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 Melek, Izzet Paragon.

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.

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


One of my favorite cards of all time

Melek, Izzet Paragon (EDH)

Commander (1)
Melek, Izzet Paragon
Lands (36)
Terramorphic Expanse
Terrain Generator
Sulfur Falls
Steam Vents
Shivan Reef
Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep
Reliquary Tower
10 Mountain
Minamo, School at Water’s Edge
Izzet Guildgate
Izzet Boilerworks
12 Island
Halimar Depths
Evolving Wilds
Desolate Lighthouse
Command Tower
Creatures (14)
Vesuvan Shapeshifter
Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
Talrand, Sky Summoner
Phyrexian Metamorph
Nivix Guildmage
Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind
Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius
Kheru Spellsnatcher
Keranos, God of Storms
Izzet Chronarch
Hypersonic Dragon
Goblin Electromancer
Clever Impersonator
Instants (19)
Turn // Burn
Spell Crumple
Smash to Smithereens
Rapid Hybridization
Mystical Tutor
Muddle the Mixture
Lightning Bolt
Izzet Charm
Fire // Ice
Fact or Fiction
Cyclonic Rift
Comet Storm
Chaos Warp
Sorceries (19)
Treasure Cruise
Telemin Performance
Stolen Goods
Past in Flames
Mizzium Mortars
Merchant Scroll
Knowledge Exploitation
Gitaxian Probe
Faithless Looting
Epic Experiment
Chain Lightning
Bonfire of the Damned
Blatant Thievery
Blasphemous Act
Enchantments (1)

Artifacts (8)
Sphinx-Bone Wand
Sol Ring
Sensei’s Divining Top
Scroll Rack
Izzet Signet
Gilded Lotus
Darksteel Ingot
Coalition Relic

Planeswalkers (2)
Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
Dack Fayden

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 Bribery, 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 Bribery-based effects, the deck runs your standard gamut of Izzet spells, such as Cyclonic Rift, Lightning Bolt, Izzet Charm, 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 Keranos, God of Storms and Treasure Cruise will keep you going in the late game by providing you with ongoing card advantage.

What Melek 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.

Melek 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 Sensei’s Divining Top and Scroll Rack to provide you with juicy spells to cast from the top. Casting double Bribery, Epic Experiment, Knowledge Exploitation, Treasure Cruise, or Blatant Thievery will almost always win you the game. Even just casting a double Electrolyze can sometimes give you the advantage you need and keep the pressure off you so you can set up future turns. With Melek 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.

Melek, Izzet Paragon 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. Melek 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. Melek 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

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