There are many ways to build an Ephara, God of the Polis deck, and each strategy is very customizable.
You can build an aggressive, creature-based deck which relies on Ephara to provide a steady stream of creatures in the mid to late game. However, most people have found that hyper aggressive decks with small creatures are highly unfavorable in a multiplayer format where everyone starts at 40 life.
A more midrange deck could work, however. After turn 4, you would ideally hit land drops and curve out. Where the curve ends would be up to you. If your metagame is greedy and slow, then it could be higher. If your metagame is faster and more combo oriented, then you can definitely cut some big creatures in favor of cheaper, more disruptive creatures.
The next step from midrange would be to focus even more on the late game with a control shell that still has a reasonable amount of creatures to get value from Ephara. You would run more sweepers, more counterspells, and more late game finishers.
This deck does something a bit different from the aforementioned strategies. This deck takes advantage of creatures with flash, the multiplayer setting, and the fact that Ephara can trigger on anyone’s upkeep.
1x Kor Haven
1x Maze of Ith
1x Mystic Gate
1x Nimbus Maze
1x Tolaria West
1x Gilded Drake
1x Seht’s Tiger
1x Sun Titan
1x Trinket Mage
Artifacts and Enchantments (11)
1x Land Tax
1x Mana Vault
1x Mimic Vat
1x Sol Ring
Instants and Sorceries (16)
In the late game, even if you have the mana to play multiple creatures on your turn, you will only draw one card off Ephara. Flashing in creatures on your opponents turns can make every one of your creatures cantrip. This allows us to get away with some suboptimal cards like Seht’s Tiger. Perhaps situational is a better way to describe it.
The majority of the creatures actually don’t have flash. The flash creatures just provide some bonus value in the late game. Leyland of Anticipation and Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir do give all of your creatures flash, and I can’t imagine a situation where you would mulligan the Leyline. Moorland Haunt is arguably the best land in the deck for its synergy with Ephara. Springjack Pasture is also good for those instant speed Goat tokens.
Obviously, this whole strategy only works when Ephara is on the battlefield, but considering her indestructibility and the new ruling on commander tucking, you shouldn’t have to cast her very many times.
This deck can grind out opponents with the value its commander produces, and there are solid ways to finish the game.
Aetherling – It will take a long time and a lot of things to go right, but it is technically a win con. I saw it do good work when it was in Standard. Of course, Aetherling’s first ability is amazing with Ephara.
Bribery – This is another unlikely win con. You hope for something like a Blightsteel Colossus, but as long as you don’t target the heavy control player, you should steal something well worth your 5 mana.
Entreat the Angels – Like the other miracles, Temporal Mastery and Terminus, it can be setup by a Personal Tutor or Sensei’s Divining Top. I like miracles in EDH. The chance a certain miracle ends up in your opening hand is low, and even then, you can partial mulligan it away.
Rite of Replication – Not a bad card without the kicker, but with it, it’s a game ender. With the kicker, it can only be cast in the late game, but the late game is where the best targets appear.
Palinchron – Infinite mana with Deadeye Navigator, Eldrazi Displacer, and Phantasmal Image. That mana can be funneled into a Blue Sun’s Zenith, Ambassador Laquatus, or Heliod, God of the Sun. Unfortunately, these are the only options that can kill immediately, but infinite mana’s still an effective Omniscience. They say that Tarmogoyf is a blue creature. I think Palinchron may be a green creature because Tooth and Nail can fetch up Palinchron and a full win condition package.
Thassa, God of the Sea – Provides good card selection through scry, and the unblockability she grants to anyone’s creatures allows you negotiate and dictate combat, especially when larger, more lethal creatures come in to play. She slips your creatures through gridlocked board states (which occur a lot in this format).
That’s all for now. Have fun, and I’ll see you next week!
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