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 Post subject: Back from the Dead: Horde of Notions
AgePosted: 2014-Feb-27 10:00 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Dredge in five colors--the means I'm using to achieve the ultimate goal of this deck, which is to smash through the life totals of my opponents. The very essence of the deck is Elemental Tribal. I play as close to this Tribal soul as I can manage without sacrificing the integrity of the dredge mechanics.

Commander
Horde of Notions

Elemental Creatures (31 total)
Cloudthresher . . . . . . . . . Tyrant of Discord
Living Inferno . . . . . . . . . Animar, Soul of Elements
Malignus . . . . . . . . . . . . Celestial Force
Hateflayer . . . . . . . . . . . Soul of the Harvest
Maelstrom Wanderer . . . . . Magmatic Force
Mirror Entity . . . . . . . . . . Rubblehulk
Thorn Elemental . . . . . . . . Tornado Elemental
Doomgape . . . . . . . . . . . War Elemental

Spitemare . . . . . . . . . . . Deepfire Elemental
Aethersnipe . . . . . . . . . . Shriekmaw
Ingot Chewer . . . . . . . . . Faultgrinder

Splinterfright . . . . . . . . . Sunflare Shaman
Slithermuse . . . . . . . . . . Flame-Kin Zealot

Flamekin Harbinger . . . . . . Smokebraider
Mulldrifter . . . . . . . . . . . Morselhoarder

Dredge Cards/Enablers (13 total)
Golgari Grave-Troll . . . . . . Stinkweed Imp
Golgari Thug . . . . . . . . . . Shambling Shell
Life from the Loam . . . . . . Hermit Druid
Dreamscape Artist

Whispering Madness . . . . . Windfall
Wheel of Fortune . . . . . . . Deadbridge Chant

Manabond . . . . . . . . . . . . Forbidden Alchemy
Survival of the Fittest

Return from the Dead (2 total)
Living Death . . . . . . . . . . Dread Return

Utility/Support/Protection (11 total)
Fanatical Devotion . . . . . . . . . Wrath of God
Phyrexian Altar

Rites of Flourishing . . . . . . Boundless Realms
Recoup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Recall
Druids' Repository . . . . . . . .Secrets of the Dead
Chromatic Lantern . . . . . . . Illusionist's Bracers

Secondary Strategies (2 total)
Primal Surge . . . . . . . . . . . Fist of Suns

Lands (40 total)
Arcane Sanctum . . . . . . . . . . . . Blood Crypt
Breeding Pool . . . . . . . . . . . . . City of Brass
Command Tower . . . . . . . . . . . . Crumbling Necropolis
Exotic Orchard . . . . . . . . . . . . Flooded Strand
Forbidden Orchard . . . . . . . . . . . Godless Shrine
Hallowed Fountain . . . . . . . . . . . High Market
Jungle Shrine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Overgrown Tomb
Primal Beyond . . . . . . . . . . . . Rocky Tar Pit
Savage Lands . . . . . . . . . . . . . Seaside Citadel
Steam Vents . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion
Verdant Catacombs . . . . . . . . . Watery Grave
Windswept Heath

4 x Forest, Mountain
3 x Swamp, Island, Plains

_._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._

Commentary:
I've mostly grouped cards according to purpose and function in order to make the deck more comprehensible. Honestly, I'll admit the Dredge mechanic has also been a curiosity of mine, and while I can understand the strategy intellectually I'm virtually a novice at piloting such a deck. In Legacy, it's a lot different from the normal search/discard of Reanimator decks even though the two share a lot of the same cards.

In this build, I'm currently foregoing the usual suspects in Entomb and Buried Alive in favor of bigger draw/discard spells in Windfall, Whispering Madness, and Wheel of Fortune. I'm not claiming this is the best move, but I'm still too afraid of getting hit hard with a graveyard exile spell to go all-in by including both the big draw and the normal suspects. To be clear, I feel the deck is going to require some balance in getting all the land it can onto the battlefield (which is the spots I'd probably have to take out of the deck to make room for usual suspects).

Manabond, as a card, is probably a weird choice. At worst, it discards your entire hand and you put nothing onto the battlefield--now you are topdecking and hopefully you dropped a 'dredger' to generate something. At the very best, you drop it on turn one, put three to five land onto the battlefield, and then draw into Windfall or another big draw spell. This is extremely good. In general, I think at worst it's still pretty good for Horde of Notions, who really likes everything to be in the graveyard so it can be accessed with cheaper mana. I've played with Manabond in a previous version of this deck, and the only times I felt bad were times when I was holding a spell I really HAD to resolve--like a planeswalker or something. Note, there's only a handful of cards I couldn't live without casting before dumping my hand with Manabond.

