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 Post subject: [1:N, Mayael] Dear Mayael...
AgePosted: 2008-Dec-26 7:52 am 
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Joined: 2008-Dec-26 7:50 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Amsterdam, Holland
Dear Mayeal,

I've played like a mixture of a Johny and a Spike for a long time now. Preferring to play (wacky) combo or control over anything agro. The only time I play an agro deck is when I am teaching someone the game, however those decks are very sub-par, only usefull for teaching, not for serious games. I fear my inner Timmy is being neglected, please Mayael, can you help me?

Well, looks like Mayael can help. Let me explain my goal here. My group has come up with the idea to start on EDH and all of us have started building some decks. When choosing my general I decided I really wanted to try something off the beaten path as far as my normal playstyle is concerned. What I normally do is build decks that win through attrition, lot's of recursion, answers to anything and everything, probably a wishboard for the less common situations, etc. Or, alternatively I build some combo deck, trying to play as many synergistic cards as I can that will actually do stuff when played outside the combo as well. Basically I am most happy when I have some kind of recursion going.

This time though I wanted something different. I browsed through a list of the legends in magic and came up with these as possible options:

1 [MI] Asmira, Holy Avenger
1 [DIS] Lyzolda, the Blood Witch
1 [AP] Cromat
1 [LG] Tetsuo Umezawa
1 [IA] Merieke Ri Berit
1 [LRW] Doran, the Siege Tower
1 [ALA] Mayael the Anima

Some of these were scrapped because they would probably push me towards the kind of deck I'd normally be playing. Others were scrapped because I thought they wouldn't be good enough or fun enough (in the case of Cromat I thought it would maybe be too good, with all the special lands I have a 5 color manabase feels easier to create than a 3 color one). In the end Mayael came rolling out as she would force me to play with big creatures, keep my deck relatively simple and in general force me to get out of my comfort zone.

The deck below is the results of a few deckbuilding iterations. The problem with earlier versions was that the deck would roll over to anything that put a large number of creatures in play. Hence the inclusion of quite a bit of mass destruction. Another thing which I realized is that all the decks my group build were quite slow (we always play multiplayer with 3-6 people, chaos style). Earlier versions contained lots of accelerants which just weren't needed as much as I thought. Especially starting at 40 life made it easy to have the curve start a little higher. Mayael being only 3 mana to cast helps, if needed she can be an early blocker. What I am looking for is suggestions on how to improve on this deck. After the whole list I will discuss the cards in more detail.

// Lands

1 [LRW] Windbrisk Heights
1 [LRW] Mosswort Bridge
1 [IA] Snow-Covered Forest
1 [SHM] Wooded Bastion
1 [IA] Forest
1 [IA] Plains
1 [IA] Mountain
1 [ALA] Naya Panorama
1 [TE] Reflecting Pool
1 [SHM] Fire-Lit Thicket
1 [ON] Wooded Foothills
1 [ON] Windswept Heath
1 [UL] Treetop Village
1 [R] Savannah
1 [R] Plateau
1 [SHM] Sapseep Forest
1 [RAV] Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion
1 [SHM] Mistveil Plains
1 [EVE] Springjack Pasture
1 [NE] Kor Haven
1 [UD] Yavimaya Hollow
1 [PS] Rith's Grove
1 [JU] Krosan Verge
1 [UL] Forbidding Watchtower
1 [R] Taiga
1 [RAV] Vitu-Ghazi, the City-Tree
1 [TSP] Kher Keep
1 [RAV] Boros Garrison
1 [RAV] Selesnya Sanctuary
1 [GP] Gruul Turf
1 [ALA] Jungle Shrine
1 [RAV] Temple Garden
1 [GP] Stomping Ground
1 [RAV] Sacred Foundry
1 [GP] Skarrg, the Rage Pits
1 [IA] Snow-Covered Mountain
1 [UL] Ghitu Encampment
1 [WL] Winding Canyons
1 [SC] Temple of the False God

