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MTG Commander/Elder Dragon Highlander • View topic - Endrek Sahr Sac Outlets - thoughts?

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 Post subject: Endrek Sahr Sac Outlets - thoughts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-14 4:31 pm 

Joined: 2017-Nov-14 2:50 pm
Age: Wyvern
Working on an decklist, planning on building on paper to use at my LGS. I love the idea of Endrek, as his ability is a force multiplier unlike any other I've seen in MTG. Up to seven creatures for the price of one is crazy, and I love it. Naturally, the deck is built around sacrificing creatures for various useful benefits. The goal is to win by controlling opponents' board states, then wearing them down through life drain and attacks, if necessary. I've playtested it a bit 1v1 with a friend on Cockatrice, but I have no idea how it will work in a group setting yet.

I've been playing Commander for about a year or so, so I'm still working on my deckbuilding strategies. I'm... sorta on a budget? I don't really have any set amount I'm working with, and I'm willing to spend 5-10 bucks on a card if it's a perfect fit for the deck, but I don't really want to spend more than much more than that, especially if there are cheaper substitutes (hence no when works just fine), and I'm certainly not dropping $40 on a or anything crazy like that.

(Sorry that these aren't categorized any better beyond card type. I'm just not sure how I'd categorize a lot of these since so many of them perform multiple functions. Would Ashnod's Altar go under sac outlets or mana acceleration?)

THE LIST:
Commander:


Creatures (28):
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x (One of two creatures in here that instakills Endrek on entry. Strong effect, but not sure if worth.)
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x

Instants (6):
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x (This is basically just in there for the lols, and opponents won't likely expect it)

Sorceries (11):
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x

Artifacts (10):
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x

Enchantments (8):
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x

Land (36):
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x
1x (I think I'm going to swap this one out)
26x
1x
1x

So yeah, that's the list. Along with creature sacrifice, it also includes a lot card draw, much of it fueled by creature sacrifice, plus mana acceleration to help speed it up (admittedly the curve is a bit slow at start) and make use of the card advantage it can generate. There's also a good bit of reanimate to counteract removal, bring stuff back if I decide to sac nontokens, and also grab Endrek from grave if I want to skip commander tax.

I expect lifedrain to do a lot of the work in this deck, though it has a few bombs to act as big finishers. is monstrous in this deck and deserves special mention, despite instantly killing Endrek on cast. Tutoring for up to 8 cards at once essentially allows me to approach any given situation as I see fit. It's particularly weak to counterspells, since Endrek's trigger is on cast and he'll die anyway even if it's countered, so I'll have to be careful when I play it, but even if it doesn't land I still have 8 thrulls at my disposal, so not all will be lost.

Other big, splashy cards include the traditional black staples of and , plus stuff like can also hit hard. There are a couple of very-undercosted fatties in and which are fueled pretty easily by Endrek's thrulls. I'm considering also adding to be able to add lots of lifedrain to my spells if needed, though I'm not yet sure what I'd remove for it.

One of my main concerns with the deck is that I'm not sure it will do too well against decks that aren't extremely creature-heavy. Mono-black is notoriously bad at dealing with artifacts and enchantments ( is pretty much the only artifact/enchantment kill in here), and although the reanimate and mana acceleration can help it get past counterspells, I don't think it really has much of an answer to spellslingers beyond trying to kill them faster.

I may be able to fight those kinds of decks with some mass-discard effects like , , , etc, but I don't know if that's just... too oppressive. Some of the players at my LGS run pretty strong decks, so I've considered it, but I'm not sure just how oppressive a card discard theme can get, compared to stuff like mass land destruction, which my group generally frowns upon.

Anyway, I think that's just about it. Let me know what you think. Thanks for reading!


Last edited by rpgtiger on 2017-Nov-16 3:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Endrek Sahr Sac Outlets - thoughts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-15 8:22 am 
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Joined: 2014-Jul-28 8:30 am
Age: Dragon
Left unchecked, can be a house.


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 Post subject: Re: Endrek Sahr Sac Outlets - thoughts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-16 2:59 am 

Joined: 2017-Nov-14 2:50 pm
Age: Wyvern
I actually had in an earlier version of the decklist. When I revamped it, I think it either slipped through the cracks, or I thought that the "nonblack" clause could end up screwing me over at the worst times and leave me with a dead card when playing against other decks running black.

Then again, I did include , so I could probably slot Attrition back in.

