Last week I showed you what one of my competitive Commander decks look like. But there are times when I want to play Commander for fun. When I want to do that, I pull out my Yeva, Nature’s Herald deck. And before I hear a single one of you groan, this is NOT an Elf deck.
The Deck List
With my Yeva Commander deck, I really wanted to try to keep up the idea of doing something every turn. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work out that way all the time. I am not playing a spell every turn because, well, sometimes there is too many cool things going on on my battlefield.
This deck takes advantage of two things I like about Commander. The first being the power of Conjurer’s Closet. This artifact from Avacyn Restored has great synergy with a lot of the creatures in this deck and adds to the deck’s ability to keep going after the board has stalled or been wiped out.
The second would be the ability to generate an absurd amount of mana. As a heads up, one of my favorite Standard decks was Wolf Run Ramp. I am very big of hyper mana strategies and I tried to make that work in this deck. Thanks to Theros, I was rewarded with the concept of devotion and this deck takes advantage of Karametra’s Acolyte and Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx to help me have a strong mana advantage.
This is the backbone of the deck. Green is the color of mana ramp and I tried to tap into that aspect as best as I could when creating this deck. I run standard cards like Skyshroud Claim, Ranger’s Path, and Kodama’s Reach. In the creature front, I run all of the necessary one drop mana elves. To crank up my mana production to 11 I have Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary and Karametra’s Acolyte. This two tend to give me all the mana I need.
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx actually dictated a lot of my card choices in this deck. I avoided a lot of artifact assistance and tried to avoid using too many instants and sorceries. This was all to make sure that the devotion to Green stayed as high as possible. One notable card that reflects this decision is Ground Seal. There are better graveyard hate that are artifacts. However, Ground Seal has a green mana symbol and draws me a card. Seems win win in my book.
Seedborn Muse is here because the theme of the deck is using our creatures on our opponents’ turn. So having Seedborn Muse to give us access to all of mana every upkeep is very clutch. Just remember she is not a lynch pin to the strategy so don’t work too hard to get her out of the deck.
The Card Advantage
Arguably card draw is not Green’s strong suit. However, you need card advantage in Commander for your deck to be able to function. Since my Yeva deck is based heavily around creatures, I get the advantage of having access to some of the best consistent card draw effects in green.
In the creature category there is Soul of the Harvest, Primordial Sage, and Garruk’s Packleader. By far, the easiest to abuse of the three would be Soul of the Harvest. While Soul ignores the token sub theme of the deck, Soul can be abused by Conjurer’s Closet and likes our weenies. Primordial Sage is great and chains well, but dries up if we’re relying on the Closet. Garruk’s Packleader has the perk of allowing us to draw cards off the Beast tokens either of the Garruks produce.
Collective Unconscious and Regal Force allow us to take advantage of the sheer number of creatures we play. Regal Force is a little more efficient because we can tutor for it. Collective Unconscious makes it into the banner out of pure love for the card and the fact I have more memories playing it.
Triumph of Ferocity is the card that tends to catch a lot of people off guard. This card was high pick for me when I was playing it in limited, mainly because I liked playing the dinosaur decks that the format allowed. In playing a Commander deck that has a decent number of creatures with power 3 or greater, Triumph of Ferocity tends to be a consistent source of card draw. Of course, adding to the devotion to Green count doesn’t hurt it either.
Then downside to playing a creature reliant deck is the existence of board wipes and removal spells. I was shocked when I realized that Green had more graveyard tools outside of just Eternal Witness. One of the downsides of being a mono colored deck is losing out on hybrid color spells. In this case, I would really like to play Wheel of Sun and Moon. But, the sustainability package I’ve put together works out just as well.
Loaming Shaman is a pretty fun option for the deck. Not only is he selective about the cards he shuffles back into your deck, he can do it to your opponent too. This can be used against opponents or used for diplomacy as you return cards to your opponent’s deck. And thanks to Conjurer’s Closet, he’s the gift that keeps giving.
The sheer number of times Creeping Renaissance has got my Yeva deck back into a game is staggering. After getting board wiped, it can be pretty hard to rebuild. With Creeping Renaissance you get two opportunities to rebuild. This spell would be in the deck if it didn’t have Flashback. The fact that it does is just icing on the cake.
Riftsweeper is cool in that it gets exiled cards, thus ruining those Path to Exiles and Swords to Plowshares. But the true fun of this card is that it allows me to reuse Praetor’s Counsel and an exiled Creeping Renaissance.
The Final Word
This version of Yeva, Nature’s Herald Commander is not designed to be overtly oppressive. I won’t throw the word casual around, because this deck is in no way casual. Fun. Fun is the best way to sum this deck up. If you like hyper mana strategies or near synergies this is the deck for you.
A fun interaction in this deck that I didn’t give a break down for is Master of the Wild Hunt paired with Howl of the Night Pack and/or Wolfbriar Elemental. Usually, Master of the Wild Hunt is a manageable removal spell and one your opponents can ignore. With the help of Wolfbriar and Howl of the Night Pack he becomes a much larger threat sooner rather than later. In the same vein, Ulvenwald Tracker is surprisingly good source of removal.
The deck is also relatively new player friendly. Sure there is some complex things that go on in here, but at its core it is a play creatures and turn them sideways deck.