MTG Commander/Elder Dragon Highlander

Izoni, Thousand Elved (First Draft)
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Author:  Jeyal [ 2018-Oct-09 9:43 am ]
Post subject:  Izoni, Thousand Elved (First Draft)

Izoni, Thousand-Eyed

My playgroup has been on a building frenzy of new decks recently, as well as a general downtick in the power of the average deck- -opting for synergy and theme instead of brute force of late. Ergo, this attempt at an Izoni deck that eschews the typical ways to fill the graveyard (dredge, self-mill) and instead wants to play a bit more organically- -filling up the graveyard via creature combat and/or other people's sweepers. To keep from getting entirely blown out, I wanted to have every creature in my deck generate a bit of advantage- -ergo this is the "30 Elvish Visionarys deck".

Oct. 10, 2018
This is certainly a rough draft (not even in paper yet, not even really considering a manabase yet), so feel free to offer any insight!

"Elvish Visionaries" (Currently 29)

(Strict Card Draw)
Elvish Visionary
Wall of Blossoms
Multani's Acolyte
Dusk Legion Zealot
Generous Stray
Phyrexian Rager
Carven Caryatid
Shaman of Spring
Rhox Oracle
Masked Admirers
Striped Bears
Disciple of Bolas
Champion of Dusk
Kavu Climber
Arctic Wolves
Sage of Ancient Lore
Phyrexian Gargantua
(Basic Land "Draw")
Civic Wayfinder
Borderland Ranger
District Guide
Pilgrim's Eye
(Recursion "Draw")
Eternal Witness
Golgari Findbroker
Desecrator Hag
Pharika's Mender
Baloth Null

Elvish Visionary" Synergy (Currently 7)

Stampeding Wildebeests
Stampeding Serow
Skull Collector
Roaring Primadox
Temur Sabertooth
Beast Whisperer
Primordial Sage

Other ETB Effects (Currently 8)

Elvish Rejuvenator (Wood Elves shuffling every turn would be pretty time-consuming, otherwise I might include them here).
Reclamation Sage
Agent of Erebos
Solemn Simulacrum
Acidic Slime
Phyrexian Delver
Whiptongue Hydra
Bane of Progress

Alongside those cards which naturally chain into each other, Izoni also creates a lot of creatures all of the sudden. The rest of the deck looks to get a payoff from a large number of insects (or a moderately sizes number of smallish nontoken creatures).

Payoffs (Currently 11)

Gruesome Fate
Growing Rites of Itlimoc
Loyal Guardian
Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest
Garruk Relentless (The back side -3 ability seems pretty spicy).
Majestic Myriarch
Shaman of Forgotten Ways
Vitalizing Wind (Overrun, Pathbreaker Ibex, Triumph of the Hordes, et. al. are kind of played out at this point. This one will not be expected.)
Vraska, Scheming Gorgon (Greedily hoping for that ultimate isn't unreasonable, is it?)
Symbiotic Deployment

The deck is currently looking to add between 4-6 cards- -probably more in the 'Payoff" category, unless there's a particularly egregious exclusion as far as ETB-type cards go.

Oct. 17, 2018

I finally got a chance to sleeve something up (the Izoni order got a bit delayed), and as is typical, the cards from the theorycraft and the cards I could actually access were not identical. As a result, the deck morphed a bit- -it's still trying to reuse ETB triggers to benefit, including as much card draw off triggers as it can find- -but has become almost a bit of a tribal deck. Izoni's an elf, and there's a lot of elf synergy that overlaps with reusing ETBs, so here's the deck as it was sleeved up, alongside some commentary:

Elves/Elf Synergy (20):

Wirewood Symbiote
Multani's Acolyte
Sylvan Ranger
Elvish Visionary
District Guide
Yavimaya Granger
Elvish Harbinger
Shaman of the Pack
Wood Elves
Civic Wayfinder
Reclamation Sage
Elvish Rejuvenator
Generous Patron
Wren's Run Packmaster
Masked Admirers
Shaman of Spring
Savra, Queen of the Golgari (Excellent with Izoni, and the foil version is too pretty to sit in a binder)
Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord (All three generations of the Head Elf in Charge)
Cultivator of Blades

Other ETB Creatures (17):

Dusk Legion Zealot
Wall of Blossoms
Carven Caryatid
Eternal Witness
Foul Emissary
Solemn Simulacrum
Striped Bears
Eidolon of Blossoms
Gonti, Lord of Luxury
Disciple of Bolas
Acidic Slime
Kavu Climber
Sage of Ancient Lore
Indrik Stomphowler
Champion of Dusk
Woodland Bellower
Lotleth Giant

ETB Synergy (7):

Stampeding Wildebeests
Stampeding Serow
Roaring Primadox
Bramble Sovereign
Strionic Resonator
Lifecrafter's Bestiary

Other Permanents (6):

