Commander Corner: Dragonlord Ojutai

dragonlord ojutai card art

Welcome back,

Over the course of the spoiler season, I have been checking them very intensely. My usual routine involves me making my preferred spoiler site as my home page so it loads immediately when I open up Chrome on my phone. I usually get into a rhythm where I check it once every hour or so, or just whenever I have nothing to do.

As the set was being spoiled, there were some standouts, but nothing that really stuck with me. That all changed when [c]Dragonlord Ojutai[/c] was shown to the world.

I was flabbergasted when I saw him, and still get a bit giddy when I talk about him. His ability perfectly resonates with what I want from a commander in the Azorius color combo. I always wanted to build a commander in these colors, but I could never find one that suited my style. [c]Geist of Saint Traft[/c] is too straightforward, [c]Brago, King Eternal[/c] in my opinion isn’t as good as [c]Roon of the Hidden Realm[/c], and [c]Bruna, Light of Alabaster[/c] is just begging to be killed.

[c]Dragonlord Ojutai[/c] is different though.

[c]Dragonlord Ojutai[/c] can’t be killed immediately unless they wrath the board, he provides card advantage when he connects, he has a sizable body, and a reasonable mana cost. He allows you to sculpt your hand as you pressure your opponent. With the right kind of deck, you can make it so that your opponent can’t kill him outside of wrathing the board. If they’re wasting a wrath to deal with one creature that you can just cast again, things are looking good for you. He gives you card selection and a clock. He does everything a control player needs to win the game. He is the perfect control commander if you don’t wish to play red.

Another thing that [c]Dragonlord Ojutai[/c] does that I love is that he is the perfect example of what his brood is about. They are about meditation and knowledge, while being swift and deadly. They are the wise men of Tarkir, but just because they are smart, doesn’t mean they aren’t deadly.

Ojutai taught his followers well. He taught them patience, cunning, and how to exploit their enemies’ weaknesses instead of using shear power. A fight can be won with the mind just as easily as a sword, and Ojutai lives that philosophy.

Let’s see what the best of the Elder Dragons can teach us today.

Dragonlord-Ojutai-by-Chase-Stone

The master of patience and cunning, Dragonlord Ojutai is often seen in a deep state of meditation

[d title = “Ojutai, Master of the Mind (EDH)]

Commander

1 Dragonlord Ojutai

Lands

1 Adarkar Wastes

1 Azorius Chancery

1 Azorius Guildgate

1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All

1 Celestial Colonnade

1 Cephalid Coliseum

1 Command Tower

1 Evolving Wilds

1 Flooded Strand

1 Glacial Fortress

1 Halimar Depths

1 Hallowed Fountain

9 Island

1 Minamo, School at Water’s Edge

1 Myriad Landscape

1 Mystic Gate

9 Plains

1 Sejiri Refuge

1 Temple of Enlightenment

1 Terramorphic Expanse

1 Tranquil Cove [/d]

[d]

Creatures

1 Angelic Field Marshal

1 Consecrated Sphinx

1 Glen Elendra Archmage

1 Icefall Regent

1 Mother of Runes

1 Restoration Angel

1 Sakashima’s Student

1 Sovereigns of Lost Alara

1 Thassa, God of the Sea

1 Weathered Wayfarer [/d]

[d]

Instants

1 Afterlife

1 Anticipate

1 Azorius Charm

1 Brainstorm

1 Center Soul

1 Condemn

1 Counterspell

1 Crib Swap

1 Cyclonic Rift

1 Desertion

1 Dig Through Time

1 Disenchant

1 Dismiss

1 Emerge Unscathed

1  Impulse

1 Muddle the Mixture

1 Mystical Tutor

1 Path to Exile

1 Pulse of the Grid

1 Reality Shift

1 Remand

1 Return to Dust

1 Sphinx’s Revelation

1 Swords to Plowshares

1 Think Twice

1 Unexpectedly Absent [/d]

[d]

