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Omnath, Locus of Mana Commander Deck in MTG

Jeremy enjoys gaming when not working as a manager at the same college he graduated from.

MTG Commander Format

One of Magic: The Gathering's most popular modes, Commander (EDH) format, tasks players with picking a legendary creature to lead their 100-deck army. You can only include cards with colors matching your Commander's colors. Unlike other play styles, just one copy of each card (basic lands excluded) is allowed.

This diversifies clashes by guaranteeing you'll see something new with each game and makes deckbuilding even more immersive. As someone who has played hundreds of EDH battles, I often employ the green-hued Omnath, Locus of Mana. Let's tackle the strengths of my own interpretation of the classic Omnath EDH deck!

Omnath, Locus of Mana

Omnath, Locus of Mana

Omnath, Locus of Mana

Attributes

First things first. Omnath's mono-color restricts your deck to green and colorless cards, but that's more than enough for the ramp and behemoths you'll need. Additionally, he only costs three mana—making a turn 2 appearance very possible if you're able to summon a mana-tapping creature on turn 1.

First Effect

Omnath may look weak with only 1 power and 1 toughness, but consider his impressive boons. First, green mana never empties from your pool as phases and turns end! This means your leftover resources aren't wasted, which drastically helps you cast your game-changers early on.

Second Effect

As if that wasn't enough, Omnath gets +1/+1 for each green mana in your pool. He'll soon strengthen to double digits, making him nearly impossible to topple without instant-kills, and if he gets access to trample (several cards in our deck aid with this), a win condition through commander damage becomes highly likely.

Strategy

Here's your basic formula. Ramp early, cast Omnath, keep ramping and strengthening him. Use your insane mana amounts to deplete opposing life with a souped-up Omnath or a high-level behemoth (Eldrazi work well) before your opponents know what hit them.

Of course, Omnath needs to stay alive to keep his effects active. The deck incorporates various methods to keep him around, like shroud and protection, and slips in some malicious surprises. We'll get to those soon.

Planeswalkers

  • 1 Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury
  • 1 Garruk, Caller of Beasts

This is a creature-central deck, limiting the number of planeswalkers that should be included, but these cards are just too tempting to ignore. Looking at Freyalise, she'll arrive for a mere five mana and can produce a mana-tapping token each turn. As a bonus, the tokens belong to the elf tribe, superbly complementing the elf-based creatures below. Additionally, her minus two is a reusable artifact/enchantment removal, which can really save you against creature-punishing threats like "Humility" or "Pendrell Mists".

One of our upcoming creatures (Nissa, Vastwood Seer) can also potentially transform into a planeswalker.

Creatures (Ramp/Utility)

  • 1 Fyndhorn Elves
  • 1 Arbor Elf
  • 1 Elvish Mystic
  • 1 Llanowar Elves
  • 1 Boreal Druid
  • 1 Birds of Paradise
  • 1 Priest of Titania
  • 1 Joraga Treespeaker
  • 1 Sakura-Tribe Elder
  • 1 Druid of the Cowl
  • 1 Gyre Sage
  • 1 Whisperer of the Wilds
  • 1 Somberwald Sage
  • 1 Nissa, Vastwood Seer
  • 1 Elvish Archdruid
  • 1 Imperious Perfect
  • 1 Llanowar Tribe
  • 1 Marwyn the Nurturer
  • 1 Elvish Piper
  • 1 Norwood Priestess
  • 1 Oracle of Mul Daya
  • 1 Drumhunter
  • 1 Beast Whisperer
  • 1 Karametra's Acolyte
  • 1 Seedborn Muse

Here are the "weaker" creatures of the deck. Most can tap for mana, a few can tap for extra draws, and several only cost a single mana to play. We've also got a partial elf tribal theme, supported by cards like Priest of Titania and Elvish Archdruid. Other cards, like Norwood Priestess and Elvish Piper, can tap to play your high-cost creatures for free!

As you'll soon see, the deck contains an abundance of lands. To help get them onto the field quickly, Oracle of Mul Daya lets you see and play lands from the top of your deck while also granting an extra land per turn. This lets you ramp faster and deck-thins, granting better chances of drawing non-lands.

