Topic: [EDH] Chulane - Any glaring mistakes?

Hello all! 

First post here, was hoping for a little feedback on what is really my first commander deck.

I'm a big fan of Chulane and like how he isn't a specifically powerful but rather generically me options to play with.

So, with my deck I'm going after largely blinking creatures with ETB effects.

Here is the Chulane deck

Here is my list of cards that I've scratched together for my Chulane deck and Atraxa.  This way you could see if what you think I'm missing I actually have....or cruise through and see if something is far better than what I currently have.

If you're willing to take the time and take a peek to see if I've got the best version of my Chulane deck based on the cards I have in inventory I'd greatly appreciate it!

Thanks again!


Re: [EDH] Chulane - Any glaring mistakes?

One of the biggest things with EDH is there is really no way to build a deck wrong. So when you see this and see what I will write I'm not suggesting anything is wrong, but there are better synergies I think you could take advantage of. I see how much a wrote and please don't see that is discouraging. You could play your deck as is and it would be good other than a single card which I'm not sure it does what you think it does (I'll get to it later).

Overall though the real thing to balance it with the meta you want to play with. Are you looking to make a deck cEDH? Are you looking to put a deck together a deck to play with some friends you are having over for the night? Those are the real factors of how you want to play a deck. Sometimes you will just play the sub-optimal cards because you are looking for a more fair and more fun experience over crushing your friendships into oblivion. A good example would be playing, as you are doing, End-Raze Forerunners over Craterhoof Behemoth. One card will kick them while they are down, the other will kick them while they are down and their great grandkids will feel it.

That being said one card I see in here that very much has to a lot to do with this question is Mana Breach; that is an icky card. People will not like playing against it and it doesn't fit your theme at all. Unless I am mistaken you are playing a blink where you are trying to abuse ETB triggers of your creatures. Mana Breach when you play a spell you have to return a land and I don't see any lands that want to be redeployed and I only see 2 landfall triggers in your deck. You are not getting value here. You could be delaying your opponents with Mana Breech, but you are also delaying yourself and Chulane is such a value engine you probably don't need to delay your opponents in this way.

I'd take that out and instead replace it with a Cloudstone Curio: Artifact for 3, "Whenever a nonartifact permanent enters the battlefield under your control, you may return another permanent you control that shares a permanent type with it to its owner's hand." So with this in play that late game Birds of Paradise top deck becomes: play Birds, draw 1, return creature, cast creature, draw 1, return birds, play birds, draw 1 ... etc ... This is a card that synergized a lot more with your commander and will progress your strategy a lot more while not annoying your opponents. Now Cloudstone Curio is 10 times more expensive than Mana Breech so if budget is an issue that is something to balance too ....

.... But you have Force of Will in the deck. You don't need Force of Will in this deck. Force of Will is a nice card, but two things to think about 1) Are you going to be holding up 5 mana to cast this counter? Or 2) what blue card in your hand are you not going to want to play to pitch for Force of Will. You have 15 blue cards you could be exiling to cast Force for free, but ti seems like almost all of them you'd rather not exile and three of those cards are counter spells anyway. I mean if you have Force of Will you have it and I'm only extremely jealous, but with 3 counter spells already which should be enough counter magic as in EDH you are looking to counter specific things at specific times to make sure you win. Yes a board wipe might suck now, but it would really suck later and that is when you need to worry about it.

Also on the topic of counter magic: Kira, Great Glass-Spinner fights what you are trying to do. If she is on the battlefield and you attempt to use Chulane to return something to your hand you are going to be countering your own ability it might not be the best card in your deck for synergy reasons. Maybe instead replace it with Flickerwisp: Creature 1WW 3/1 Flying When Flickerwisp enters the battle field exile another permanent. At the end of the next turn return it to the battlefield under its owners control." Same CMC as Kira and it will fit your theme much better. You not only get to flicker your own things, but you can flicker opponents things. You can flicker out a potential blocker that will be in your way to attack. You can reset counters on creatures/planeswalkers. You can flicker out an attacker if you find a way to give it Flash. It is a very versatile card which fits in strategy.

