Challenge the Stats – Sigarda, Host of Herons
Hosting Herons for the Holidays
Welcome to Challenge the Stats! This series is based on the awesome EDHRECast segment where we pick out cards that we think are overplayed, underplayed, or sleepers to challenge EDHREC’s data. Remember, these are merely comments on the data, and card choices made by you, the deckbrewer, for any reason such as flavor, budget, art, or fun are always most important and are what keep our format unique and awesome.
This week, we're discussing a commander from Avacyn Restored in honor of returning to Innistrad:!
I love the Voltron strategy, and Sigarda helps mitigate two important weaknesses that Voltron struggles with: sacrifice effects, and targeted removal.
Luckily, we have a seasoned Sigarda player on the EDHREC team: Dana Roach, who is known for his hipster commander choices, extensive knowledge of obscure cards, and most importantly, his majestic beard. Dana was gracious enough to consult with me on these challenges, and you'll find his responses below (in italics). If you want to hear more of his insights, check him out on the EDHRECast, his other podcast CMDR Central, and writing articles on EDHREC and Commander's Herald.
We're going to challenge the data from all 770 Sigarda decks at the time of writing, and you can see how often those cards are played in parentheses (%). Here we go.
1. Ramp Strategies
Dana: Cost reducers are maybe worth it, though I think it depends on how many Auras and enchantments you run with colorless pips. I've seen them in decks filled withs and s, so the reduction they generate isn't that impressive.
Land ramp is safer from being removed, generally speaking, but I think the slightly increased risk to losing youror is worth it when the upside is drawing a card (or two or four). Plus, they add to the enchantment count for things like , , etc., and add to the pip count for . All told, I think the advantages to enchantment ramp pretty heavily outweigh the negatives.
2. Shalai, Voice of Plenty (19%)
Perhaps she's included as an Angel buddy for Sigarda, but Shalai clashes with Sigarda's strategy for a couple reasons. The first is that she gives Sigarda redundant hexproof. She gives our other creatures hexproof, too, but most Sigarda decks are focusing on buffing up Sigarda and probably don't have a ton of other creatures that are essential to protect. It's definitely nice to protect your, but that slot might be better served with another piece to keep our engine running.
Secondly, her ability to put counters on every creature we control does a lot more work in a go-wide deck. For six mana, we're really only happy paying that high cost if we have 5+ creatures to distribute counters to, and that rate is pretty bad for our Voltron plan of buffing up one creature.
3. Karametra, God of Harvests (12%)
Karametra isn't going to get too many creature triggers to help ramp us. The average Sigarda deck on EDHREC has less than 20 creatures, which is a decent amount, but do we want to be ramping at five mana anyways? We're also playing a lot of cheaper enchantments and Auras to trigger card draw, and Karametra is a bit higher than what we want to pay to trigger our.