Yes, the dreaded Survival of the Fittest is in here. I'm not pleased about its presence, but I'm going to wait to see if it becomes too oppressive or not. There's not a lot of reanimation spells in here other than the activated ability on Horde of Notions, and the price of {W}{R}{B}{U}{G} for each use is nothing to scoff at. Just think of it this way: the cost to reanimate two creatures with Horde of Notions is the same cost it takes to hard-cast Progenitus, which I feel is saying something.

My secondary strategies for the deck are mediocre at best. Primal Surge has a lot of instants and sorceries to hit, but hopefully a lot of those will be out of the way in time for having to utilize it. I guess I'll wait and see. Fist of Suns is just a way to reduce the big creature's costs in case reanimating is an issue (in the event Horde gets tucked). I'm not particularly excited about either, but I'm not certain what else to put here.

As far as other Elemental creatures are concerned, I'd really like to see either or both Purity and/or Vigor in this list. They are both SO GOOD, even if I can't reanimate them unless I do it in response to their ability triggering. Unfortunately, either I don't own any or my only copies are in decks currently. I also meant to find a Spitebellows, but I couldn't seem to find any in my collection. I'm going to keep looking for one though. The weakest and possibly most useless Elemental is probably Sunflare Shaman. It just never seems to do enough damage, and paying into Horde's ability to reanimate sucks. However, I rank it above Brighthearth Banneret, because the cost reduction is never enough for the big Elementals (you normally just get left with a single mana open or something, but nowhere to put it).

Random Cards:
Nature's Resurgence--there's a better one of these, but I'd still rather see the other big draw/discard spells
Twilight's Call--good, but I couldn't find another spot yet for another mass reanimation spell

Other Big Dredge Stuff:
Reforge the Soul--seemed like too much mana at the time; however, I'd still be excited to put this in
Tolarian Winds--not being able to also disrupt my opponents with it like Windfall does moved me away from this card
Breaking // Entering--does nearly everything I want except it costs so much mana
Fauna Shaman--I didn't want Survival and Fauna Shaman in the same deck; plus, I like Hermit Druid better for the spot at the moment

Small Dredge Effects: (all passed up for just not convincingly doing as much as I want)
Tracker's Instincts
Buried Alive
Mulch
Frantic Search
Faithless Looting
Careful Study
Jarad's Orders

Planeswalkers: (both of these do stuff I want, but they can be so hard to protect)
Jace, Memory Adept
Chandra Ablaze

Utility/Support/Protection Cards: (most of these not included because there's just too little space in the deck)
Hammer of Purphoros
Plasm Capture
Wonder
Eyes of the Wisent--could be really useful, especially I can recur it with Horde of Notions
Dissipate
Predatory Focus
Voidslime--excellent against graveyard exile effects, terrible mana cost
Feldon's Cane
Null Rod
Past in Flames--Recoup seemed the better card with the current build.

Unused Land Ramp Cards:
Greenseeker
Rites of Spring
Silverglade Pathfinder
Seek the Horizon
Explosive Vegetation
Far Wanderings

For these 'unused land ramp cards,' the idea was simple: play as many basic lands as humanly possible in the deck, use these cards and Dreamscape Artist (which I somehow couldn't find one in my collection) to get them as many out as I can. Probably other cards as well. I just could not bring myself to actually include it in the deck though, so here they are.

Fanatical Devotion--want to kill Horde of Notions? How about I sac this Tyrant of Discord to regenerate, and then recur Tyrant on your end step targeting you?

Dreamscape Artist--with or without making a lot of my lands basic (I think a good portion of them will be), this card is just so freaking good to enable Dredge stuff and fix my mana problems.

Attunement--well...yeah...Dredge is good.

Bazaar of Baghdad--for if you're going to go all-in.

Yawgmoth's Will--the granddaddy of recasting stuff from the grave. I don't own one, but it certainly seems like it might have a place in a highly competitive version of this deck.

Planar Birth--this is why I even care about switching everything over to basic lands.


Comments, concerns, questions--I welcome all. This deck is currently untested as of this post on (2/27/14), but I'm hoping to get the chance to pilot it and find out. Oh, and as a last second reminder: this deck isn't meant to be really competitive; powerful, yes, but mostly casual. I honestly don't know yet whether it will flop on its face or break you.

