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Omnath, Locus of Rage Primer


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Omnath, Locus of Rage was spoiled yesterday and man does he look awesome for EDH. When starting any EDH deck it's important to play to your General's strengths. In Omnath, Locus of Rage’s case, he has three areas to consider:

  1. Lands matter. You want to get as many lands as possible onto your board as possible when Omnath is in play to trigger his Landfall ability. 
  2. Token creation. Everytime Omnath’s Landfall ability is triggered you get a 5/5 red and green Elemental creature token. 
  3. Elementals dying. When Omnath or any other Elemental you control dies, Omnath deals 3 damage to target creature or player. 

Taking each of these into account I believe the deck should mainly focus around land cards and token creation. The last area where elementals dying can be a sub-theme / deterrent for your opponents. 

Lands Matter

Getting lands into play (ramping) and making sure you have lands for the late game to trigger Omnath’s ability is difficult to do. You want to think like a blue mage in this situation — you want to hold spells even though you could use them. You have to wait until just the right time so that you ensure the maximum benefit.

Let's dive a little deeper. Most people look at Kodama's Reach as a good thing in their opening hand, but for this style deck, you may want to hold onto it.  Sure in the early game this can get Omnath out faster, but if you hold onto it until you have Omnath in play, you get 1-2 elementals (assuming Omnath is still on the board as the spell resolves). This 3-cmc spell nets you two lands and 10 power — sounds like value to me. Using Quadrant Theory, Kodama’s Reach typically fell into the Developing quadrant, but with Omnath in play it expands into all other quadrants (Parity, Winning and Losing). 

I would suggest running at least: 

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Another area of a “Lands Matter / Landfall” theme are fetch lands. 

Fetch lands are lands that can be sacrificed to search their controller's library for a land of a specific basic land type. These are awesome with Omnath, Locus of Rage! Picture this: Omnath is on the battlefield and then you put Evolving Wilds into play. Omnath triggers and you get a 5/5 elemental. You then crack Evolving Wilds and fetch up a mountain or forest and put it into play. Omnath’s ability triggers again and you get a second 5/5 elemental. Value! Because of this I would suggest running fetch lands. 

For the budget conscious, you can run: 

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For those who aren’t on the budget train, consider:  

 

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Since there are so many lands going into the graveyard, there should be ways of getting them back in your hand. Crucible of Worlds is the iconic graveyard land recursion tool but you should also add Life from the Loam, Restore and Creeping Renaissance (one of my favorite cards btw). 

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Since we now have a way of getting lands back into play (this is a touchy subject I know), it may be time to add some cards like Dust Bowl, Strip Mine, Wasteland, Ghost Quarter and Tectonic Edge. You can use these to eliminate enemy lands that can cause problems like Cabal Coffers and Kessig Wolf Run (speaking of which you should run Kessig Wolf Run in the deck too). Then once you get rid of those you can start taking them off their colors. Just know that if you start doing this, you will become the number one target at the table and that multiplayer game just became Archenemy.

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Tokens

The next area to build around is tokens. Tokens are one of green's strongest abilities. Tokens allow you to build a massive army from very little. This army will then overwhelm your opponents and win you the game. So let's start working on some token mechanics. The first group is all about making tokens. The obvious includes for this area are Rampaging Baloths and Avenger of Zendikar. I would make Titania, Protector of Argoth an auto include as well. 

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Some other token generators that are awesome with Omnath are Walker of the Grove, Zendikar's Roil, Budoka Gardener and Elemental Mastery. All of these create an Elemental token which become a lightning bolt when they die (if Omnath is in play). Also if you evoke an elemental, it becomes a lightning bolt :) 

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With each of these cards creating tokens and Omnath creating tokens, it's a good idea to find ways to double them. 

Parallel Lives, Doubling Season and Primal Vigor. I know a lot of people don’t like Primal Vigor; even though an opponent can benefit from this card, unless their deck is built around it, you will probably make better use of it.

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With all these high powered tokens coming into play, consider adding cards that can benefit from this effect such as cards like Warstorm Surge, Purphoros, God of the Forge and Elemental Bond. Both Warstorm Surge and Purphoros, God of the Forge can win you the game if enough tokens enter the battlefield (helping you get around pesky pillow fort strategies) and Elemental Bond provides a way to draw cards, which both Green and Red are lacking in. 

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This should provide you a good jumping off point for the token theme when building around Omnath, Locus of Rage. Consider the token generators first, then look for ways to exploit them. Remember that every Elemental token is a potential Lighting Bolt, which brings us to the last section of this primer.

Elemental Death

Omnath's last ability provides you excellent protection from board wipes as they can kill the person who wipes the board (if you choose them of course) and a potential alternate win condition. Anytime Omnath or an Elemental dies, Omnath then deals 3 damage to a target player or creature. This is extremely relevant as you can get added value for something that is normally a heavy cost. Cards like Evolutionary Leap, Ashnod's Altar and Altar of Dementia are all awesome for taking advantage of Omnath’s ability. Evolutionary Leap is a fantastic card as you can sacrifice an elemental token, do 3 damage to an opponent or creature, then get the next creature from your library into your hand. Ashnod’s Altar gives you an excellent option to ramp. When you pair it with Animist’s Awakening, you can make a ton of mana then dump it into Animist’s Awakening to get a bunch of Landfall triggers and then sac them all again for more mana. 

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These all represent great ways to gain value from your tokens while simultaneously adding value. Look at cards that have similar effects and then decided how deep you want to build around Omnath’s Lighting Bolt effect.

Deck List

With any good primer I feel it's important to include a deck list at the end of the article. So I reached out to the best deck builder I know, Brian Dawes (aka @MTGLordOfLeaves), for some help. He offered up a quick draft of what an Omnath, Locus of Rage EDH deck could look like:

Thank you Brian for the decklist and make sure to follow him on twitter @MTGLordOfLeaves for future updates to the list. 

Conclusion

Before we end the primer, I want to remind you that none of what is written here is law. EDH is all about creating, exploring and being original. Hopefully this provides you a good jumping point to unleash the rage of Omnath!


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