now at that point.

I will just do it, thank you for suggesting it.

Quote:
You seem light on land. I'd try to get that closer to 40. I know you've got a bunch of rocks, but that doesn't help if you don't get the land to cast your rocks. Maybe cut a few things you aren't happy with and just throw in some more plains.


I actually draw A LOT of lands. Thanks to Land tax, weathered wayfarer, journeyer's kite and Sensei's divining top I've never missed a land drop. I just need to replace some awful cards with other more useful stuff.

Quote:
The only card I find objectionable is Silverblade Paladin.

I totally agree. As a matter of fact, I think that I should run very few bomb creatures and leave other less useful creature cards, like the paladin out.

Quote:
Speaking of wraths, why is Day of Judgment missing?

When I chose the mass removal cards for my deck this didn't make the cut because I considered it to be less powerful than the other that I have already included. Since I'm gonna replace some cards, judgment might be added in the final decklist.


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