I almost forgot! This deck made possible by Kemev's idea a few nights ago after I got face stomped trying to pilot the previous version of this deck. I'm happy for the new direction with this deck. Thanks Kemev!

EDIT: Added lands, Fanatical Devotion, and Dreamscape Artist

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Last edited by Segrus on 2014-May-01 8:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Back from the Dead: Horde of Notions
AgePosted: 2014-Feb-27 10:05 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Danbury, CT
Segrus wrote:
[Honestly, I'll admit the Dredge mechanic has also been a curiosity of mine, and while I can understand the strategy intellectually I'm virtually a novice at piloting such a deck. In Legacy, it's a lot different from the normal search/discard of Reanimator decks even though the two share a lot of the same cards.


If it makes you feel better, EDH Dredge isn't usually like Legacy dredge. The legacy deck is dependent on running a lot of 4-ofs (especially Bridge from Belows and Narcomebas) to power up a super-fast beatdown plan. It doesn't really work in EDH; usually the plan instead is to use your graveyard for value. (Unless you plan on combo-killing someone by reanimating some combo creatures - Morselhoarder and Hateflayer I guess - which is ok too.)

How firm is your commitment to an all-elemental-creature deck? The dredge guys you have picked out are the best dredgers (and Grave Troll is an amazing beater), but they're not elementals. Some of the other non-creature dredgers are good too though:

Dakmor Salvage: it takes a land slot, so it's like it's free to run
Darkblast: Repeatable removal is never bad (don't forget the classic dredge trick where you play it during your upkeep, then dredge it and cast it again to kill a x/2)
Moldervine Cloak: Hang it on Horde, smash faces
Nightmare Void: One of my buddies has gone berserk with Constant Mists recently... soon he will stare into the emptiness... Even if your friends are trolling you by preventing you from winning, Nightmare Void's still a handy tool for dealing with cards you can't interact with otherwise

Speaking of repeatable removal, repeatable Crib Swapping and Nameless Inversion-ing is great (occasionally Nameless Inversion will pump one of your dudes too).

I think you could swap your Primal Surge and Fist of Suns for some of the elemental easy-buttons like Avenger of Zendikar, Bane of Progress, or Reveillark.

The other element that I think is really cool in dredge decks is flashback cards. This is what makes Faithless Looting, Tracker's Instinct, and Desperate Ravings great... it's not just that they cantrip for value (although it's definitely handy), it's that they net card advantage when you dredge them into your graveyard. The goal is to put dredgers into the graveyard, use them to flip cantrips to flashback, then flash those back to dredge more.

There's a ton of other awesome flashback spells too: Seize the Day, Sever the Bloodline, Divine Reckoning (clears the way for Horde), Moment's Peace, Momentary Blink (how many elementals have leave-play/enter-play abilities?), Creeping Renaissance...

Oh, and Shattered Perception seems like its right up your alley.

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 Post subject: Re: Back from the Dead: Horde of Notions
AgePosted: 2014-Apr-30 8:04 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Kemev, you have a lot of great advice. I think I'm going to take changes one or two cards at a time. In a single game, I see a vast majority of the deck, so a single change will make a lot of difference. For now, I'm making these changes:

- Psychic Spiral
- Aquamoeba

+ Fanatical Devotion
+ Dreamscape Artist

Both of these are changes I wanted to make while building the deck, and after confirming how useless Psychic Spiral and Aquamoeba tend to be (even though I didn't really want to take out an Elemental), these two should do me a lot better.

I'm not aiming to put every single Dredge card into the deck, especially since some other self-mill cards will do better. Flashback cards are always going to be good, so I might be switching out some of them depending upon how good they end up being. Shattered Perception might end up replacing Forbidden Alchemy.

Oh, by the way, turn one Manabond and dumping four other lands into play to set up a turn 2 Horde of Notions is BRUTAL. :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Back from the Dead: Horde of Notions
AgePosted: 2014-Apr-30 10:05 pm 
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I'd recommend nightmare void as well. It looks like crap on paper, but being able to thoughtseize someone any turn you feel like is a pretty big deal and the additional dredge couldn't hurt. It's a really surprisingly effective piece of disruption insurance.
Even if you don't have to worry about counterspells, fogs or what-have-you, it can be a huge roadblock for a single player if you really want to harass them. Your turn rolls around, you see someone sitting with 5 open mana, eagerly eying their hand in anticipation of their next turn and suddenly that 6 drop they were so excited to play evaporates, so they'll make it up with something bigger the next turn. Then you dredge for nightmare void and go in for round 2. Repeat until you're satisfied with the level of hatred you receive from the voidee. Even if it doesn't set up quite that perfectly, just picking off the best option someone has available for several turns in a row can really wear someone down fast.