Shefet Monitor (Already replaced with Underrealm Lich. It's even an Elf!)
Frontier Siege (4 mana per turn, when you're picking up creatures with Stampeding Wldebeests is pretty great)
Garruk Relentless
Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest (Turns a bunch of Insects from Izoni into credible threats, but is slow (and a bit off-theme). Could be replaced.)
Psychosis Crawler
Garruk, Apex Predator

Instants/Sorceries (8):

Heroic Intervention
Driven//Despair (I expected Driven to be useful, but Despair won me two games. Menace is real.)
Gruesome Fate
Eldritch Evolution (Gets Stampeding Wildebeests/Bramble Sovereign/Psychosis Crawler as needed.)
Minions' Murmurs
Living Death
Infernal Offering
Vitalizing Wind

Lands (41):
Barren Moor
Polluted Mire
Slippery Karst
Tranquil Thicket
Grim Backwoods
High Market
Blighted Woodland
Blighted Fen
Bojuka Bog
Scavenging Grounds
Ifnir Deadlands
Reliquary Tower
Mystifying Maze
Blossoming Marsh
Swamps & Forests

Author:  Inkeyes22 [ 2018-Oct-09 10:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Izoni (Rought Draft)

is there a reason you want so many creatures that come into play and draw you a card? I mean Generous Stray and Skyscanner are pretty meh. Maybe run some 187 creatures like Fleshbag Marauder and so forth to generate card advantage. I am also building an Izoni deck and one big attraction is Living Death if you sac all the things right before. So far it is still in theorycraft mode, as I have not opened Izoni in the 10 packs I have bought so far. I might go draft this weekend and hope to pull her, or I might try to buy the Meren of Clan Nel Toth precon and just do upgrades... (I found it for $112, but still not 100% if it is worth that).

EDIT: so the cards themselves are about $56 total, so very much not worth buying the deck itself.

Author:  Kemev [ 2018-Oct-09 11:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Izoni (Rought Draft)

So I get where you're going with this (my friend has a similar deck that's UG instead of GB), but I think you got a bit of a problem... almost none of your creatures pose a threat, so there's no reason for someone to spend a board wipe on them (or even bother blocking them, for that matter).

I think you can increase the power of some of your creatures a bit without straying from your theme. Some creatures I'd consider...
Tireless Tracker
Eidolon of Blossoms
Soul of the Harvest
Magus of the Library
Pelakka Wurm

...does Underrealm Lich count as typical ways to fill the graveyard? The card's super neat

Author:  Shabbaman [ 2018-Oct-09 1:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Izoni (Rought Draft)

You know what the Elvish Visionary theme could need? More Elvish Visionary triggers! I’d include Panharmonicon. You could also make more visionaries with Helm of the Host or something like Minion Reflector, but that won’t fill the yard.

I don’t see how you win though.

Author:  Jeyal [ 2018-Oct-10 6:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Izoni (Rought Draft)

Yeah, winning is the issue I'm trying to solve with the last handful of cards. With the ability to have most cards replace themselves, I don't think getting to a payoff card will be an issue. I'm just trying to find an interesting way to win that isn't "Overrun, gg" or "Grave Pact until the store closes." Eldrazi Monument will likely be one avenue towards that goal. Living Death (thanks, Inkeyes!) is another. Think Mogis's Marauder is playable enough?

Panharmonicon (thankya Shabbaman!) is good, though. And I picked up a Bramble Sovereign last night, which seems similarly spicy. Regal Force is in, but I forgot about Soul of the Harvest (appreciate it, Kemev!). And Underrealm Lich is just good.

Author:  Viperion [ 2018-Oct-10 6:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Izoni (Rought Draft)

Craterhoof Behemoth

shudder I'm going to go have several showers now. Eww.

Author:  Jeyal [ 2018-Oct-10 6:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Izoni (Rought Draft)

Viperion wrote:
Craterhoof Behemoth

shudder I'm going to go have several showers now. Eww.

Yeah, I basically feel kind of the same about 'The Least Interesting Fatty in the World.' There's no doubt that it's good, (probably even exactly what the deck wants), but it's so...typical? Obvious? When I piece the deck together if it feels it's missing an extra bit of "instantaneously winning the game", I'll probably shrug and add it in.

Author:  Shabbaman [ 2018-Oct-10 8:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Izoni (Rought Draft)


Cloudstone Curio with Aluren? Or you could just deck yourself with Primal Surge.

Jeyal wrote:

And I picked up a Bramble Sovereign last night, which seems similarly spicy.

That is very good. I picked one up after release, but I haven’t found a place for it. But it seems a perfect fit for this deck. I don’t know if you have Parallel lives, but that thought made me want to get Bramble Sovereign.

