Aurum Astrum [EDH]

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
In the early 00's, I had a white/blue/black deck for the now-defunct Seattle 150-card Highlander format. One of this deck's silly tricks was to use Rootwater Matriarch with Kjeldoran Pride. This dubious combo worked better when combat damage went on the stack, but even back then it was not actually all that great. Still, I had fun with it, and ever since I started revisiting some of my harebrained ideas from the past through the medium of EDH decks, this one has been lurking in the back of my mind. I couldn't use it when I built my Ramses Overdark deck because Kjeldoran Pride is white. In 2022 I took the remnants of the Ramses Overdark deck and built a Hakim, Loreweaver deck. I made good use of Rootwater Matriarch there, but still couldn't use Kjeldoran Pride. Then in 2023 I incorporated the black remnants of the Ramses Overdark deck into a deck helmed by Eriette of the Charmed Apple. And of course, that commander wasn't blue and couldn't use Kjeldoran Pride. Ever since, I've been biding my time, waiting for a proper Esper aura-themed commander that could consolidate the cards from the Ramses deck, the Hakim deck, and the Eriette deck.

Eriette, the Beguiler might not be a perfect fit for what I'm trying to do, but I'm not holding my breath on getting anything that is. The idea is to throw a bunch of creature-enchanting auras around and then use my creatures to do stuff with the auras. If you're looking for the best Eriette deck around, don't look here. But this deck sure does use Kjeldoran Pride.

Commander:
1 Eriette, the Beguiler

1 Academy Rector
1 Academy Researchers
1 Altar of Dementia
1 Ancient Tomb
1 Animate Dead
1 Arcanum Wings
1 Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist
1 Arid Mesa
1 Aura Finesse
1 Aura Graft
1 Auramancer
1 Auramancer's Guise
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Boonweaver Giant
1 Casting of Bones
1 City of Traitors
1 Command Tower
1 Crown of the Ages
1 Crystal Chimes
1 Curator's Ward
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Dance of the Dead
1 Dead Man's Chest
1 Death Watch
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Eldrazi Conscription
1 Enchantment Alteration
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Eriette of the Charmed Apple
1 Ever After
1 Fallen Ideal
1 False Demise
1 Flight of Fancy
1 Flooded Strand
1 Followed Footsteps
1 Fool's Demise
1 Generous Gift
1 Ghoulish Impetus
1 Gift of Immortality
1 Godless Shrine
1 Hakim, Loreweaver
1 Hall of Heliod's Generosity
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Hanna, Ship's Navigator
1 Heliod's Pilgrim
1 Iridescent Drake
2 Island
1 Kjeldoran Pride
1 Last Voyage of the _____
1 Leonin Relic-Warder
1 Marsh Flats
1 Maze of Ith
1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Monk Idealist
1 Necromancy
1 Necromantic Thirst
1 Octopus Umbra
1 Open the Armory
1 Otawara, Soaring City
1 Pemmin's Aura
2 Plains
1 Polluted Delta
1 Protective Bubble
1 Ramses Overdark
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Replenish
1 Retether
1 Rootwater Matriarch
1 Rootwater Shaman
1 Sage's Reverie
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Scrubland
1 Serra's Embrace
1 Serra's Sanctum
1 Shade's Form
1 Sol Ring
1 Songbirds' Blessing
1 Soul Link
1 Starfield Mystic
1 Strip Mine
3 Swamp
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Tameshi, Reality Architect
1 Treachery
1 Tundra
1 Underground Sea
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Volrath's Stronghold
1 Vow of Flight
1 Wasteland
1 Watery Grave
1 Winds of Rath
1 Windswept Heath
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Technically, I still don't own a copy of Eriette, the Beguiler. I have ordered one. I used this deck on Wednesday with Chromium as a stand-in for Eriette in case opponents wouldn't let me "proxy" the deck's intended commander. Somewhat improbably, this deck pulled off a win in its first outing, despite being generally outclassed for most of the game. Opponents focused on either protecting themselves from having their creatures stolen or on keeping my commander off the field, but didn't attack me very many times, so I stayed alive despite often facing superior board states. After one opponent fell, I was able to pick off the attacker by swinging in with my Iridescent Drake enchanted with Eldrazi Conscription. I had just enough mana to put Shade's Form on the Drake and Fallen Ideal on Ramses Overdark. My final opponent only had one creature, but was able to cast a big Finale of Devastation for Craterhoof Behemoth. He didn't spot the infinite combo, but even having it was only barely enough. I sacrificed the Drake, looping Shade's Form and making Ramses Overdark big enough to easily block and kill the Craterhoof Behemoth. Iridescent Drake blocked the other attacker, and I was taken down to 3 life. Close, but not enough to kill me. When my opponent passed the turn back to me, he was slaughtered by a gigantic, flying Ramses Overdark.
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Played this deck again this week. Technically, I won. It was my most undeserved win in years. Opening hand had Verdant Catacombs and cards that would have been strong if I'd hit a third land drop, but seemed too risky. Mulliganed into a new hand that had Strip Mine and no other lands. Couldn't keep that one either, so I mulliganed again, ultimately keeping a hand with Plains, City of Traitors, and no promising early business spells. It wasn't a great start, but there was some potential. If I could get a blue or black mana source, I drop the City of Traitors to get to four mana total, which would have been enough to cast any card in my hand, although I still wouldn't have all three colors, so no commander yet. I had bad luck and ended up holding onto the City of Traitors, discarding to hand size for several turns. At first, even this didn't seem quite hopeless because I had Replenish in my hand, so all the auras I was discarding could hit the battlefield in one fell swoop, if the time was right. But as the game dragged on, I was forced to start discarding creatures too. I don't remember how many turns it was, but I was largely ignored at the table because I was no threat. One opponent was eliminated, then the other two focused all of their resources on killing each other. I finally topdecked another land, but it was Maze of Ith. This soaked up some damage, but few attacks came my way.