Sorceries

1 Compulsive Research

1 Final Judgment

1 Ponder

1 Preordain

1 Supreme Verdict

1 Treasure Cruise

1 Wrath of God

Enchantments

1 Banishing Light

1 Eldrazi Conscription

1 Journey To Nowhere

1 Mammoth Umbra

1 Myth Realized

1 Oblivion Ring

1 Righteous Authority [/d]

[d]

Artifacts

1 Azorius Keyrune

1 Coalition Relic

1 Commander’s Sphere

1 Darksteel Ingot

1 Gilded Lotus

1 Lightning Greaves

1 Ojutai Monument

1 Sensei’s Divining Top

1 Sol Ring

1 Talisman of Progress

Planeswalkers

1 Ajani Steadfast

1 Narset Transcendent [/d]

Price: MTGO = 132.04 TIX (Not including DTK cards which aren’t out yet) | Paper = $404.22

The way I thought this deck should go is more of a Voltron strategy. Not the typical style of “slap swords on him and go,” but more of just keeping him alive. I don’t like the way the [c]Sword of Fire and Ice[/c] and the others play. It just seems lazy and not very fun. In order to protect our commander, we just have to give him vigilance. If we can do that, he will protect himself.

Besides protecting him, this deck has a heavy focus on card advantage. Keeping your hand full of cards and smoothing out your draws by using the pleothora of cantrips at your disposal should keep you going throughout the game and allow you to use your mana efficiently. Once you feel like it’s time to start applying pressure, just cast [c]Dragonlord Ojutai[/c] and go to town.

This deck’s main way of achieving victory, like most Voltron strategies, is winning via commander damage. Ojutai’s body is sizeable enough that it wont take long until your opponent is dead. He does lose hexproof when he is tapped which is not the most ideal, but we have access to counterspells and protection spells that allow us to make sure he is safe. [c]Minamo, School at Water’s Edge[/c] also goes a long way to make sure that your opponents removal won’t be able to keep our commander down.

myth realized

If [c]Dragonlord Ojutai[/c] isn’t enough, we have a couple of creatures we can get our beat downs on with, as well as one of my favorite cards in Dragons of Tarkir, [c]Myth Realized[/c].

[c]Myth Realized[/c] has been an absolute blast for me. This card has indeed lived up to the hype, at least in my opinion. I don’t know if this card will have a home in Standard, but I believe it at least has a home in this format. This card has impressed me and has shown what a powerful one-drop it is. Over the course of the game, it will become big. I’m not just talking it turning into a 6/6, I mean much larger.

The biggest I’ve ever gotten it to was a 30/30. I cast it on turn one and just let it sit there for a good while. After a couple of turns of casting cantrips and removal spells, it was a large enough threat where I could start turning the corner and applying massive amounts of pressure on my opponent while being able to hold mana up for counter spells. This card is an absolute house and is a win condition on its own.

Honestly, in testing at least, I have yet to run into any severe issues with this deck. Yes, in the early game you’re not doing too much besides casting a couple of cantrips, but you have board sweeps to clean up some early game aggression and move into the later stages of the game, which is where this deck shines.

Once you have firmly taken control of the game, it’s hard to lose that control outside of some rare awkward draws. [c]Dragonlord Ojutai[/c] performs exactly as well as you think he would. The amount of card advantage he gives you is real, and it has helped me win a solid amount of the games I have played with him. This deck is a ton of fun for people who love drawing cards and slowly taking over the game like me.

You have to have patience, the right time to strike will show itself soon enough.

Before I finish up, I would like to comment on the recent rules change for Commander. I think not being able to tuck an opposing commander is bad. I’ve always felt that cards that can tuck commanders to be stop gaps in the format. If a commander gets out of control, instead of just banning them outright, we have ways of dealing with them. We can simply just tuck them and the problem is solved.

Yes, white, blue, and red (also green if your opponent is running an artifact commdner) are the only colors to have these cards, but I don’t think that is an issue. Yes, getting your commander tucked does stink, but I feel that these cards are necessary to prevent people from overly relying on abusing their commander. I think this change will have a negative impact on the format. Only time will tell if I’m right or not.

Thank you for checking out this weeks Commander Corner. If you have any suggestions, let me know in the comments below. Next week, we work on a budget. See you soon, my friends.

-Steven Gulsby