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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Commander Review: Born of the Gods – Clear the Land with Karametra, God of Harvests

November 8, 2014 by  
Filed under Commander/General Ideas, Review

Trostani, Selesnya's Voice

Joining the Big Family

Today featured Commander is of the of the color combination Selesnya, Green and White minor Gods of Theros, Karametra. As the Green and White God of Harvests, she embraces the idea of ramp from Green and Creature beatdown with White and does it in a way which the Selesnya used to do it too.

 

Family, Protection and More

Setessa

Home of the Protected

Karametra is the God of harvest, hearth, and protection. She is the patron deity of Setessa, the city where the Amazons-like tribe stay on Theros. Setessa, along with Karametra’s temple, is enclosed in a mystical grove of ancient trees. Serene and wise; Karametra values community, stability, and balance of nature.

 Warriors' Lesson

Hot warriors in the Wilds

Although she regards Nylea, God of the Hunt as her sister, both Gods are often in conflict as Karametra values wild animals as protectors of civilization; Nylea on the other hand is disgusted by civilization, which she sees as an aberration from the natural cycle of the world. Although seem as the pacifist God since she governs fertility, motherhood, and agriculture; Karametra is not hesitant to strike back ferociously when needed, much like her signature item which is a scythe which signifies both harvest and natural laws of life and death. With that bit of the back story done there, let’s have a look at Karametra’s stats below.

 

 Karametra, God of Harvests

Card Name: Karametra, God of Harvests

CMC: 3GW

Types: Legendary Creature Enchantment – God

Card Text:

Indestructible
As long as your devotion to green and white is less than seven, Karametra isn’t a creature.
Whenever you cast a creature spell, you may search your library for a Forest or Plains card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library.

P/T: 6/7

Similar to the theme for minor Gods, Karametra also has a devotion of seven to meet to become a Creature. Perhaps to show her ferocity, her Creature form is pretty big at an Indestructible 6/7 too. The trigger ability though is what interests me here. She has a trigger which let you ramp for a Forest or Plains card whenever you cast a Creature spell. You even get to search for your Forest or Plains cards even when your Creature spell is countered. Said Forest or Plains card, as many of you might already knew, can be of any Shocklands with Forest or Plains in their combination. In a 5c deck, that is effectively seven of all the Shocklands (Temple Garden; Stomping Ground; Overgrown Tomb; Breeding Pool; Hallowed Fountain; Godless Shrine; Sacred Foundry), allowing you to fix your colors whenever you cast a Creature spell. As if that is not enough, there are a couple of other Forest or Plains cards besides the Shocklands which can be searched out by Karametra’s trigger too, making her sort of like a Land tutor. You could also add Knight of the Reliquary to the mix as a mean to be able to tutor for any Lands with Karametra fueling the Forests and Plains the Knight needs to sacrifice to tutor for Land.

Dryad Arbor Forest MtG first Land Creature.
Mistveil Plains Plains Provides you with graveyard retrieve but requires you to control two or more White permanents to be able to activate the ability.
Murmuring Bosk Forest Main Green tri-color Land of Abzan wedge. Damages controller when W or B is produce. Karametra needs to take a back seat here though since the Bosk color identity is of Black, Green and White.
Sapseep Forest Forest Provides you with 1 life gain but requires you to control two or more Green permanents to be able to activate the ability.

 

Murmuring Bosk

A Forest and a little more

 

Mana Severance

The obvious use for Karametra is ramping. Every Creature spell you cast after her is a ramp, even though it is only restricted to searching Forests and Plains. That may seems like a simple ramp, but in truth it is also a very effective way to thin your deck. EDH decks are bigger than normal variant decks. As you ramp while searching out all your Lands, you also thin your library, leaving all the spells behind ensuring a much useful draw each time. Green specializes in Land tutor, there are some Creatures which has ETB (Enter the Battlefield) effect and when combine with Karametra makes each of them effective searching for two Lands. Going at that rate, if built right, your deck will soon be left with only spells. Below are some examples of Creatures within Karametra color identity which tutor for Lands. Cloudstone Curio can be used here if you want to recast some of these Creatures.

Borderland Range / Civic Wayfinder / Pilgrim’s Eye / Sylvan Ranger ETB tutor for basic Land and put into your hand.
Farhaven Elf / Kor Cartographer / Ondu Giant / Quirion Trailblazer / Seedguide Ash / Solemn Simulacrum / Yavimaya Granger ETB tutor for basic Land(s) and put onto battlefield tapped.
Silverglade Elemental / Wood Elves / Yavimaya Dryad ETB tutor for Forest and put onto battlefield. Yavimaya Dryad is special here in that it “plants” Forest on your opponent’s side for it to Forestwalk over.

 

Solemn Simulacrum

Serving the community from life till death.

 

As informed by my good friend, Ervin, who himself had built a Karametra deck, he found a quirky way to capitalized on all those Land tutoring. With all the Land tutors, mana will be ramp to sky in no time allowing him to be able to cast most of the spells in his deck. He used Panglacial Wurm in this case to let him have both a Creature and Land at the same time. With all the Lands being ramped out over the course of the game, the Wurm’s 7cc is not a big cost to pay. The Wurm even has the benefit of not being died for long since you could tutor out Mistveil Plains in the process as a way to put the Wurm back to the bottom of the library to be cast again whenever you search through your library. Searching for Lands is one benefit of Karametra; another benefit is that the search also provides a reshuffle of the library. Besides fixing the colors, Fetchlands were and are still used extensively in Legacy because of this too. Players are known to not crack their Fetchlands too soon sometimes saving it after they have Brainstorm or Sensei’s Divining Top and know what is coming. They will then crack the Fetchlands to refresh the library top for a chance at a better draw thereafter. Karametra’s Land tutor also does that. Lacking Blue for the library manipulation in her color identity, you could still use Artifact like Sensei’s Divining Top or Scroll Rack to do the same thing if you had chosen Karametra as your Commander. In the case of Scroll Rack, it allows you to exchange any number of cards from your hand to the library top. The problem with this exchange is that the library top will soon be jammed with the “useless” cards from your hand. The more cards you exchange the more turns it takes to cycle through your library top. Furthermore, if you played the cards you exchanged, your hand size will becomes smaller leaving you with lesser cards to exchange with Scroll Rack. Karametra solves that problem with Scroll Rack by allowing you to reshuffle your library after each tutor giving you a fresh new library top to work with.

