Commander Corner: Melek, Izzet Paragon

Welcome,

As this is my first article, I decided to do a Commander deck that is near and dear to my heart. He is my first and foremost in a long line of Commanders. His name is [c]Melek, Izzet Paragon[/c].

This man, well more of a weird than a man, represents a lot of the things that I like to do in Magic. I love to play big, bombastic spells that crush the opponent upon resolution. I like making complex turns while generating tons of card advantage. Most of all though, I love playing with new cards, most of those end up being my opponents.

[c]Melek[/c] lets me do all of these things and much more. Lets take a look at what my personal build has to offer you.

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One of my favorite cards of all time

[d title=”Melek, Izzet Paragon (EDH)”]
Commander
1 Melek, Izzet Paragon

Lands
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Terrain Generator
1 Sulfur Falls
1 Steam Vents
1 Shivan Reef
1 Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep
1 Reliquary Tower
10 Mountain
1 Minamo, School at Water’s Edge
1 Izzet Guildgate
1 Izzet Boilerworks
12 Island
1 Halimar Depths
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Desolate Lighthouse
1 Command Tower [/d]

[d]
Creatures
1 Vesuvan Shapeshifter
1 Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
1 Talrand, Sky Summoner
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Nivix Guildmage
1 Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind
1 Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius
1 Kheru Spellsnatcher
1 Keranos, God of Storms
1 Izzet Chronarch
1 Hypersonic Dragon
1 Goblin Electromancer
1 Galvanoth
1 Clever Impersonator [/d]

[d]
Instants
1 Turn // Burn
1 Spell Crumple
1 Smash to Smithereens
1 Rapid Hybridization
1 Pongify
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Muddle the Mixture
1 Lightning Bolt
1 Izzet Charm
1 Hinder
1 Fire // Ice
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Electrolyze
1 Desertion
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Comet Storm
1 Chaos Warp
1 Capsize
1 Brainstorm [/d]

[d]
Sorceries
1 Treasure Cruise
1 Telemin Performance
1 Stolen Goods
1 Spelltwine
1 Preordain
1 Ponder
1 Past in Flames
1 Mizzium Mortars
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Knowledge Exploitation
1 Gitaxian Probe
1 Faithless Looting
1 Epic Experiment
1 Chain Lightning
1 Bribery
1 Bonfire of the Damned
1 Blatant Thievery
1 Blasphemous Act
1 Acquire [/d]

[d]
Enchantments
1 Treachery

Artifacts
1 Sphinx-Bone Wand
1 Sol Ring
1 Sensei’s Divining Top
1 Scroll Rack
1 Izzet Signet
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Darksteel Ingot
1 Coalition Relic

Planeswalkers
1 Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
1 Dack Fayden
[/d]

This deck is juiced with power, even though it lacks a clear win condition on its own. The primary goal of this deck is to use your opponents cards against them to seize the day. Most decks in this format rely on big, dumb idiots or specific spells to win the game overall. This deck punishes those strategies by simply using their tools against them. Cards like [c]Bribery[/c], when cast, can be a nightmare for many decks, as they tend not to be able to handle the best creature in their deck as they are not designed to combat their own tech. Most green-based decks are the best friends of this one.

Outside of [c]Bribery[/c]-based effects, the deck runs your standard gamut of Izzet spells, such as [c]Cyclonic Rift[/c], [c]Lightning Bolt[/c], [c]Izzet Charm[/c], and other things of the sort. You usually want to keep the board clear, since you’re typically going to have one or two creatures on the board at any given time. Cards like [c]Keranos, God of Storms[/c] and [c]Treasure Cruise[/c] will keep you going in the late game by providing you with ongoing card advantage.

What [c]Melek[/c] brings to this deck is something that a lot of decks can’t really do. He brings extra value to every spell you cast, assuming you’re casting off the top of your library, of course.

[c]Melek[/c] forces you to play differently, as playing from the top of the deck rewards you with the best results most of the time. He allows you to dig deeper and find the cards you need for the situation at hand. Since you need to keep the top of the library set up, you’re going to rely on [c]Sensei’s Divining Top[/c] and [c]Scroll Rack[/c] to provide you with juicy spells to cast from the top. Casting double [c]Bribery[/c], [c]Epic Experiment[/c], [c]Knowledge Exploitation[/c], [c]Treasure Cruise[/c], or [c]Blatant Thievery[/c] will almost always win you the game. Even just casting a double [c]Electrolyze[/c] can sometimes give you the advantage you need and keep the pressure off you so you can set up future turns. With [c]Melek[/c] in play, you have to learn to plan ahead and be able to identify the spell that is needed for the situation, whether it be from your deck or theirs.

[c]Melek, Izzet Paragon[/c] is a card that is very sentimental to me. When I was getting into Magic, which was around the release of Return to Ravnica, he was one of the first cards that I ever really fell in love with. He became my first Commander and this was the first list I ever really took the time to make sure I built right. [c]Melek[/c] represents why I love this game. He brings something unique to the table that not many others can do. He allows you to craft huge, explosive turns and provide you with tons of advantage at the same time. Even after I’ve spread out and gotten into older formats and made new Commander decks, I’ve always had a place for him in my arsenal. [c]Melek[/c] will be at my side until the day I die.

Since this is my first article, also the first for Commander Corner, I should explain how things will go. Every week I’ll have a new list for you guys to take a look at and hopefully it gives you some inspiration for your next deck idea. I also will never have an infinite combo in any of my Commander decks, as they ruin the spirit of the format. As what is supposed to be a mostly casual format, comboing out your friends isn’t exactly my definition of casual. If you guys have any suggestions of Commanders you would like to see built, let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for checking out this weeks Commander Corner. I’ll catch you guys next Friday with a new Commander deck for you to sleeve up and wreak havoc with across the Multiverse. See you soon my friend.

– Steven Gulsby