// Creatures

1 [ON] Krosan Tusker
1 [SC] Eternal Dragon
1 [SOK] Arashi, the Sky Asunder
1 [PLC] Magus of the Arena
1 [NE] Ancient Hydra
1 [TE] Verdant Force
1 [SHM] Woodfall Primus
1 [SHM] Twilight Shepherd
1 [MOR] Spitebellows
1 [LRW] Cloudthresher
1 [LRW] Flamekin Harbinger
1 [ON] Venomspout Brackus
1 [IN] Sabertooth Nishoba
1 [ALA] Flameblast Dragon
1 [SHM] Oversoul of Dusk
1 [LRW] Treefolk Harbinger
1 [EVE] Wickerbough Elder
1 [GP] Living Inferno
1 [PLC] Mire Boa
1 [VI] River Boa
1 [US] Crater Hellion
1 [US] Shivan Hellkite
1 [TSP] Bogardan Hellkite
1 [OD] Kamahl, Pit Fighter
1 [SHM] Windbrisk Raptor
1 [JU] Pulsemage Advocate
1 [SC] Fierce Empath
1 [JU] Nullmage Advocate
1 [DIS] Indrik Stomphowler
1 [FD] Eternal Witness
1 [JU] Genesis
1 [PLC] Dust Elemental
1 [ALA] Godsire
1 [LRW] Ashling the Pilgrim
1 [MM] Vine Trellis
1 [MI] Wall of Roots
1 [TSP] Magus of the Disk
1 [FUT] Scourge of Kher Ridges
1 [ALA] Spearbreaker Behemoth
1 [RAV] Blazing Archon

// Spells

1 [CHK] Sensei's Divining Top
1 [LG] Sylvan Library
1 [MI] Worldly Tutor
1 [PT] Sylvan Tutor
1 [TE] Scroll Rack
1 [ALA] Naya Charm
1 [UL] Defense of the Heart
1 [SH] Fanning the Flames
1 [IN] Breath of Darigaaz
1 [SHM] Firespout
1 [R] Wrath of God
1 [IN] Rout
1 [LRW] Austere Command
1 [PLC] Pyrohemia
1 [AQ] Tawnos's Coffin
1 [US] Catastrophe
1 [ON] Starstorm
1 [PS] Eladamri's Call
1 [TE] Mirri's Guile
1 [OD] Kirtar's Wrath

// Sideboard

SB: 1 [ALA] Mayael the Anima

The extra discussion:

// Lands

Not much to add here I think. I included any good lands that produce multiple mana in my colors. Besides this I included any man lands and token producers I could find (kjeldoran outpost and urza's factory were deemed not good enough). I think an argument could be made for mishra's factory or blinkmoth nexus, but I don't like how they provide colorless mana. I am playing my lands highlander as well, mostly just because I can.

// Creatures

1 [ON] Krosan Tusker
1 [SC] Eternal Dragon
1 [SOK] Arashi, the Sky Asunder
1 [MOR] Spitebellows
1 [LRW] Cloudthresher

All large enough creatures to get hit by Mayael that provide me nice abilities even when I can't cast them. I don't think the other land searchers or cyclers are good enough. I would have loved elvish aberration to have its P/T switched though.

1 [PLC] Magus of the Arena
1 [NE] Ancient Hydra
1 [ON] Venomspout Brackus
1 [ALA] Flameblast Dragon
1 [GP] Living Inferno
1 [US] Crater Hellion
1 [US] Shivan Hellkite
1 [TSP] Bogardan Hellkite
1 [OD] Kamahl, Pit Fighter
1 [TSP] Magus of the Disk
1 [FUT] Scourge of Kher Ridges
1 [LRW] Ashling the Pilgrim

These guys are good at killing (a lot of) stuff, especially creatures. I love the hellion and really like the Brackus (together with Arashi) against whatever comes in through the skies. Haven't actually had the scourge in play yet, but I'm probably going to enjoy having that about as much. The others are just your basic killers.

1 [TE] Verdant Force
1 [ALA] Godsire
1 [IN] Sabertooth Nishoba
1 [SHM] Oversoul of Dusk

I am playing Mayael, these are just very basic heavy hitters. I have played darksteel colossus in the past, however it didn't really do all that much (at least nothing other cards couldn't do for a lower mana cost).

