Top Five Eldritch Moon Cards For Commander

Welcome back,

With the new set out now, I thought it would be nice to take a look at it and see what we can find. This set is full of great, powerful cards for us to utilize. Some of these I think might be a little too powerful, but we will find that out over time. Overall, I love this set, and I can’t wait to play with some of these awesome cards. This list won’t be the cards that are strictly the best, they are just cards I’m excited to play and build with. Let’s take a look at what goodies Eldritch Moon brings us today.

 

harmlessoffering

5. Harmless Offering

Outside of this card’s freaking adorable art, this actually will probably do something for group hug and [c]Donate[/c] decks. This easily gets slotted into [c]Zedruu the Greathearted[/c], arguably the best group hug commander in the game. It definitely won’t have as much of an impact as a bunch of other cards in the set, but it’s interesting to see that Wizards is willing to print a functional reprint of a reserved list card in [c]Donate[/c] as well. It paves the way for other functional or fixed version of powerful reserved list cards in the future, which will be great to see. Plus, just look at that art. It’s so good.

multimedia-decimatoroftheprovinces-14683698590

4. Decimator of the Provinces

This boar is definitely pushed in all the right places. While it isn’t unreasonable to cast in this format, its emerge cost is why this guy may be a little better than the old version of this card, [c]Craterhoof Behemoth[/c]. You can reasonably expect to cast this for around four to five mana given the right creatures. With the plethora of cards that also benefit from sacrificing and creatures dying, its emerge ability pushes this card way over the top. It’s great in go wide strategies that need a finisher, mid-range value decks that need a way to break board stalls, and larger stompy based decks that can cast this on the cheap. It fits into almost every creature based deck that can cast it reliably.

en_yMvTrDmsfp      download      giselathebrokenblade

3. Bruna, the Fading Light / Gisela, the Broken Blade / Brisela, Voice of Nightmares

It’s pretty obvious why I have put these cards on the same spot. You will never play [c]Bruna, The Fading Light[/c] without [c]Gisela, the Broken Blade[/c]. There is little to no downside to be playing one without the other. Bruna of course would make the better commander, since it’s the best one to build around. Gisela is a fantastic card, but not quite as interesting as a commander. The deck itself is straightforward, a bunch of angels and humans in a pile that have some relatively good synergies together. What pushes this pair over the top is that you always have access to the meld once you draw into Gisela. Even if they [c]Wrath of God[/c], you can still bring back the pair by recasting Bruna and getting Brisela back at the end of turn. Brisela also blanks every reasonable removal spell played in the format, since your opponents can’t cast them. It’s pretty hard to lose once you have this established and ready to go.

splendidreclamation

2. Splendid Reclamation

This card is just kind of busted. Any green deck using lands will want to use this. At its best, you are killing your opponent with [c]Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle[/c] triggers, and at its worst, your getting a couple of fetchlands back from the grave. [c]Splendid Reclamation[/c] can basically create its own combo deck with [c]Akoum Hellkite[/c] and any other landfall cards. You can easily fill up your grave with a ton of lands using Dredge, and then one shot your opponent with Hellkite or Valakut triggers. [c]Omnath, Locus of Rage[/c] gets to generate a bunch of tokens for four mana as well. This card will end a lot more games than it might appear at first glance. It’s such an powerful card, and doesn’t take a lot to set up. It’s just a great card.

en_alMF8AICd6

1. Geralf and Gisa

Once again, this card might not be the most powerful in the set, but it’s the best “lord” out of the set by far. It’s arguably going to be the next go to zombie commander in the game. It does everything you want a zombie general to do. It fills up the graveyard, and it gives you another way to recur your zombies from the grave. Zombies best strength is in their recursion, and this lets you do that ever turn of the game. It lets you constantly have gas, which not many tribal decks can say they can do, and also lets you choose what you get back. You can play a little toolbox of utility zombies, and a few ways to get them into the grave to use when you need them. It perfectly fits into the mold that I think zombies have needed besides going wide with [c]Sidisi, Brood Tyrant[/c]. For my money at least, this is the best zombie commander we have. A lot better than the sad excuse of a legendary werewolf we got.

Thanks for checking out this weeks article. Next time, I’ll be building an Innistrad theme deck to help celebrate Eldritch Moon. This set is so great for tribal strategies, and I can’t wait to explore the set even further. I’ll see you soon, my friends.

-Steven Gulsby

Commander Corner: Shirei, Shizo’s Caretaker

Welcome Back,

Sorry for the large break, had some minor surgery cause some rather major problems. It’s good to be back again though. So let’s get down to it.

I remember when I got the idea for this deck. I was walking to my local game store and talking to my friend about EDH. We were looking though various commanders, and he found one that he thought was pretty interesting. He showed it to me, and my gears started immediately turning. I just started rattling off different ways to abuse it, what cards synergize well with its ability. We both got really into this card, and talked about it for the entire walk down to the store. I eventually had to apologize to him, as I ended up taking this commander for my own nefarious purposes. Over the next few months, I built it, bought it, and refined it until I was satisfied with what i had before me.