So ... your ramp. I'd switch a lot of it up. I'd look to put in the guild signets (sylesnia, azourius, simic). They are 2 mana for an artifact that is "1 Tap: 1 of each mana of the guild's colors". This will fix your mana and ramp you. A legit 2-turn play could be Turn 1: Plains > tap W cast Sol Ring > tap 2 cast Simic Signet > Pass Turn 2: Any land > tap Sol Ring > Pay 1 tap signet > tap Plains > tap other land > Cast Chulane. It will happen more often than you think. You really don't need Prismatic Omen or Dryad of the Illysain Grove then there is nothing in your deck that is looking for specific lands other than your check lands as far as I can see. The checks can come in tapped it isn't a big deal to have lands come in tapped in EDH; in 99.9% of games an Orzhov Guildgate will help you just as much as a Scrubland. So I am assuming these cards are just here to fix and between the guild signets, the Chromatic lantern, and Chulane drawing you all the cards in the world you shouldn't have a issue with mana types.

Your mana doublers ... I'd lose them. Kinnan gets you extra mana for 10 cards if I am counting correctly. That isn't a whole lot, Kinnan's abilities do not progress the strategy at all, and his ability bypasses Chulane's card draw. Chulane again is drawing a lot of cards so looking for in the top 5 isn't that great when then card could be used better else where. For instance I'd look into Nissa, Steward of Elements which her +2 lets your Scry 2 and thus fixes your top deck that Chulane will then draw for you and if you know your next card is a land or a big creature (... with Courser of Kruphix maybe?) you could just put it onto the battlefield right straight away with her 0 ability. Nyxbloom Ancient, you just don't need that much mana in this deck and it costs so much to get out already. I don't think it has room in here especially if you remove Kinnan which is really the only big mana sink you have. Mirari's Wake. Keep it since it also gives +1/+1 to your creatures. It is mana doubling with value add. //thumbs up//

Mana dorks ... they are fine. They all have the extra bonus of drawing a card when Chulane is out so they have extra value add for the late game. I'd look at a Paradise Druid since it is a turn 2 play that can fix you mana if you have early issues and is harder to remove. I'd probably switch Incubation Druid out for it since Incubation will just do what you do better and Paradise does what you can't.

Brawn, Destiny Spinner, Luminous Broodmoth, Sun Titan, Thassa, God of the Sea, Village Bell Ringer all really don't fit your strategy to various degrees, there might be better options out there for these cards. For instance the Broodmoth is cute with its ability, but without the ability to sacrifice your own creatures to get the ETB triggers again it isn't going to help your strategy out and you are relying on others to take advantage of the card. If Time Wipe was an instant then you'd have some play here, but it unfortunately isn't. Also, it might feel weird to say this, but Panharmonicon might be cutable too. I don't actually see anything in your ETBs that you NEED to double up on and you have abilities to flicker and recast a lot more in this deck that the card slot might be better served elsewhere.

You also probably want to find room for Alchemist's Refuge. Some non-Chulane card draw could be helpful if you don't have him out or are hitting a bad card stretch. Blue Sun's Zenith would allow you to draw cards then put itself back into your library to later draw more cards. Pull for Tomorrow is an option too. Knight of Autumn is a create flicker target.

Some other things to help you close out a game. They don't necessarily go with your strategy, but are somethings to think about:

1) I'd replace Bond of Discipline with Ensnare. It is an instant for 3U that taps down all creatures. The big draw to Ensnare though is you can return 2 islands to your hand instead of paying the mana cost of the card. So you could tap yourself out then just before your turn cast Ensnare for its alternate cost tap down the board. Your turn untap and swing in for hopefully lethal. Also you are getting 2 lands back to your hand for landfall triggers if you need it.

2) Finale of Devastation isn't a good fit here I don't think. Your deck seems to not go wide enough as it is right now. Finale is okay right now, but I think without trample the potential +10/+10 or more isn't going to do as good as you think if your massive guys just get chumpped. You can't guarantee Brawn is in your graveyard. Overrun is a better option as the deck is now since it will give trample. Unless you go wider with maybe #3 and #4 ...

3) Where is your Avenger of Zendikar (it should probably be in the base deck)? 5GG Creature "When Avenger of Zendikar enters the battlefield, create a 0/1 green Plant creature token for each land you control. Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you may put a +1/+1 counter on each Plant creature you control." Getting Avenger our turn 4 or 5 with your deck is not inconceivable. He becomes a great blink target to get more plants. You combine him with Nissa Voice of Zendikar which gets you plants and +1/+1 counters on all your creatures. After 2-3 blinks you could have an army of plants in the dozens ready to swing and now your Finale is a huge bomb. I said get rid of the Mana Breach which would help and I'd still say yes do that b/c you can look towards the bounce lands like Simic Growth Chamber (as well as the sylesnia, azourius versions). You can play this card as you land for turn and then return it to your hand so you have it for a landfall next turn.