1 [SHM] Woodfall Primus
1 [SHM] Twilight Shepherd
1 [ALA] Spearbreaker Behemoth
1 [JU] Genesis
1 [FD] Eternal Witness
1 [PLC] Dust Elemental

These keep things alive and are good at staying alive. Dust elemental is especially nice with all the global removal I have, though it can be annoying to hit with Mayael. I know from other decks Dusty is really hard to stop having both fear and flying.

1 [LRW] Flamekin Harbinger
1 [LRW] Treefolk Harbinger
1 [SC] Fierce Empath

Search for stuff, note that I'll often use the treefolk harbringer just to fix my mana, but can use it to get rid of some problematic artifact or enchantment. The empath I haven't had in play yet, maybe it's not worth it.

1 [EVE] Wickerbough Elder
1 [JU] Pulsemage Advocate
1 [JU] Nullmage Advocate
1 [DIS] Indrik Stomphowler

I realized I had plenty of time in the games we played, so why not put the utility I am looking for on creatures. I am expecting the advocates to give me some nice options for politics, but probably the pulsemage is a little too good for my group's liking, I haven't had it in play yet.

1 [RAV] Blazing Archon
1 [SHM] Windbrisk Raptor

Just some measures to avoid getting killed.

1 [PLC] Mire Boa
1 [VI] River Boa
1 [MM] Vine Trellis
1 [MI] Wall of Roots

Some early creatures to keep opponents at bay. Most people in my group seem to be having either islands or swamps so the boa's can actually be used to get in some damage at times.

// Spells

1 [CHK] Sensei's Divining Top
1 [LG] Sylvan Library
1 [TE] Mirri's Guile
1 [TE] Scroll Rack

I like me some card selection, especially if it works really well with Mayael. I have considered cream of the crop, but it always felt a bit weird. Most often I did not want to put that many of those cards on the bottom of my library.

1 [MI] Worldly Tutor
1 [PT] Sylvan Tutor
1 [UL] Defense of the Heart
1 [PS] Eladamri's Call

Some basic tutoring. I tried congregation at dawn as well, but most often it would be a 3 mana worldly tutor. I am now trying the call to see whether I like that better.

1 [ALA] Naya Charm

All 3 options are nice, still waiting for a situation where I can just march through an opponent's defenses with the white option.

1 [SH] Fanning the Flames
1 [IN] Breath of Darigaaz
1 [SHM] Firespout
1 [R] Wrath of God
1 [IN] Rout
1 [LRW] Austere Command
1 [PLC] Pyrohemia
1 [US] Catastrophe
1 [ON] Starstorm
1 [OD] Kirtar's Wrath

I like to kill stuff :). Actually typing this out only now I realize how much removal I am actually playing. I guess some of the creatures my opponents played really scared me! I have tried retalliation as well, but the taking a hit to make it work part kind of put me off. It probably didn't help that the first time that hit was for 25 life points.

1 [AQ] Tawnos's Coffin

It allows for lots of recursion, takes out the most annoying creature on the board, let's me reuse any comes into play abilities (note it does not phase anymore), it even turns ancient hydra into a machine gun. What's not to like.

What's going wrong here. I notice that even though I have lots of large creatures it is not that easy to get through to my opponents. Also 40 life is a lot. We play between 1 PM and 6 PM and if we have 5-6 people we normally don't finish the game (not playing especially slowly either, we are actually considering moving down to starting with 20 life). Besides this I like how this deck can generally hold its own, people never seem to want to get into a fight with the guy who is commanding the larger creatures. I am however a little afraid that when they decide to do so I probably will not be able to handle more than one, if that.

Well, thanks for reading! Any suggestions?

Thanks.

pi

p.s. as I've searched for this before, the miss percentages: viewtopic.php?p=19455#p19455

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Last edited by pi on 2016-Oct-25 1:34 am, edited 7 times in total.

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AgePosted: 2008-Dec-26 9:54 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Omaha
A couple of standouts from my own Mayael Deck:

Tornado Elemental
Akroma, Angel of Wrath
Vigor
Living Hive

The Tornado Elemental, especially. Batting down hordes of angels and dragons and vampires is always a welcome ability.