Author:  Jeyal [ 2018-Oct-11 6:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Izoni (Rought Draft)

I slept on the idea, trying to come up with a few more payoff cards, and came up with Psychosis Crawler as a way to inch out a bit of life loss to my opponents (and possibly top-to-bottom them with a greedy Living Death). Diviner's Wand is a smaller, similar effect. It's probably not good enough to include.

I'll piece together in paper some sort of deck and get a chance to try it out this weekend. I'll want it to have as many cycling lands as I can (which I think is 7? Barren Moor, Blasted Landscape, Desert of the Glorified, Desert of the Indomitable, Polluted Mire, Slippery Karst, Tranquil Thicket), but if there's any other nonbasics I should be considering (for non-mana-producing reasons), feel free to let me know.

Author:  thaumaturge [ 2018-Oct-11 6:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Izoni (Rought Draft)

Don't forget Ash Barrens!

Author:  Inkeyes22 [ 2018-Oct-11 6:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Izoni (Rought Draft)

I have gotten about 12 games in with my Izoni. Some things that I have noted is this general is super mana hungry... like way more than I thought it would be. I also tend to durdle a lot, until I go off. It is a lot of fun though. I play random creatures until they die, and then when like 12 random creatures hit the field at the same time it is kinda crazy fun keeping track of all that is happening. I think I need to add more mana/Wood Elf varients.

Author:  Jeyal [ 2018-Oct-17 4:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Izoni (Rought Draft)

First post updated: Finally got the cards in sleeves- -well, some of them, and some unexpected ones.

To echo Inkeyes, the mana hunger is real. I decided to go with the Wood Elves and similar creatures after all, time spent shuffling be damned. Frontier Siege was another nice option. 4 mana each turn to recast Elves or Pay for Strionic Resonator activations? Yes, please.

Panharmonicon is nutty. Bramble Sovereign is also nutty. Putting them together triggers peanut allergies. 4 extra mana means 6 ETB triggers per creature. (6 Lotleth Giant triggers dealt 36 during one game.)

Driven//Despair is a real card, ridiculous layout aside. Casting both on one turn is pretty swell, but casting Driven early for value wouldn't be the worst thing. Despair turning insects into 1/1s with Menace is pretty awesome.

Fliers are rough. This deck basically looks up at any Dragon, Angel, or Demon and jealously shakes its fist.

Cards I want for the next round of edits:

Desert of the Glorified
Desert of the Indomitable
Whiptongue Hydra
Regal Force

Author:  Shabbaman [ 2018-Oct-17 6:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Izoni, Thousand Elved (First Draft)

It's no ETB creature, but it does like a lot of creatures entering the battlefield (so they can leave it and trigger it) and it does like to block flyers, and it is an elf (I checked): Poison-tip Archer. Maybe Eldrazi Monument fixes your flyer problem?

Author:  Jeyal [ 2018-Oct-23 7:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Izoni, Thousand Elved (First Draft)


Latest round of cuts was mainly swapping non-Elf cards for equivalent Elves (usually at a slight power advantage for a stronger thematic advantage).

Out: Eternal Witness
In: Golgari Findbroker

Out: Striped Bears
In: Silkweaver Elite

Out: Solemn Simulacrum
In: Wild Wanderer

Out: Indrik Stomphowler
In: Viridian Shaman

Out: Champion of Dusk, Eidolon of Blossoms, Wall of Blossoms
In: Jungle Wayfinder, Whiptongue Hydra, Regal Force

Land Adjustments:
Out: 2x Swamp, Forest, Vesuva, Mystifying Maze
In: Desert of the Glorified, Desert of the Indomitable, Hashep Oasis, Dunes of the Dead, Svothgos, the Restless Tomb

I played a few entertaining games with it. It gums up the ground pretty nicely, has no issues chump-blocking, and (due to all of the Elvish Visionary/Civic Wayfinder-type cards) rarely runs out of lands to play or cards to cast.

It probably would be significantly nicer with another mass removal option or two (Living Death is real, though.)

Next possible adds:

Poison-Tip Archer (Thanks, Shabbaman. This little guy punches well outside his weight class.)
Prowess of the Fair (A bit of on-theme wrath protection.)
Eyeblight's Ending (The deck doesn't play much straight removal, but it says elf right on the card!)
Gilt-Leaf Winnower (On-tribe 187 creature? Yes, please.)
Marwyn, the Nurturer Has a tap ability (plays nice with Wirewood Symbiote) and an ETB ability (plays nice with the rest of the deck- -unlike most of the Priest of Titania versions).

Author:  Shabbaman [ 2018-Oct-24 12:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Izoni, Thousand Elved (First Draft)

About sweepers, perhaps this is a deck that actually wants a lot of them? You won't miss a Wood Elves if you kill it yourself, as it has done his job. Decree of Pain could make your creatures do double duty: the ETB effect first and a. card drawn later.

With a strong tribal aspect Kindred Dominance should be worth it. Following that train of thought, so might Patriarch's Bidding.

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