Creatures (Powerhouses)

  • 1 Vigor
  • 1 Aggressive Mammoth
  • 1 Regal Behemoth
  • 1 Stonehoof Chieftain
  • 1 Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger
  • 1 Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
  • 1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
  • 1 Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
  • 1 Ghalta, Primal Hunger

Omnath himself will quickly become fierce, but the deck contains several other titans to bulldoze through enemies. These guys cost considerable mana, but they brandish amazing effects. For instance, Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger limits your opponent's mana use while boosting yours and Mammoth gives other creatures trample. To play these heavy hitters, either use free-creature abilities, like those of Norwood Priest and Defense of the Heart, or simply ramp until you can afford their costs.

Examining the above Kozilek, we see that casting him lets you draw four cards, and he joins as a formidable 12/12 gargantuan. Even better, his annihilator ability forces opponents to sacrifice four permanents whenever he attacks. This should rapidly eliminate opposing creatures, enchantments, and lands, even indestructible ones.

Artifacts

  • 1 Lightning Greaves
  • 1 Sol Ring
  • 1 O-Naginata
  • 1 Ring of Kalonia
  • 1 Nim Deathmantle
  • 1 Sword of the Animist
  • 1 Sword of Feast and Famine
  • 1 Sword of Fire and Ice
  • 1 Sword of Light and Shadow
  • 1 Lifecrafter's Bestiary
  • 1 The Great Henge

Nearly all our artifacts are equipments to further strengthen our creatures. They're relatively cheap, costing a bit to cast and a bit more to equip. The swords offer protection from various colors, Lightning Greaves grants both haste and shroud, Ring of Kalonia gives trample while gradually strengthening its equipped creature.

My favorite has to be the nasty Sword of Feast and Famine. In addition to providing +2/+2 and protection from black and green, it bestows two additional effects upon damaging your opponent. First, they must discard, and second, your lands untap, ready to retap and strengthen Omnath even further!

In short, while artifacts aren't your main focus, they're great supports. Depending on how many you run, you might want to consider using planeswalker "Ugin, the Ineffable", who (in addition to his loyalty effects) makes your colorless spells cost two less mana.

Enchantments

  • 1 Exploration
  • 1 Shaper's Sanctuary
  • 1 Rancor
  • 1 Sylvan Library
  • 1 Curse of Bounty
  • 1 Growing Rites of Itlimoc/Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun
  • 1 Bear Umbra
  • 1 Frontier Siege
  • 1 Defense of the Heart
  • 1 Mana Reflection
  • 1 Zendikar Resurgent

Our enchantments vary greatly in mana costs (cheaper are listed first) and provide a plethora of effects. From extra lands (Exploration) to extra draws (Sylvan Library) to free creatures (Defense of the Heart), there are plenty of ramping and card-advantage goodies here to exploit.

Let's talk about the aura Bear Umbra, which, for four mana, attaches to any creature; Omnath's a good candidate. When that creature attacks, your lands untap—immediately tap them to boost Omnath's combat damage! Additionally, Umbra's recipient gains +2/+2 and totem armor, a unique defense that sacrifices Umbra to prevent its holder's first death.

Primal Surge mtg

Primal Surge mtg

Using Primal Surge

  • 1 Primal Surge

One decision you should make before building is whether you plan on running "Primal Surge". This expensive sorcery needs a whopping ten mana, but reveals and plays cards from your deck until you reveal a non-permanent or choose to stop. So, if you build your deck with no other instants/sorceries, you'll play as many spells and lands as you like for free! I highly recommend this strategy, especially since Omnath's mana-storing prowess helps cast Surge, but I'll note some powerful instants/sorceries below to swap in if you don't run Surge.

Technically you could include Surge and the others, but the more you run, the greater your chances of Surge revealing one and forcing itself to stop, so I'd caution against this approach.

Instants/Sorceries (Swap with Other Cards)

  • Nature's Claim
  • Nissa's Pilgrimage
  • Triumph of the Hordes
  • Momentous Fall
  • Skyshroud Claim
  • Mwonvuli Acid-Moss
  • See the Unwritten
  • Genesis Wave

If you don't plan on using Surge, here are other one-offs to consider. Many, such as Skyshroud Claim, simply play extra lands from the deck or increase your ramping effectiveness. Triumph of the Hordes gives your creatures +1/+1, trample, and infect for a turn, accessing a potential poison counter win.

Others, like See the Unwritten and Genesis Wave, focus on searching/playing creatures without paying their costs, helping conserve Omnath's mana while building a powerful field state.