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AgePosted: 2008-Dec-26 10:11 am 
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Joined: 2008-Dec-26 7:50 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Amsterdam, Holland
Jeyal wrote:
A couple of standouts from my own Mayael Deck:

Tornado Elemental
Akroma, Angel of Wrath
Vigor
Living Hive

The Tornado Elemental, especially. Batting down hordes of angels and dragons and vampires is always a welcome ability.

Thanks for your reply.

I agree the elemental can have merrit. The problem is I'm playing a number of fliers myself while most of my opponents don't. Ok, one guy is playing Zur, but the others are all more or less ground based. If they would start playing more flyers though I definitely think the elemental should go in.

I am not sure what akroma adds above any other heavy hitter, She'd be fighting for a place with verdant force, godsire, sabertooth nishoba and oversoul of dusk. I think she loses from both the token builders as (hopefully) they leave some stuff behind if they are killed and also from the oversoul because it has protection from more and is a little easier to cast. The fight would be between her and the nishoba and I think I like the nishoba better for its esier casting cost.

Regarding Vigor, I thought it worked like Purity in that it only counted non-combat damage. As it doesn't this would be a serious consideration. Most of my opponents would have issues with this.

Living hive is nice, but when I'm already hitting an opponent I don't think those extra tokens are something I'd really need. I'd rather play some extra utility, like the elemental or vigor.

Would you perhaps have (a link to) a decklist for your own deck?

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I'm a gabber and I feel OK
I dance all night and I sleep all day


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Last edited by pi on 2010-Apr-25 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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AgePosted: 2008-Dec-26 11:09 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Omaha
Hey, no problem.

Here's the link to the most current decklist: http://edh.truespace.ca/EDH_Forum/viewt ... 1214#11214

I've got a huge concentration of targets for Mayel, probably more than necessary.

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AgePosted: 2008-Dec-26 11:13 am 

Joined: 2008-Feb-24 6:29 pm
Age: Wyvern
Akroma is pretty much an immediate cut above Sabertooth Nishoba, who is pretty much a bad oversoul of dusk.

If you want some removal, I'd put Hateflayer in over ancient hydra.

My Mayael deck also features an impressive amount of land thinning as the acceleration. Artifacts are well and good, but mayael wants as fatty dense a deck as possible, and pulling anything that isn't a fatty out of the deck during the game works really well for me. By turn 13 or so, I've usually got my pick of cards to pull out with any given go, and I haven't whiffed in the late game at all.


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AgePosted: 2008-Dec-26 11:51 am 
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Jeyal, thanks for the link. I see we came up with many of the same ideas and I can see you're heading in a somewhat different direction than I am, but nothing spectacularly different. I am especially wondering how those spells are doing for you and whether anything works especially well?

DavinciCoder, in a 1 on 1 fight akroma always whips the Nishoba's ass, yes. However, I notice for the Shepherd the WWW is actually difficult to come by at times. GW on the other hand is pretty easy. I am also noticing a mana cost creep in my deck, Ideally most fatties I play are 5-6 mana, however I seem to be finding more and more 7-8 mana stuff that really is too good to ignore. While akroma is really good, in the end she does not do more than simply beating down (though she sure is very good at that). I'm just not sure she's worth it, but will reconsider.

The problem with hateflayer is the same as with akroma, it costs a lot more mana wise. With the flayer having the aditional risk of dying in combat. On the other hand I did not at first realize the 'vigilance' this gives the creature. Possibly this is better than shivan hellkite or something else at a higher mana cost than the hydra. Btw, I really, really like the hydra in that there are always plenty of annoying little critters on the board and it so easily takes care of them. The flayer will need several untaps and much more mana to do the same as the hydra if your opponents have lots of smaller stuff (like mine often do).

I like the idea of land thinning, you might also notice the fetches and land cyclers in my deck, however I feel many of those cards only offer me a single effect. I could however imagine playing something like silverglade elemental , seedguide ash or wirewood guardian to do the deck thinning as they provide me with blockers as well. I unfortunately don't play enough basics for cards that only search for basics, otherwise there'd be some other nice options to consider.