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 Post subject: Re: Back from the Dead: Horde of Notions
AgePosted: 2014-Apr-30 11:16 pm 

Joined: 2012-Oct-09 1:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Stoke-On-Trent, England, UK
I run my Horde of Notions deck as close to tribal as possible too but with mine the only non elementals are wonder, anger and brawn for obvious reasons. Survival of the fittest is quite essential for this kind of deck where you are using the creatures as answers instead of spells like we are, they are much less flexible and much more expensive, like shriekmaw for example, and evoking them is an option but not always favourable.

Instead of dredge I run two mana doublers and more creatures and some sac out let lands in mine. The mana doublers allow me to afford casting the expensive creatures and also the general and to use his ability. The extra creatures means the deck can function easily without the general as it doesn't often just fall over just because the general isn't available.

I love dredge and ran a Jarad deck for the same reasons, i ended up taking it apart as it was broken but this is a much more fair version being five colours and a somewhat subtheme. Theres not a lot I can suggest that you haven't already got to be honest, the only thing missing is sac lands, like phyrexian tower, miren, the moaning well, high market which are crucial in elementals if you want to keep cycling a useful creature like mulldrifter with your general or get dredgers dead asap and then dredge. I would get some sac / utility lands, add sylvan scrying, expedition map and bin off some basics and boundless realms. (if you really need all the extra mana from realms add a mana doubler just cuz the mana base is so colour intensive)

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 Post subject: Re: Back from the Dead: Horde of Notions
AgePosted: 2014-May-01 5:41 am 
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Kharn the Betrayer wrote:
...if you really want to harass them...Repeat until you're satisfied with the level of hatred you receive from the voidee...can really wear someone down fast.

I don't know if I want to be that level of jerk. I'm not saying the card is bad or useless, but that I'm not certain where I want to put it into the deck. I may take out Boundless Realms for it--I'm still deciding on that one though.
maiden77 wrote:
...the only thing missing is sac lands, like phyrexian tower, miren, the moaning well, high market which are crucial in elementals if you want to keep cycling a useful creature like mulldrifter with your general or get dredgers dead asap and then dredge. I would get some sac / utility lands, add sylvan scrying, expedition map and bin off some basics and boundless realms. (if you really need all the extra mana from realms add a mana doubler just cuz the mana base is so colour intensive)

Additional sacrifice-driven lands would be nice, but not at the expense of either the mana fixers currently in the deck or the basics. I don't want to mill my entire library with Hermit Druid, because then I'm making the deck run as basically a combo deck (this is not my intent for the deck). Getting rid of the basics also ruins Dreamscape Artist, which is a fantastic card. Honestly, I haven't had tremendous problems with fixing colors for this deck in general, and I chalk this up to the number of draw cards in combination with the current land base.

And I don't really believe I'll need non-basic land search for this deck. Again, this is due to the amount of draw in the deck. In addition to this, cycling a Mulldrifter or Shriekmaw isn't nearly as effective as just bludgeoning someone to death with a powerful elemental. There are a lot of creatures with high P/T stats to make life difficult for everyone. There's not a true "if I mill all of these cards and Living Death them onto the battlefield I will immediately win" combination, so beating face is the primary win condition. Mulldrifter and Shriekmaw are strong, but often unnecessary secondary plans.

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 Post subject: Re: Back from the Dead: Horde of Notions
AgePosted: 2014-May-01 8:13 am 

Joined: 2012-Oct-09 1:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Stoke-On-Trent, England, UK
I think trying to run dredge alongside the 'standard' beat face of Horde puts you a little behind one or the other I suppose and my suggestions were certainly from the too competitive dredge deck I have experience with. Obviously the nonbasic search was for the sac lands so you don't need one without the other, although the nonbasic land search are epic in 5 colour, I have rarely been stuck for a colour mainly thanks to them tbh, but the decks are different style so thats fair enough. Mine is a toolbox deck where later in the game the grave may or may not be used as an extension of my hand, but rather than purposefully fill it like you are, i let it fill naturally over time. I also think leaving out buried alive is crazy talk for a graveyard based deck running black :-P its never a bad draw really and can be used to great effect with a general like Horde