Anyway, I printed up some proxies of the cards I didn't have, and tested this a bit at my LGS last night. It actually won both games I played, but they were both under unusual circumstances. The first was when we decided to give 3-headed giant EDH a shot, which I would not recommend, by the way, and I dropped a big Exsanguinate, which hits for triple damage in 3-man team games (and mercifully ended it before it dragged on any longer). The second time was a 1v1 against a friend of mine who's newer to EDH than I am (he understood going into it that he would probably lose), and I just waaaayyyy outpaced him. I'll try it in some hopefully more-normal circumstances later this week.


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 Post subject: Re: Endrek Sahr Sac Outlets - thoughts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-16 10:54 pm 
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Joined: 2014-Jul-28 8:30 am
Age: Dragon
I play in and I will admit that sometimes it is a dead draw. However, there are also times when you get to machine gun your opponents' critters and steal the game.


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 Post subject: Re: Endrek Sahr Sac Outlets - thoughts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-21 4:34 am 

Joined: 2017-Nov-14 2:50 pm
Age: Wyvern
A few things I've gleaned from playtesting:

I'm pretty sure I need more ways of token generation outside of Endrek. The deck is predicated on sacrificing tokens, but other than Endrek and it doesn't have a ton of other ways of generating them. If Endrek gets hated out it can be hard for the deck to do much. would be perfect for this deck, but it's out of my price range (Curse you, modern players!!). Looking at Gatherer, there are a number of intriguing options for this sort of thing, which I'll have to think over as I rework this thing.

The other main issue is artifacts and enchantments. My initial worries were correct in that this deck just cannot deal with artifacts and enchantments. Like, at all. And it can easily lose games because of this. The only idea I might have on how to fix this would be to add the discard effects I was considering in the original post (, , , , etc.) and try to hate out any dangerous non-creatures before they even hit field. But are there any alternatives to this in black? I feel like keeping repeatable discard effects out would make me a pretty big target, and in MP games I doubt I'd have enough juice to deny everyone's hands.


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 Post subject: Re: Endrek Sahr Sac Outlets - thoughts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-21 7:45 am 
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Joined: 2016-Nov-27 2:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon

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 Post subject: Re: Endrek Sahr Sac Outlets - thoughts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-22 2:57 am 

Joined: 2010-Apr-16 6:59 am
Age: Drake
Location: Freemont, NE (Omaha area) USA
Go here for more really good ideas:

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=12196

Squirrely and others spent a bunch of time on this idea. I think you will find it well worth the read. You are already on the right track.

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Last edited by syssc9 on 2017-Nov-22 6:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Endrek Sahr Sac Outlets - thoughts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-22 3:46 am 
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Joined: 2010-Dec-13 6:01 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Washington D.C.
+ creatures = Profit.

Just mentioning this for casual passersby, you don't have to donate with ;)

EDIT: I know you wanted to talk about sac outlets, but why sac Endrek if you don't need to?

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 Post subject: Re: Endrek Sahr Sac Outlets - thoughts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-23 2:43 pm 

Joined: 2017-Nov-14 2:50 pm
Age: Wyvern
Thanks for the inputs, all.

spacemonaut - Yeah, I had been looking at a lot of those token generators. There's some pretty good stuff available. And thanks for the help with the artifacts and enchantment stuff, too.

syssc9 - Wow, that's actually a really good thread. Thanks for pointing me towards that.'

And Superstrength, wow I didn't know about Assault Suit, that's hilarious.


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 Post subject: Re: Endrek Sahr Sac Outlets - thoughts?
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-17 2:37 am 
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Joined: 2010-Dec-13 6:01 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Washington D.C.
Yeah, I *think* I picked up a set of a few months ago, because it's going to be a new staple for me. So many sac effects in the game, that's it's just worth it to protect your Commander with.

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 Post subject: Re: Endrek Sahr Sac Outlets - thoughts?
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-17 5:48 am 

Joined: 2010-Dec-14 4:04 pm
Age: Dragon
Location: Boston, MA
FYI, and will draw the game if you don't have a way to get rid of one of them or some of the thrulls.


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 Post subject: Re: Endrek Sahr Sac Outlets - thoughts?
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-21 4:52 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
Coco is correct. Endrek Sahr's ability is a state trigger. This means that it triggers as soon as the condition is true. It won't trigger again while the ability is on the stack, but it will trigger again as soon as the ability resolves and Endrek Sahr fails to be sacrificed. So the game will never progress, because all it can do is attempt to make you sac Endrek and fail. If you want to keep Endrek, it's much better to go the route, which I see is already on the list (and in pretty much every Endrek list ever, because duh).

As far as the list goes, my only question is "Why no ?"... I mean, you've got the Butcher and the Dictate, so why not go for the trifecta? It's an absurdly powerful ability in a deck like this.

Have you thought about ? Not a sac outlet per se, but seems to fit the theme.

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