For this week’s article I decided to feature my friend Dylan’s commander, Roon of the Hidden Realm. This is not his list card-for-card, but it does draw a lot of inspiration from playing against his deck for over a year at this point. I feel that this type of strategy (which we will be delving into shortly) is one of the best things to be doing in Commander.
The power level of Roon is insane as he can attack and block efficiently while stopping your opponents’ creatures from doing the same. He can also protect and generate value from your own creatures. He does everything a good commander should. It’s all value all the time here with this rhino. Since there is very little lore for us to take a look at, lets just dive straight into this bouncy house of a deck.
When one Craterhoof trigger isn’t enough…
Roon's Bouncy Castle (EDH)
1 Beast Within
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Path to Exile
1 Return to Dust
1 Spell Crumple
1 Sphinx’s Revelation
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Think Twice
1 Worldly Tutor
1 Austere Command
1 Kodama’s Reach
1 Search for Tomorrow
1 Supreme Verdict
1 Tooth and Nail
1 Treasure Cruise
1 Azorius Signet
1 Commander’s Sphere
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Obelisk of Bant
1 Sensei’s Divining Top
1 Simic Signet
1 Sol Ring
1 Venser, the Sojourner
The value is strong with this one.
The deck plays out similarly to a Bant tempo/control deck. It puts your opponent in a soft lock while generating card advantage via Roon‘s ability. Gaining the edge by reusing the same cards over and over by bouncing Eternal Witness or drawing and ramping out your deck with Solemn Simulacrum is this deck’s bread and butter. If you ever need to win on the spot, how does double Craterhoof triggers sound? I have yet to see a match where that hasn’t gotten the job done. If you are a fan of value (and who isn’t) then you should give Roon a shot.
The primary modes of winning are with multiple Craterhoof triggers, or just by beating your opponents with sheer card advantage. Craterhoof is the preferred mode of winning though, as it is easier to pull off with the huge mass of creatures and the fact that you’re almost always going to draw it. Though the card advantage route isn’t too hard either, as getting back Treasure Cruise or Sphinx’s Revelation every turn by bouncing your Eternal Witness is an easy way to pull that off.
This deck does have a few issues.
It can be a bit color sensitive, as a lot of these cards require very specific mana to cast them. Fetchlands definitely go a long way to mitigate this, but sometimes I still run into some mana issues. With the amount of ramp spells this deck has, most games should be fine.
The list also tends to rely heavily on Roon staying alive. Thank goodness he isn’t a tiny guy, or else we would have a huge problem. You do need to have “protect Roon” on the top of your list, or else you’re going to be running sub-optimally. Which is not to say that this deck can’t win without him, it just becomes that much harder.
For me, the two cards that have proven every game that they are power houses in any deck, especially this one, are Prophet of Kruphix, and Deadeye Navigator. Prophet of Kruphix is exactly what you need with Roon. With her out, you go into maximum overdrive. You’re able to crank out so much value every turn that it becomes impossible for your opponents to win until they deal with Prophet.
Deadeye Navigator is no slouch either. He protects everything you have and also can conveniently win you the game. His ability to pair himself with anything you control for two mana is insane. He can become oppressive at times, as it’s next to impossible to get him off the table once he sticks. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets banned at some point. As long as he is legal though, there is no reason not to play him.
I had tons of fun testing out this deck and I have no doubt that anyone who picks it up will enjoy it just as much.
When I made the first draft of this deck, it was running a copy of Thousand-Year Elixir but I found that it really didn’t impact the game in any meaningful way. Being able to use Roon multiple times in a turn was nice, but it made the deck slightly too reliant on him being in play. I replaced it with a Sensei’s Divining Top – it’s hard to go wrong with that card alongside a ton of fetchlands. The amount of card advantage you bring to the table can put the most powerful control decks to shame, and you’re able to hit harder then any Mayael deck could ever dream of. When this value train gets going, its next to impossible to stop it outside of a suplex.
Thanks for checking out this weeks Commander Corner. I would like to give a shout out to my friend Dylan for giving me the inspiration for this deck. I couldn’t have done it without you, buddy. If you have any recommendations for a commander you want me to talk about in a future article, please let me know in the comments below. Next week, we take a look at the up and coming EDH variant Tiny Leaders, or Minimander as I prefer to call it, and one of my favorite cards coming out of Fate Reforged. See you next week, my friends.