[c]Shirei, Shizo’s Caretaker[/c] ended up being a mainstay in my Commander arsenal, right next to my prized [c]Ruhan of the Fomori[/c] deck. He gave me something unique that I can’t really find with many other commanders. He does one specific thing. What he does though, he does so well. A deck full of 1/1s can’t be that powerful, right?

mtgcom_arcana_747_pic1_en (1)

Its face kind of bothers me. Is it just covered in eyes and has a weird, toothy mouth? I’m not sure honestly. I like it, though.

[d title= “Shirei, Shizo’s Caretaker (EDH)”]

Commander

1 Shirei, Shizo’s Caretaker

Lands

1 Bojuka Bog

1 Cabal Coffers

1 Crypt of Agadeem

1 High Market

1 Myriad Landscape

1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

1 Phyrexian Tower

1 Reliquary Tower

27 Swamp

1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

1 Westvale Abbey

[/d]

[d]

Creatures

1 Abyssal Gatekeeper

1 Apprentice Necromancer

1 Augur of Skulls

1 Big Game Hunter

1 Blood Artist

1 Bloodgift Demon

1 Bone Shredder

1 Butcher of Malakir

1 Cadaver Imp

1 Carrion Feeder

1 Coffin Queen

1 Crypt Ghast

1 Gray Merchant of Asphodel

1 Grim Haruspex

1 Harvester of Souls

1 Hell’s Caretaker

1 Marsh Flitter

1 Myr Sire

1 Nezumi Bone-Reader

1 Ogre Slumlord

1 Pentavus

1 Perilous Myr

1 Pilgrim’s Eye

1 Plagued Rusalka

1 Ravenous Rats

1 Reaper from the Abyss

1 Sadistic Hypnotist

1 Sidisi, Undead Vizier

1 Skirsdag High Priest

1 Solemn Simulacrum

1 Triskelion

1 Viscera Seer

1 Zulaport Cutthroat

[/d]

[d]

Instants

1 Doom Blade

1 Hero’s Downfall

1 Malicious Affliction

1 Tragic Slip

Sorceries

1 Demonic Tutor

1 Diabolic Intent

1 Mutilate

1 Sign in Blood

Enchantments

1 Attrition

1 Black Market

1 Dictate of Erebos

1 Grave Pact

1 Infernal Tribute

1 Phyrexian Arena

1 Phyrexian Reclamation

[/d]

[d]

Artifacts

1 Ashnod’s Altar

1 Champion’s Helm

1 Charcoal Diamond

1 Coldsteel Heart

1 Commander’s Sphere

1 Lightning Greaves

1 Skullclamp

1 Sol Ring

1 Swiftfoot Boots

1 Unstable Obelisk

1 Worn Powerstone

Planeswalkers

1 Ob NIxilis Reignited

[/d]

It really is a deck that is mostly just 1/1s. It may look a bit unassuming; we are playing [c]Ravenous Rats[/c] and [c]Myr Sire[/c] in a format where cards like [c]Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite[/c] and [c]Survival of the Fittest[/c] are legal. A lot of these cards might not look like much at face value, but getting to trigger their effects two times every turn cycle can end up being back breaking.

[c]Marsh Flitter[/c] can generate an army, [c]Ravenous Rats[/c] will tear your opponents hand apart, and [c]Big Game Hunter[/c] will cut the opposing forces in twain. These small effects eventually add up to an insurmountable amount of card advantage and pressure until they just wither away into nothing. To pull this off though, we need some set up.

In order to make this whole contraption work, we need three major things. We need creatures, a cheap sacrifice outlet or two, and [c]Shirei[/c]. We also need a proper mixture of creatures and sacrifice outlets. If we have two many creatures, we just are playing 1/1s that get rapidly outclassed. Two many sacrifice outlets without enough fuel don’t really do much of anything.  

We have cards like [c]Demonic Tutor[/c] and [c]Diabolic Intent[/c] to help us find exactly what we need, and [c]Phyrexian Arena[/c] and [c]Skullclamp[/c] to give us the raw card advantage that we need. [c]Skullclamp[/c] ends up being one of the best cards in the deck unsurprisingly enough due to the massive amount of cards we can draw with it. Once we get our right mix of sacrifice outlets and value creatures, we drop [c]Shirei[/c]. This is where things can fall apart.

[c]Shirei[/c] is fragile. Extremely fragile. We have [c]Lightning Greaves[/c], [c]Champion’s Helm[/c], and [c]Swiftfoot Boots[/c] to protect him though. You also have plenty of ways to strip their hand of any removal they may have in their hand. You better be ready to have him killed if you don’t have any boots to suit him up with, cause he is a magnet for removal once they read what he actually does. He is the most important card to this whole operation. Without him, this entire deck just falls apart.

[c]Phyrexian Reclamation[/c] does a decent impression, but it is nowhere near effective as [c]Shirei[/c]. You should not run her out unless you are sure he is not about to immediately die. It’s the cost you have to pay for playing a five mana 2/2 as your general. If he sticks around, its not long until your incremental advantages become backbreaking for the entire table.