4) Two words: Garruk's Uprising. 2G Enchantment "When Garruk’s Uprising enters the battlefield, if you control a creature with power 4 or greater, draw a card. Creatures you control have trample. Whenever a creature with power 4 or greater enters the battlefield under your control, draw a card." I like this more than the Guardian Project (which is also really good) and probably would switch it out. You will miss a lot of times on drawing an card on ETB of your casted creatures, but Chulane is covering you for that. But your Zombies from Oketra will now get your card draw where they normally wouldn't. The key line of Garruk's Uprising though is the trample this along with the go wide will finish off the games.

5) Neat card to think about Vigor ... 3GGG creature "Trample. If damage would be dealt to another creature you control, prevent that damage. Put a +1/+1 counter on that creature for each 1 damage prevented this way. When Vigor is put into a graveyard from anywhere, shuffle it into its owner’s library." You can freely turn more creatures on their side when Vigor is on board. Your opponent had the option of taking the damage or pumping things up even more. It isn't necessary, but it is a cute card.

6) +1/+1 Counter Manipulation Enchantments: A) Anointed Procession: If an effect would create one or more tokens under your control, it creates twice that many of those tokens instead. B) Parallel Lives: Same as Anointed Procession, but in green instead of white. C) Harden Scales: If you would put a +1/+1 counter on a creature instead put that many plus one.  D) Doubling Season: Anointed Procession/Parallel Lives + Put twice as many counters are you would on on your permanents. E) Cathar's Crusade: Whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control put a +1/+1 counter on each of your creatures.

This is just a few things to think about. Your deck isn't bad, but could use more synergy to it.

Last edited by ic0n67 (2020-09-04 17:05:59)

Re: [EDH] Chulane - Any glaring mistakes?

Wow ic0n67!  Above and beyond.  I am truly appreciative of the time you spent to analyze the deck and provide a thorough response!  big_smile

I'm not after any sort of cEDH type decks.  I want to learn to build decks that are highly synergized and are a lot of fun.  If we're talking about that "1-10 Power Level" and 9/10 is cEDH..........then I'm shooting for 6-8's. 

So the thing with Mana Breach is that it's one of the infinite draw combos when combined with Chulane and Shrieking Drake.  If it comes online you can draw out your deck.  Seemed like tons of the YouTube videos on Chulane talked about that one.  But I'm one of those that does not want to play those cards where it just upsets the table if you think that's what this card will really do. 

Ya, I think Force of Will was just in there because A) I pulled it in Double Masters and holy crap I pulled it out of a pack in Double Masters! (lmao) and B) I looked at it as a potential closer in the late game if I absolutely had to pull it out of the hat.  But you're in that paragraph that my counters aren't there for just anything and are for absolute "right times" to use it. 

Great call on Kira, Great Glass-Spinner.........didn't think about it countering MY OWN stuff.  That's def getting pulled.  Consider Flickerwisp in the cart for order. lol

So I guess with the signets I'll pull Kinnan, Dryad, and Nyx.

Ensnare is in the cart. big_smile

The thing with Finale of Devastation was trying to cast it for X=10+ (thus the Nyxbloom/Kinna/Dryad/Etc) and then pulling out End-Raze Forerunners.  But you're right, I don't really go wide with this deck.  Could be a better fit in my Atraxa deck. 

I had my Avenger of Zendikar in my Atraxa deck.  But agree, probably better suited for this one.

All of my cards driving towards counters/tokens I was pushing towards my Atraxa deck.  That deck I was trying to less of a "Super Friends" deck and more of a "Good Friends" deck.....meaning I'm only running about 10 Planeswalkers there.  BUT, because I didn't have crazy amount of creatures, I was trying to drive towards token creation so that Cathars' Crusade and Doubling Season (etc) would pop off more.  Maybe I'll see how they play and maybe make a switch. 

One return question, did my lands look generally good for this deck?  I almost feel like that's what I'd worry about the most.  lol  I do plan eventually on getting all the Fetchlands......just the others are so expensive.