Eventually, one of my opponents used an Intruder Alarm engine to draw through his entire deck looking for a way to kill the other opponent. And he really needed to because the other opponent was going to win on his next turn. I was out of the picture. After navigating various lines and choosing his attackers, he wound up with a combat that killed the other opponent and saw my Maze of Ith save me from a lethal attacker, while taking a huge hit from a second attacker. I had little life left, but was technically still alive. He then revealed that he had no way to save himself from being decked on his next draw step, so victory was mine. I had gone the entire game without casting a single spell.
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Played this deck last night and it was glorious. Right out of the gate I was stealing creatures from everybody. I was the archenemy of the game and got to do all sorts of cool aura shenanigans. So yeah, glad I built this deck.

After putting Fallen Ideal and Protective Bubble on my Auramancer while also having both Iridescent Drake + False Demise and Academy Researchers + Fool's Demise I had the capacity to one-shot opponents pretty reliably. I'd already killed one opponent, and took out another using this method, but not before he got me down to 12 life. Now, this next part I'm only going to share at the CPA because it's a bit awkward, but it's true. I was down to 12 life and my last remaining opponent had a strong board state, but no way to deal with my Auramancer and not enough attackers to finish me off. She was an older, returning player who only recently returned to the game after briefly playing in the mid-90's when everything was different. She navigated a line that gave her two unblockable attackers with a total of 12 power, exactly enough to finish me off. I was holding Otawara, Soaring City in my hand and I had enough mana to channel it. I have misgivings about pulling punches like this, but I was confident that no one else had seen the Otawara in my hand, so I could just pretend I didn't have an answer and no one would ever know. I'm sharing it here because I highly doubt that the local EDH players in Kent, Washington are going to track down this forum post online and out me as some sort of deviant "let people win on purpose" freak. Seems pretty unlikely. Was I wrong for doing this? Maybe. But it was my choice and I made it. So there.
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Played this deck last night. Got hosed by Blood Moon for a while, then worked to build a board state just in time to stop Jace, Telepath Unbound from hitting its ultimate, although I had to enchant tokens to steal them in order to get my attacks through. The Jace player was employing a mill strategy, but also wheeled me into Iridescent Drake and Demonic Tutor, with Shade's Form in my graveyard. So I fetched Altar of Dementia, asked the question "How well can you take your own medicine?" and milled the table out.
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Played this deck on Wednesday night. Not too memorable. I took too long to get access to my colors, and ended up being slaughtered by some broken thing. I might have stood some chance if I hadn't been manascrewed, but I also might have just died anyway, as I think one of my opponents was packing serious power.
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Played this deck and had it get completely run over again. It's hard to tell when people are bringing high-power decks to casual tables and when I'm safe to run slower decks like this one. Going to try taking it in stride instead of reflexively building something to stomp them again. Whenever I do the latter, it always feels like new/casual players are the ones that take the brunt of the punishment. So let's not. For now anyway. Might change my mind later...
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Played this deck for the last game at the most recent Wednesday Commander Night. It was holding its own, but the store was closing and no winner was in sight. In fact, the game was well-balanced and shaping up to be a good one. Too bad we got such a late start on it! At the time we had to start packing up, I'd just lost my Rootwater Matriarch, which was too bad, but had also just gotten my Academy Rector killed. What enchantment would I have searched up? I guess we'll never know!
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Tried this deck again last night. Again, I was mostly just overpowered. Actually, one person pretty much dominated the whole table. Frustratingly, I drew some removal and disruption that could have gone against the dominant player, just because of suspicion regarding my commander's ability. It's not that players would rather lose the game than have control of their creatures taken away from them temporarily. But it's not always obvious to everyone that this is the track they're putting themselves on. Oh well. Deck is still fun to play, even if I didn't get to do so much this time around.
 
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