Remember that if Omnath dies, you'll lose his saved mana at the end of the current phase, so if an opponent casts a removal, respond with the instant "Momentous Fall", which lets you sacrifice a creature to draw cards equal to its power and gain life equal to its toughness, twisting his death to your advantage.

Mosswort Bridge

Mosswort Bridge

Lands

  • 1 Nykthos Shrine to Nyx
  • 1 Mosswort Bridge
  • 1 Castle Garenbrig
  • 37 Forest

As a single-colored deck, you won't have to worry about drawing the wrong type of land. Your basic Forests run rampant, plus a few small surprises, like Nykthos, which can potentially double your mana reserves.

Mosswort Bridge lets you examine four cards from the top of your deck, store one for later, and cast it for free when your creatures have 10 or more total Power. Thanks to Omnath's mana-strengthening, this shouldn't take long, and you'll soon be brandishing a formidable spell for free!

Omnath Deck Overview

Strengths

  • Great ramping
  • No color-fixing needed
  • Mostly basic lands (cheap to purchase)
  • Powerful creatures
  • Easy to win via commander damage

This deck should compete in even top-tier matches with its rapid mana gain and formidable commander. Ramping lets you draw and play cards before most opponents can properly defend, and various cards protect your creatures from harm. Plus, you shouldn't need many mulligans thanks to the saturation of lands, and alternative win methods beyond traditional life depletion are viable.

Weaknesses

  • Few removals
  • Weak to flying creatures
  • Hard to bypass protection from green
  • Expensive cards (can be swapped for budget substitutes)

No deck is perfect. Green has always struggled to combat flying beasts, which cannot be blocked by non-flying creatures. Additionally, your removal options are limited, although opponents will often have to sacrifice creatures to block life-depleting hits. Finally, watch out for protection from green, which will delay your assault; use the colorless Eldrazi to overcome this, or simple trample through with excess damage.

Primordial Titan

Primordial Titan

EDH Ban Lists

Below you'll find my deck's current build, but note that you might want to swap in/out cards depending on which ban lists you're using. For instance, "Sol Ring" is allowed in the standard ban lists but illegal in duel commander, while "Primordial Titan" isn't allowed in the standard, but is in duel.

Finally, while Omnath should more than hold his own, he doesn't harness any "infinite" combos, unless you count Primal Surge. Check below for an overview of the deck, obtain your own copy of Omnath at the cheapest prices I could find, and I'll see you at our next MTG review!

Deck List

Commander:

  • 1 Omnath, Locus of Mana

Planeswalkers:

  • 1 Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury
  • 1 Garruk, Caller of Beasts

Creatures (Ramp/Utility):

  • 1 Fyndhorn Elves
  • 1 Arbor Elf
  • 1 Elvish Mystic
  • 1 Llanowar Elves
  • 1 Boreal Druid
  • 1 Birds of Paradise
  • 1 Priest of Titania
  • 1 Joraga Treespeaker
  • 1 Sakura-Tribe Elder
  • 1 Druid of the Cowl
  • 1 Gyre Sage
  • 1 Whisperer of the Wilds
  • 1 Somberwald Sage
  • 1 Nissa, Vastwood Seer
  • 1 Elvish Archdruid
  • 1 Imperious Perfect
  • 1 Llanowar Tribe
  • 1 Marwyn the Nurturer
  • 1 Elvish Piper
  • 1 Norwood Priestess
  • 1 Oracle of Mul Daya
  • 1 Drumhunter
  • 1 Beast Whisperer
  • 1 Karametra's Acolyte
  • 1 Seedborn Muse

Creatures (Powerhouses)

  • 1 Vigor
  • 1 Aggressive Mammoth
  • 1 Regal Behemoth
  • 1 Stonehoof Chieftain
  • 1 Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger
  • 1 Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
  • 1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
  • 1 Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
  • 1 Ghalta, Primal Hunger

Artifacts

  • 1 Lightning Greaves
  • 1 Sol Ring
  • 1 O-Naginata
  • 1 Ring of Kalonia
  • 1 Nim Deathmantle
  • 1 Sword of the Animist
  • 1 Sword of Feast and Famine
  • 1 Sword of Fire and Ice
  • 1 Sword of Light and Shadow
  • 1 Lifecrafter's Bestiary
  • 1 The Great Henge