One thing to realize here is that I am not too worried about Mayael missing every once in a while. My assumption is that if I really need her to hit I am probably in a very bad position anyway. Not that I want to go below those 25 though, but will only play more if they really add to the deck without pushing the average mana cost up too much.

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AgePosted: 2008-Dec-26 9:02 pm 
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As far as noncreature spells go, Defense of the Heart as been absolutely awesome. To fetch Akroma and Razia at the beginning of my upkeep, or Crater Hellion + Bogardan Hellkite is pretty awesome. It doesn't have an infinite combo attached to it in these colors, but it doesn't really need to to be effective.

I'm sure Seedborn Muse isn't that great, but every time I seem to draw her, the incremental card advantage gained through Mayel re-use is quite substantial.

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AgePosted: 2008-Dec-27 2:27 am 
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Yeah, nothing but good experience with the defense here as well. I especially like to get crater hellion and something to get my stuff back (genesis, twilight shepherd) or start a loop, like dust elemental and eternal witness.

As you're such a fan of the muse, have you considered patron of the orochi for a similar effect on a creature with a higher power? Or might it be that without fetches you're a little worried you will not have the mana? (Krosan verge is a cheap fetch anyway, I'm surprised you're not running it)

How are these cards doing for you?

Brightflame

I am afraid that this is often pretty expensive to cast, I mean, 7 mana to take out an X/3 and a good chance of hitting your own creatures as well. The lifegain though sure is nice.

Sprout Swarm

I'd think you often don't have enough creatures for the convoke, but I'm guessing that doesn't really matter as you'll soon work of the tokens anyway?

Drumhunter

Isn't this a bit expensive for what it does? Wouldn't you rather have a captain sisay and perhaps a few legendary lands to also fetch with her? I am very happy with the legendary lands I am playing.

Stonebrow, Krosan Hero

Do you have enough guys with trample?

In the web of War

At 5 mana, I'd think there might be better things to play, does giving the creature haste really give you that much of an advanatage?

Rings of Brightheart

How's this doing besides the obvious copying of Mayael's ability?

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AgePosted: 2008-Dec-27 9:47 am 
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Rings of Brightearth is awesome. It copies Mayael's ability, fetch lands (I SHOULD have a Krosan Verge), cycling, landcycling, Miren and Skarrg and Sunhome, Greater Good, and the occasional effect of something like Scourge of Kher Ridges or Bloodfire Collossus or Razia.

Drumhunter is pretty good. The mana production is usually irrelevant, but drawing an extra card a turn isn't bad.

I think, since that list was last updated I've cut Stonebrow and Sprout Swarm for Spitebellows and Rustmouth Ogre.

Brightflame has only been cast once (although whnen it did, for six mana it knocked out a huge cadre of saprolings and birds anf elves).It would probably be the next to go, if I had a better option. Maybe Austere Command?

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AgePosted: 2008-Dec-27 10:03 am 
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The command is pretty good, but so are the coffin and scroll rack.

I thought the hunter would be most usefull for the card drawing, however why not go for some more specific card drawing in the form of captain sisay then? However, do you actually need the cards? I find that I almost always have a pretty full hand but this might be the way I play, which is in general pretty defensively. It's even becoming so common I am beginning to consider moving my library of alexandria into this deck.

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AgePosted: 2008-Dec-27 4:14 pm 
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I know Scroll Rack is perfect for the deck, but unfortunately, I am without one, and not in the position to purchase cards at this point.

I play offfensively almost always, because everyone else in my playgroup loves to sit on their defenses. Creatures are meant to be turned sideways, so they might as well be mine.


As far as Captain Sisay, perhaps I'll try it in the Drumhunter's spot. That would make me want to run Reki, and non-basic up my lands, though, and there's a good amount of nonbasic hate I'm trying to avoid.

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AgePosted: 2008-Dec-28 3:01 am 
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I'd be one of those sitting on their defenses to be honest. Though if I see a save way to take someone out I will.