Again, holy smokes thanks for that awesome response.  You're a bad ass homie.  big_smile  Look forward to your response.

Re: [EDH] Chulane - Any glaring mistakes?

Putting a # to a deck is always difficult. It seems like you really just want a deck to play with friends that have the potential to win and do fun things.

With that in mind, your meta might be perfectly fine with something like Mana Breach. Give it a play as it is and if you get the combo out ask them if it was okay and if they are okay with it you can easily keep it in. It isn't tops on my list, but I can understand how it works in the deck. The only real issue with a deck that goes infinite is that you want to have some sort of finisher in order to take advantage of it. If you want to draw out your deck having a Lab Maniac/Jace, Wielder of Mysteries/Thassa's Oracle to finish the game out is almost a necessity then. Drawing your deck out, casting everything, capping with End-Raze, and turning everything on the side is great ... until someone plays Holy Day or Fog and you are stuck with and empty library and then sit there and wait for your next turn and lose the game. Then again Force of Will would protect against that since I'm sure you have some blue card you didn't play.

I think overall your deck is fine as it is other than getting Kira out. I think that Flickerwisp will fit in very well for you.

To be honest I misremembered End-Raze, I was thinking it was giving your creatures haste and not trample. Not sure why I thought that and now I'm wondering what card I was thinking of >.>. So casting Finale into End-Raze is a perfectly fine kill shot. I think getting Avenger in there and getting a good plant army would be good with that. Something also to think about in conjunction with Avenger is if you get blink him a few times and get a land fall to put counters on your plants you can use Jiang Yanggu, Wildcrafter to turn those plants into mana dorks. That could be an interesting play.

I think either deck could take advantage of Avenger, it is just a good green card to play. It would work well in Atraxa too. Once card I'd suggest if you are going to play Cathars' Crusade give Stolen by the Fae a look. Bounce your opponents best creature and get X 1/1 Faeries and then all your creatures also get X +1/+1 counters. I run that combo in my Aelea deck.

I think your lands are fine. I don't know if you need Academy Ruins or Buried Ruin. You really don't have any artifact that are truly mission critical and you can get those back with Regrowth. Alchemist's Refuge would allow you to do things at instant speed so that could be a nice thing addition. Honestly fetches are not that important in EDH. If you have them I'd put them in, but I wouldn't go out and get them if you didn't already have it. There are a lot of mana fixers like the guild signets or chromatic lantern that can easily cover you. Even then Terramorphic Expanse, Evolving Wilds can just as easily go get the one land type you are missing.

I'd look into putting in the Temples to scry and help fix your draws. Fast lands if they aren't too expensive. Horizon Lands (Horizon Canopy/Waterlogged Grove) would help draw extra cards. Mono-color Cycle lands. Snow-Covered basic lands. I find it is very easy to get three color commander's land bases completely singleton very easy. And if you can do that you could add in Field of the Dead.

Re: [EDH] Chulane - Any glaring mistakes?

I initially had all the temples in there but felt like I was hitting upon too many tapped lands and at least the other tapped lands either carried 3 colors or could come in untapped "if" scenario was met.  Academy was just one of those "I have this expensive card....can tap colorless....can bring things back" kind of addition.  Def not married to it being in there. 

Ya, End-Raze was my "big finisher" combo with Finale of Devastation.  Such a big hit when you can get to it.  And felt like it's the kind of combo my deck needed.

Your way of putting it about Mana Breach and am probably going to consider just taking it out of there.  I'm usually not a fan of the "going infinite" combo things in decks.  Just feels to "gimmicky" to me.  But I understand it's a part of the game.

I only have 1 copy of Field of the Dead so I thought it might be better suited in the Atraxa deck just because of the creature production and then the counters going on.  A creature creation in the Chulane deck wouldn't serve to trigger him......but damn card is awesome and would rather just have two copies. lol

Based on your recommendations....just dropped $98 on some new cards.  So I appreciate you helping me spend money today. lmao.  Some very good card recommendations.  Can't wait to give the deck a whirl!  Especially on a new playmat I've commissioned an artist to do for me.  Check this out!  I think it will be pretty damn cool.  Always wanted an Edgewall Inkeeper playmat but they're not figured I'd just get my own made. lol

Last edited by DrBigMoney (2020-09-06 00:30:21)