Enchantments

  • 1 Exploration
  • 1 Shaper's Sanctuary
  • 1 Rancor
  • 1 Sylvan Library
  • 1 Curse of Bounty
  • 1 Growing Rites of Itlimoc
  • 1 Bear Umbra
  • 1 Frontier Siege
  • 1 Defense of the Heart
  • 1 Mana Reflection
  • 1 Zendikar Resurgent

Instants/Sorceries

  • 1 Primal Surge

Lands

  • 1 Nykthos Shrine to Nyx
  • 1 Mosswort Bridge
  • 1 Castle Garenbrig
  • 37 Forest

Questions & Answers

Question: What do you think of using Song of Freyalise as part of the Omnath, Locus of Mana Commander deck? It would provide you with even more mana, and an explosive turn later on.

Answer: Song of Freyalise was released in Dominaria (after this article was made), and you're right, it's a pretty good card Omnath. That said, its first effect of adding tap abilities is only decent, and most Omnath creatures will already be tapping for their natural mana effects or for swinging.

But yes, that last turn of vigilance, indestructible, and trample certainly helps.

Question: Other than Bear Umbra, what can help protect Omnath?

Answer: "Lightning Greaves" provides shroud, "Swiftboots Boots" gives hexproof, and "Nim Mantle" can revive him from death (and prevent your stored mana from depleting).

Protecting Omnath is important, but since green excels at ramping, you can generally recast him pretty quickly if you lose him. You can also cast "Momentous Fall" in response to removal to sac a creature and draw cards equal to its power while gaining life equal to its toughness.

Question: As a huge fan of green builds this deck looks amazing! Out of curiosity have you tried using any hydras in this deck or implemented them successfully in another deck?

Answer: Thank you, I hope to update this build at some point (please be patient). The problem with many hydras is that they have X casting values, which means if you play them for free with certain effects (like "Tooth and Nail" or "Defense of the Heart"), they enter with zero toughness and die.

So you have to be careful when combining hydras with free-casting abilities, but there's definitely some worthy members to consider, and not all use the X mechanic (for instance, I recommend "Gargos, Vicious Watcher").

Question: Is there a reason you run 42 lands in Magic: The Gathering?

Answer: You can definitely decrease the land amount if you like, but I find extras useful for multiple-land spells like "Oracle of Mul Daya." It also depends on which rules you're playing with; for instance, in formats allowing a free mulligan, you have more freedom to redraw lands with your opening hand. But lacking a free mulligan, having more lands ensures an adequate mana supply (especially important for boosting Omnath) in the early stages of the game.

Question: I'm a new Magic player. This deck peaked my interest. How much does it run for in the financial department?

Answer: I wouldn't be surprised if buying every card in this deck (remember, EDH builds need 100 total) ran you over $150. Typically, the better the card, the higher the cost, and these guys are pretty competitive.

However, you have options. Do you plan to play competitively? If not, your local game group and/or friends might let you use proxies, or printed version of cards. Proxies can't be used in official games, and some players might not appreciate their inclusion, but they grant you access to any card for free in casual matches.

There's also the online route to avoid having to buy physical copies. Feel free to check out my review of the UnTap server, a free-to-use browser that lets players (who have some patience) play for no cost at any time.

https://hubpages.com/strategy/Playing-Magic-the-Ga...

© 2017 Jeremy Gill

Comments

Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on November 05, 2017:

@Phrzn

Thanks for the tips, and you're welcome! I almost included a Side Deck containing ideas for other useful cards, but the article was lengthy enough as is, making me table the idea for the time being.

Staff of Domination's tap effect could form a potential infinite-mana combo with Titania, or perhaps better yet, Karametra's Acolyte. Definitely an idea to consider.

Phrzn on November 05, 2017:

I'm planning to update my Omnath deck which I played a few years ago for a while and this really helped. There are plenty of new green cards which seem really powerful with Omnath, I see you included Lifecrafter's Bestiary, but there is also Rhonas or Vizier of Menagerie for example. There are 2 lands which I find are paramount to an Omnath deck, Winding Canyons and Yavimaya Hollow, which help protect/recast Omnath in case of removal. For flyers I usually include a Hornet Queen in the deck which does wonders, and a pet card of mine that I include in almost all my green decks is Genesis to get back value creatures like Solemn Simulacrum. Apparently Staff of Domination is not banned in any commander format but I dunno if you have enough elves to consistently combo it with Priest of Titania.

Kudos and thanks for the article!