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 Post subject: Re: Back from the Dead: Horde of Notions
AgePosted: 2014-May-01 8:46 am 
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maiden77 wrote:
I also think leaving out buried alive is crazy talk for a graveyard based deck running black :-P its never a bad draw really and can be used to great effect with a general like Horde

Wheel of Fortune, Windfall, and Whispering Madness--these cards do all of the heavy lifting in the deck at their cost, so much so there probably needs to be more of these effects (I know what ones there are left, I just haven't gotten around to deciding which I want to use). Buried Alive is great for tool box and/or setting up a competitive edge every game by nailing the same Elementals each time: Tyrant of Discord, Magmatic Force, and Deepfire Elemental for tool box (unless some draw is needed); and Maelstrom Wanderer, Doomgape, and Malignus for beat down.

This particular version is not quite as fast (usually... :mrgreen: ), but the draw cards make every game a guessing game of what's going to come out next.

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 Post subject: Re: Back from the Dead: Horde of Notions
AgePosted: 2014-May-01 11:29 pm 

Joined: 2012-Oct-09 1:35 am
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big difference is that buried alive doesn't fill everyone elses hand which could easily be lethal. Don't get me wrong I love me some wheel effects, but normally in decks that punish people for drawing or discarding, personally I see it as too big a draw back in a 5 colour elemental deck that doesn't run any control to defend against several full hands. Although saying that, i might totally see it dominate and steal the idea! haha its one of those try it and see kind of things i reckon! I look forward to seeing it in action. Horde vs Horde? haha :-P

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 Post subject: Re: Back from the Dead: Horde of Notions
AgePosted: 2014-May-02 12:44 am 

Joined: 2009-Nov-28 7:07 am
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I'd suggest patriarch's bidding over living death. Living death has a distinct advantage vs decks that rely strongly on tokens, I suppose.

I'd also personally push for more one-sided draw / discard (tolarian winds small casting cost, and an instant!), as filling everyone's hands is fun, but living dangerously.


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 Post subject: Re: Back from the Dead: Horde of Notions
AgePosted: 2014-May-02 5:52 am 
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green slime wrote:
I'd suggest patriarch's bidding over living death. Living death has a distinct advantage vs decks that rely strongly on tokens, I suppose.

I'd also personally push for more one-sided draw / discard (tolarian winds small casting cost, and an instant!), as filling everyone's hands is fun, but living dangerously.

Living Death also bludgeons through Indestructible, Hexproof, Shroud, Protection...

I said above I'm considering [card]Shattered Perception as a possibility, in conjunction with the others. The problem with one-sided discard-draw is often I don't have enough cards in hand to make it worthwhile. Also, I feel like Wheel/Windfall effects tend to suffer from selective memory: we always remember the time we cast them and get blown out, but we never seem to remember all of the times our opponents draw into a fistful of lands with nothing to else to do; or, the times when they draw into mediocre cards, and we forced them to discard a really great finisher. Any one of these are just as likely to happen as the others. Filling up someone else's graveyard is certainly a concern, which is something I keep my eye out for. I obviously won't play those cards unless I feel safe in doing so.

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 Post subject: Re: Back from the Dead: Horde of Notions
AgePosted: 2014-May-02 7:37 pm 

Joined: 2009-Nov-28 7:07 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Well, in that case, I'd strongly suggest bojuka bog over rocky tar pit


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 Post subject: Re: Back from the Dead: Horde of Notions
AgePosted: 2015-Apr-14 2:02 pm 
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Age: Elder Dragon
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It's been so long since I've played this deck, but I felt the need to see about some updates. I think I might need to look again into Tarkir cards, because I don't think a single one from the packs I've gotten from the block ended up making it. Then again, I feel I have some other good cards to put into here.

I'm switching out some of the draw I had before and going for more traditional draw cards.

- Wrath of God.....................+Divine Reckoning
- Whispering Madness.............+Shattered Perception
- Wheel of Fortune................+Fact or Fiction
- Windfall...........................+Bident of Thassa
- Rites of Flourishing..............+Breakthrough
- Secrets of the Dead.............+Sphinx's Revelation
- Phyrexian Altar..................+Altar of Dementia
- Dread Return.....................+Wake the Dead
- Primal Surge......................+Grave Sifter

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