So I got a Mayael deck referral from nayamtg:
findmeaviolin: i really really want to make a naya colored edh and am looking at using mayael as my general.any suggestions? people tell me shes too slow but i dont think so with green running ramp. *smiles*
I love this commander and these kind of decks. *Cracks knuckles* Let’s get to it.
The first thing I would do is look up Alara block cards. Naya’s whole theme was “power 5 or greater,” which I love, but can understand why players don’t find it as cool as getting a keyword, a la exalted, devour, and unnearth. Doing this search gives you creatures with power 5 or greater and also permanents that have that theme: stuff like the near-Mayael-auto-includes Spearbreaker and Spellbreaker Behemoths, Mayael’s Aria, and Drumhunter.
In any deck you want good card draw, so look to Garruk’s Packleader, Soul of the Harvest, the aforementioned Drumhunter, and Garruck, Primal Hunter. Momentous Fall is a good option too, as is Greater Good. Triumph of Ferocity might even be a good idea.
Look for removal that are also big creatures so Mayael can grab them. I’m talking Terrastodon and, if you can afford it, Woodfall Primus. If you don’t mind random effects, there are Tyrant of Discord and Capricious Street, the latter of which really needs Darksteel Plate, Darksteel Ingot, and Stuffy Doll to be worth it, but those are decent cards anyway, and Stuffy Doll works with some Red removal I will be suggesting later. Other removal possibilities are dragons like Bogarden Hellkite, Flameblast Dragon, and Steel Hellkite. Novablast Wurm is fantastic. You might consider Guild Feud for its risky removal and pseudo-Mayael effect (and it works with another card I will suggest shortly).
Protection for your pricey creatures is good. The best choices are Spearbreaker Behemoth and Avacyn if you can afford her. Also consider Rune-Tail, Loxodon Hierarch, Dauntless Escort, Asceticism, Privileged Position, Ghostway, and Aegis Angel. If you don’t mind losing creatures and run enough recursion, Eldrazi Monument protects and grants evasion. A great one to run, and the card that works great with Guild Feud, is Vigor. You get a bigger creature and remove an opponent’s almost guaranteed. If you do add Vigor, and depending on the amount of other protections for your guys, you might lean more of your removal to the fight keyword, such as with Ulvenwald Tracker and Prey Upon.
Don’t shy from the smaller guys though, as they will still trigger Soul of the Harvest and any other creatures-matters cards too, so look to small land searchers such as Farhaven Elf and removal (e.g., Acidic Slime) too. I would say you want 20 creatures of power 5 or greater and another 20 with less, as Mayael decks are creature hungry.
You can run Mayael’s affect as a gamble, which is exciting, or you can set it up with the likes of Sensei’s Diving Top, Crystal Ball, and my favorite, Cream of the Crop.
Once you have 5-10 cards for card draw, ramp, and removal, you can fill out the rest with recursion a la Genesis or Emeria, pump a la Titanic Ultimatum, more power-5-or-greater cards like Warstorm Surge and its cousin Where Ancients Tread (which I highly recommend), or pet cards such as Hamletback Goliath, Tooth and Nail, and Genesis Wave. If you do run Vigor, I suggest the red mass removal spells Blasphemous Act and Disaster Radius, and perhaps Pyrohemia, Starstorm, Savage Twister, and Chain Reaction (you probably don’t need all of those, so just pick the ones you like the most). All work great with Stuffy Doll too. If you don’t run Vigor then you’re better off running White’s removal, such as Planar Cleansing, Austere Command, and Akroma’s Vengeance.