Sylvan Library

A little help from the Green side.

 

Once you have ramp up to a certain amount of Lands, you are not short of ways to kill your opponents since you have all the mana to cast all the spells in your deck. If you are looking for style points, you could use those tutored Lands and kill your opponents. Green had been known for its Land animating effects. The earliest of such was Living Lands which only affect Forests. It may not be that safe to change all your Lands into Creatures as that would make them vulnerable to removals. Our suggestion is to turn them into Creatures for a surprise alpha strike to end the game. Below are examples of such ways which you could use to temporary animate your Lands.

Jolrael, Empress of Beasts Legendary Spellshaper who requires 2G, discard of two cards, and tap to animate all of target player’s Lands into 3/3 till end of turn.
Life // Death Life animates all your Lands into 1/1 Creatures till end of turn. Can only be used if Commander is of color identity Black, Green and White (Green and White for Karametra; Green and Black for Life // Death).
Natural Affinity Animate all Lands to 2/2 Creatures till end of turn. Risky in a way that defending players also have their untapped Lands animated to be able to block your attacking Lands. May need some extra help; eg. Tap all Lands and float all mana, cast Natural Affinity, cast Overrun or the likes, cast Vitalize, go in for the kill.
Rude Awakening Entwine spell which when played with Entwine cost reproduce the combo of Natural Affinity + Vitalize in above eg. scenario.
Thelonite Druid For cost of 1G, tap, sacrifice a Creature; animate your Forests into 2/3 Creatures till end of turn.

 

Jolrael, Empress of Beasts

“I don’t normally fight. But when I do, I bring the whole village.”

 

In case you are interested, here are also some ways to permanently animate Lands. This as mentioned earlier is not so recommended unless you are going for the alpha strike.

Ambush Commander Animate your Forests into 1/1 Green Elves. Can also gives +3/+3 to target Creature till end of turn by paying 1G and sacrificing an Elf for each pump.
Liege of the Tangle Animate any number of Lands you control into 8/8 Elemental Creatures whenever it deals combat damage to a player. Comes with Trample too to help ensure combat damage get through to player. In my opinion, this is one of the most risky ways to animate Lands as the Lands are animated after combat and cannot attack for a turn normally. They will then be seen as threats to get rid of; attracting tons of removals and board sweeps at them.
Living Lands Animate all Forests into 1/1 Creatures. The pioneer mass Land animator.
Living Plane Animate all Lands into 1/1 Creatures.
Natural Emergence Portal (requires the return of a permanent which shares a permanent major type and colors as it when it enters the battlefield) Enchantment which animates all your Lands into 2/2 Creatures with First Strike. Can only be used if Commander is of color identity Red, Green and White (Green and White for Karametra; Green and Red for Natural Emergence).
Nature’s Revolt Animate all Lands into 2/2 Creatures.
Nissa, Worldwaker Animate a Land you control into a 4/4 Elemental with Trample. Ultimate tutors for any number of basic Lands and turn them into 4/4 Elementals with Trample.

 

Nature’s Revolt

Going into battle expecting an army; lost to the enemy’s army and the battlefield

 

EarthCraft

Karametra, God of Harvests

Cultivating Victory

Wrapping it up, Karametra serves well as a Commander for Ramp and Big Mana Style with her trigger ability for tutoring Forests and Plains fitting like a glove into both styles. Although having a high cc of 5 (3GW), she does has that benefit of self protection in the form of having Indestructible and not being a Creature when you devotion to her colors is low. Having Indestructible will protect her against most of the common Creature board sweeps in EDH and not being a Creature when her devotion is not met will protect her against exile-type Creature removals. Of course there are also exile-type removals for Enchantments, like Return to Dust, but she is still well protected as a Commander as she could be return to the Command Zone after being exiled and be ready to be recast. Another benefit for choosing her as Commander is that bomb spells are common in EDH and all of them cast a bomb too to cast. Karametra’s Land ramping will aid you to cast them effortlessly in no time. And it cannot be stressed more about the importance of deck thinning here as she tutor out Lands and thin out your deck leaving it with more spells to draw into. Alternately if Land ramping is not your main interest, it is also recommended for using her as a support Creature in a Captain Sisay EDH deck. Since Karametra is Legendary and Sisay tutor Legendary cards and furthermore both are of the same color identity, adding more utility to an already versatile deck.

 

What do you think of Karametra? How would you have use the God of Harvests otherwise? Tell us what other ways you may have in mind for her in the comments below. And thus with that it brings us to the end of the article for now for Karametra,  we shall see you in the next Born of the Gods Commander review. Till then…

 

This is yours truly, Edward “Reaper King” Leong, signing off.

:D~

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  1. […] a bit more additions to build the deck. Otherwise Titania also does a very good support role in Karametra as the minor God can refill the Lands that are sacrificed for […]



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