This is a new / ongoing series where I detail my thought process when building and modifying EDH decks

EDH | Changing Ephara: A Little Polish

Highlighting changes to one of my old standards: Rebels & Ephara.

# name Ephara Rebels # info May 6, 2018 # link TappedOut # cuts 1x Coastal Tower 1x Azorius Guildgate 1x Deranged Assistant 1x Millikin 1x Thraben Doomsayer 1x Infinite Reflection # adds 1x Prairie Stream 1x Nimbus Maze 1x Unwind 1x Nimble Obstructionist 1x Knight of the White Orchid 1x Hushwing Gryff # deck 1x Ephara, God of the Polis *CMDR* Creature (33) 1x Amrou Scout 1x Apprentice Wizard 1x Aven Mindcensor 1x Children of Korlis 1x Defiant Falcon 1x Defiant Vanguard 1x Devout Witness 1x Gold Myr 1x Hedron Crawler 1x Hushwing Gryff 1x Intrepid Hero 1x Jazal Goldmane 1x Knight of the White Orchid 1x Lawbringer 1x Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero 1x Magus of the Future 1x Manakin 1x Mirror Entity 1x Nimble Obstructionist 1x Palladium Myr 1x Plague Myr 1x Ramosian Captain 1x Ramosian Lieutenant 1x Ramosian Sergeant 1x Saltskitter 1x Sea Scryer 1x Silver Myr 1x Stonecloaker 1x Stronghold Machinist 1x Walking Atlas 1x Waterfront Bouncer 1x Whipcorder 1x Whitemane Lion Instant (16) 1x Arcane Denial 1x Artificial Evolution 1x Counterspell 1x Disdainful Stroke 1x Eerie Interlude 1x Foil 1x Ghostway 1x Path to Exile 1x Pongify 1x Rapid Hybridization 1x Reality Shift 1x Rewind 1x Snap 1x Swan Song 1x Swords to Plowshares 1x Unwind Enchantment (6) 1x Authority of the Consuls 1x Bound in Silence 1x Future Sight 1x Propaganda 1x Temporal Isolation 1x Training Grounds Sorcery (3) 1x Austere Command 1x Dusk / Dawn 1x Retribution of the Meek Land (37) 1x Azorius Chancery 1x Glacial Fortress 1x Halimar Depths 13x Island 1x Mistveil Plains 1x Myriad Landscape 1x Nimbus Maze 13x Plains 1x Prairie Stream 1x Reliquary Tower 1x Sejiri Refuge 1x Temple of the False God 1x Tranquil Cove Artifact (4) 1x Aligned Hedron Network 1x Empyrial Plate 1x Lightning Greaves 1x Thousand-Year Elixir


The lands swaps were just upgrades. Pretty straightforward.

The rest is cutting individual cards that under performed, and replacing them with some new ideas.


Deranged Assistant Millikin

I really want to hit turn 2 ramp for a turn 3 Ephara. I really want mana dorks in general, since they trigger Ephara draws and serve as foot soldiers in the game winning “Overrun”.

But given how toolbox-centric this deck is, and how few win-cons we run, the self-mill is just too risky.

Infinite Reflection

The deck is starved for win-cons, but this was just dead too often.

  1. I don’t have any good non-Legendary targets, so it’s strictly random chance that the board has a good target like Inferno Titan
  2. Most of my creatures provide a unique utility. Why would I want to turn that off?

After sitting dead in hand game after game, it’s getting cut.

Thraben Doomsayer

Thraben has been borderline for a while. The guaranteed draw and bodies sounds nice, but the problem is that he costs a 3 (a lot for a deck that wants to Draw Go every turn) and is best case a Phyrexian Arena that dies to wrath. I think I’d rather have more options at instant speed than commit to a creature with such gradual payoff.


Knight of the White Orchid

White “tax tutors” like this should reliably produce ramp now that my playgroup has much more Green players. I’m looking to add Oreskos Explorer as soon as I can pick up a copy.

The ability to tutor up either Prairie Stream or Mistveil Plains is gravy.


Rebels present a much needed solution to the perenial problem of “draw go” mana management. Picture this:you leave up a bunch of mana, but nobody plays anything worth countering or killing. You wasted that mana, your turn, and precious tempo. Rebels solve this problem by giving me a reliable, instant-speed mana sink. I’m more than happy to spend 4 mana during the End Step to tutor in another creature.

Naturally, cards like require lots of mana upfront but turn out free, like Rewind, fit perfectly into this strategy. Counter first, rebel second.

Nimble Obstructionist Hushwing Gryff

Anything with Flash and Flying is an easy sell. Worst case, they surprise chump block an Angel and draw me a card doing it.

For Nimble, I’m excited to have a Stifle that cantrips and can’t be countered.

Hushwing is an experiment. At the risk of turning off Saltskitter, Whitemane Lion, Stonecloaker, and the newly added Knight of the White Orchid, I get a instant-speed answer to a lot of powerful staples.

  • Avenger of Zendikar
  • Craterhoof Behemoth
  • Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker (stops most of the combos)
  • Prime Speaker Zegana
  • Bane of Progress
  • Sepulchral Primordial

The list goes on. Torpor Orb is a prison standard, and can singlehandedly ruin entire decks (rip Jeleva). But whereas Torpor Orb just forces players to hold those cards until it’s safe, Hushwing can flash out and catch them in the act, after they’ve committed the mana!

Note: Ephara triggers on upkeep, so the deck’s primary engine is unaffected.

Watchlist to Cut

Whipcorder Walking Atlas Authority of the Consuls Propaganda

Watchlist to Add

Oreskos Explorer Stormscape Familiar Cataclysm Approach of the Second Sun
Written on May 6, 2018