Erebos Unveiled

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It was my intent to post this before I started talking about my Grand Arbiter Augustin IV deck, but my package with the new black Commander 2014 deck was delayed for some reason. I received my order after the weekend it was released, which is why I chose not to present the list, since I missed a few cards from that deck.

A few weeks ago, I discussed how I ended up with Erebos, in the post “Presenting…“. Today, I’m finally able to present my mark 1 list of Erebos, with some quite embarrassing omissions, but I’ll get to that later. A few things to note, as I constructed the deck:

exsanguinate.hq1) I didn’t want to play with Exsanguinate. The card is obviously very powerful and can swing games from nowhere, which is part of the problem. Assembling an arbitrary amount of mana and then just casting it and gaining like 60 life can sometimes just end the game right there. It’s too abrupt, it’s too easy and it’s too boring for my taste. What’s worse is that if you cast it and don’t just end the game right there, the fact that you resolved the spell will eliminate any opportunities for diplomatic play – a giant bull’s eye will be superimposed over Erebos’ head immediately. Playing the more fair versions, Drain Life, Consume Spirit, etc. is much less of an issue, since they simply don’t end the game immediately for the entire table in the same way as Exsanguinate.

2) I wanted to play into changes of the deck and evolve it over time, not just buy a bunch of the most popular black cards online and go from there. Thus, the list has some blatant omissions that will eventually be fixed, most notably Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, Solemn Simulacrum, All is Dust, Vesuva, and Bloodchief Ascension.

3) The deck is intended for multiplayer play. It should be able to control the entire table when it comes to creatures quite easily, and it should pose some sort of a threat as well.

From these rules, I worked on a few different varieties of lists and I drafted a finished product with not only obvious inclusions like Crypt Ghast, Damnation, Cabal Coffers and so on, but also some cool cards that I wanted to try out in the format – i.e. Crypt Rats, Pestilence etc. The deck, in the end, chews through its own life quite quickly with Erebos himself doing most of the chugging, but also the two aforementioned cards, Phyrexian Reclamation, Read the Bones and friends, Promise of Power, and other typically black cards also put some hurt on the pilot. I was pleasantly surprised to find, in the middle of a game, that Gray Merchant of Asphodel reads “each opponent”  and not “target opponent”, meaning it gained me 21 life instead of the measly 7 I had expected. Life gain is quite important to the deck. My secret dream is to recur Gray Merchant of Asphodel with Phyrexian Reclamation, but it hasn’t come up yet.

An earlier draft of the deck played a lot of colorless mana rocks – Grim Monolith and Mana Vault alongside the obvious Sol Ring, but while Mana Vault enables a turn 2 Erebos, so does Sol Ring and I found out quickly that the deck is hungry for black mana, not really colourless mana. Grim Monolith and Mana Vault not untapping properly was an issue, which meant they both were cut after only a single game with the deck.

necromanticselection.fullFinally, on Monday afternoon, after a weekend of extra waiting while everybody else bought their decks in stores, I got my *pre-ordered* deck in the mail. I can’t wait to try some of the new cards, Myriad Landscape, and Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath himself, though I fear the latter might be one of the weaker planeswalkers in the new set. I even added Demon of Wailing Agonies, since Erebos is quite hard to remove, turning on Lieutenant shouldn’t be that hard, and a 6/6 flier for 5 that acts as removal has to be pretty decent. He is just a dumb beater, though, so he might not stick around. We’ll see. Finally, the card I am most excited about is Necromantic Selection, which is way at the top of the curve, but is essentially a mono-black Duneblast with the upside that it can grab a good creature your opponent’s control too. What was even better was that the deck contained a bunch of cards I was planning to eventually get, but just hadn’t had the time to trade for yet – Bloodgift Demon, Pontiff of Blight, Magus of the Coffers, Sudden Spoiling to name a few, and I’m okay with a couple of extra copies of Grave Titan lying around. Out of the three Commander releases, Commander 2014 seems to contain the best constructed decks by far, and they all seem quite good value. The red one might be the best pound-for-pound, but they ought to match well against each other.

With these new cards added to the mix, I’m ready to start tearing up tables at the LGC. The list, in its entirety: You’re the boss, Erebos on TappedOut.net.

What do you think of the deck? Aside some of the most obvious inclusions mentioned, are there any other cards I should add?

Also, I spent more time than ever linking cards in this post – do you, as a reader, appreciate that? It really breaks the flow of writing, and if nobody is clicking them (I get just a few from the stats), I won’t bother with it in the future.

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4 Comments

  1. psykopatmullvad

     /  November 11, 2014

    On rule number 1: I agree. That card is not fun. I dont run it in my Zurgo either.
    And yes, i love the linking. Makes it a whole lot easier to look up cards I dont know by heart.
    Looking forward to meet the deck (again?).

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Grim Lavamancer

     /  November 11, 2014

    I very much appreciate the links, EDH is a format filled with obscure cards and since I don’t play legacy anymore the links on those articles are very helpful as well. Nice deck by the way, will you bring it along on friday as well?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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