Reki is indeed nice then, however, aren't you afraid that if sisay's not already going to paint a big bull's eye on your head the both of them are going to? Non-basic hate is almost extinct at my table, people either blow up all lands or maybe use strip mine. So far I think I might have lost one of the karoos once, a heights another time (when it was only hiding a hollow) and that hollow when it was being seriously good together with a twilight shepherd they just couldn't kill.

I have ordered a few of the suggested cards, Akroma, Vigor and Hateflayer, to try them out. Will pick them up later today and play around with the deck a bit tomorrow to come up with a new decklist, will post it here then. Got a day of playing magic ahead of me :).

Jeyal wrote:
[defense of the heart] doesn't have an infinite combo attached to it in these colors, but it doesn't really need to to be effective.

Actually, thinking about this, how about kiki-jiki, mirror breaker and seeker of skybreak, activating kiki-jiki after the at end of turn triggers in your last opponents turn to put into play a bunch of hasted, tapped elves, then untapping them during your turn and attack with an infinite amount of elves (or whatever else you have lying about, as kiki-jiki helped by the elves can also untap a few more times).

Neither card is bad in the deck, though I am not sure I feel they're worth it. Possibly it fits a little better in your deck, with kiki-jiki replacing in the web of war and the seeker going in for something else as bloom tender, seeker and rings also make an infinite combo (and infinite mayael activations!).

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AgePosted: 2008-Dec-29 6:21 am 
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Well, played it a bit again a couple nights ago. Rings of Brightearth is awesome.

The game went something like double EOT Mayel activation -> Scourge of Kher Ridges + Vigor; then playing Crater Hellion during the next main phase, clearing the feild save for the Vigor and (now 10/10) Scourge. And the 6/7 Mayael, of course.

I'm beginning to agree on the In the Web of War. I'll scour my stuff for a good replacement. The deck puts EOT creatures into play too much for the hast to be relevant.

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AgePosted: 2008-Dec-29 10:06 am 
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That indeed sounds pretty good :). But also pretty lucky ;).

I am seriously considering the rings myself, I just counted and I have over 30 cards in my deck that have an ability that could be reasonably good to copy (and over 40 if you count all abilities it coulf copy, but copying spearbreaker behemoth's ability is not generally usefull for example). Just not sure what to cut for it.

As you are considering replacing the In the Web of War, what kik-jiki does really is quite similar, however, that does give you a good use even when creatures are put into play eot. Only question in my mind is then, do you include the seeker of skybreak or not. In my deck it does work nicely with over 10 cards in the deck and gives any creature vigilence. But is 10% really enough?

All thinks considered, it's definitely not in the spirit of Mayael to be able to go off with some kind of combo. Possibly you don't mind that yourself.

I played a few games myself yesterday. I won all EDH games with Mayael (3 of them). As we were with 3 that was of course above average, but the games were a bit random because of it and I just happened to come out on top. I particularly like one game though. One opponent really came blazing out of the gate while both I and the other opponent were mana screwed. The non-screwed opponent also managed to find strip mine and get an eternal witness loop going. I never got more than 2 colorless mana, a reflecting pool and some random land that would give me some color if I was lucky, I did not actually see red at all during the game. I still won because I got a pulsemage advocate out, kept giving the opponent land searchers and a chill to the bone back and eventually was able to overwhelm them with creatures that were discarded earlier. Also when the non-screwed opponent had a magus of the disk out and I had a defense that would trigger he decided that the magus should be able to destroy anything that I might put into play. I in turn got woodfall primus and silvos :) (Silvos still is in the 'live' version of the deck while I wait for some cards to get in so I can update it, the last 2 should be in this week).

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AgePosted: 2008-Dec-29 10:59 am 
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Joined: 2007-Mar-28 12:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Omaha
I'll certainly try Kiki-Jiki for In the Web of War. Bogardan Hellkite certainly won't mind like-minded freinds. (I should get a Woodfall Primus, too...)

As for the Seeker, it comboes with Mayael herself, so that may be worth it after all. Most attractive in-deck creatures to untap would be Bloom Tender and Razia, I think. Maybe Arashi...?

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