[c]Shirei, Shizo’s Caretaker[/c] brings something unique to the table. Having such a narrow ability may pigeonhole him to this one type of strategy, but it’s a damn good one. You can out-value the most stubborn of [c]Karador, Ghost Chieftain[/c] decks, make more tokens than [c]Rhys the Redeemed[/c], and decimate more peoples’ hands than [c]Nicol Bolas[/c]. You would be amazed with what you can do with a bunch of 1/1 creatures, some sacrifice outlets, and a forgotten Kamigawa legend that nobody has ever heard of.

Thanks for stopping by. Now that things are a bit more stable, I should be bale to do my original plan of every other week with some Commander goodness for you guys and gals. It’s been a hectic few weeks for me, but I’m glad to be back on a bit of a more proper schedule. I missed writing, and I hope I can keep this up for you readers without any more interruptions. I’ll see you soon.

-Steven Gulsby

Power Level In Commander

Welcome back,

Its been awhile. Quite a while actually. I think its been about eight or nine months since my last post. Sometimes life gets in the way of things, but you move on through it. Anyway, I’m glad to be back writing and making content for you wonderful guys and gals.

During my time off, I’ve been working on new decks, and tweaking old ones to perfection. Decks have come and gone, ideas have been tested and trashed, and playgroups have moved on. [c]Melek, Izzet Paragon[/c] has been a deck that I’ve been playing since I started Magic, and I’ve ended up having to move on from that, sad as it is to say.

Over the course of eight months, I edited the deck, and the power of it crept up to the point where my playgroup just did not want to play with me anymore. I ended up feeling like I created a monster, but didn’t realize it. I mostly just told myself that it was their fault for playing bad cards, and building bad decks. I never looked at myself, and what I ended up doing. I powered up my deck to the point where it was far and away the best thing to be doing at the table. There was no contest. Every game I won by a landslide.

For those of you who don’t remember the deck when I discussed it many moons ago, the core concept of the deck was to win via [c]Bribery[/c] based effects. Cards like [c]Blatant Thievery[/c], [c]Treachery[/c], and [c]Acquire[/c], were the back bone of the decks basic strategy. It was a control deck that attacked on a unique axis, and was designed to scale with any playgroup, as it was only as powerful as your opponents cards. Here is the original list for reference.

[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]

The deck was simple, powerful, and fun. I loved everything about it. It played so well, and was reasonably competitive with the rest of the playgroup. Over time I refined it, cut the excess win conditions, changed the commander, and dumped a lot of money and power into it. To me, it was the same deck I’ve known and loved for all these years, not so much to my friends.

It became oppressive and ruthless. It reflected on what how I ended up playing the game. I naturally lean towards a spike, and that desire to win above all else showed. Instead of playing political, I was just playing the bad guy every time. I wasn’t out for fun, I was out to win. I wouldn’t let anything stand in my way of dominating the board, and ensuring my victory. In the end, this is what I turned it into.

[d title= “Mizzix of the Izmagnus (EDH)”]
Commander
1 Mizzix of the Izmagnus

Lands

1 Blighted Cataract
1 Cascade Bluffs
1 Command Tower
1 Desolate Lighthouse
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Halimar Depths
10 Island
1 Izzet Boilerworks
1 Izzet Guildgate
1 Minamo, School at Water’s Edge
9 Mountain
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep
1 Shivan Reef
1 Steam Vents
1 Sulfur Falls
1 Swiftwater Cliffs
1 Terrain Generator
1 Terramorphic Expanse

Creatures
1 Clever Impersonator
1 Gigantoplasm
1 Goblin Electromancer
1 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
1 Phyrexian Metamorph[/d]

[d]
Instants
1 Blue Sun’s Zenith
1 Brainstorm
1 Capsize
1 Chaos Warp
1 Comet Storm
1 Counterflux
1 Counterspell
1 Cryptic Command
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Dig Through Time
1 Dominate
1 Electrolyze
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Firemind’s Foresight
1 Force of Will
1 Izzet Charm
1 Lightning Bolt
1 Magmaquake
1 Muddle the Mixture
1 Mystic Confluence
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Pongify
1 Prophetic Bolt
1 Smash to SMithereens
1 Stroke of Genius
1 Turn//Burn[/d]

[d]
1 Acquire
1 Blatent Thievery
1 Bonfire of the Damned
1 Bribery
1 Chain Lightning
1 Faithless Looting
1 Gitaxian Probe
1 Knowledge Exploitation
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Mizzium Mortars
1 Mizzix’s Mastery
1 Ponder
1 Preordain
1 Roast
1 Spelltwine
1 Telemin Performance
1 Tezzeret’s Gambit
1 Treasure Cruise
1 Volcanic Vision

Enchantment
1 Treachery[/d]

[d]
Artifacts
1 Coalition Relic
1 Darksteel INgot
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Izzet SIgnet
1 Pyromancer’s Goggles
1 Scroll Rack
1 Sensei’s Divining Top
1 Sol Ring
1 Sphinx-Bone Wand
1 Thought Vessel

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

While it might not seem like much, these upgrades outclassed anything that my playgroup was doing. My group was mostly casual guys and girls who just played their favorite cards, and had fun with them. They didn’t have the income to afford the more expensive options, so they played what they had.

I didn’t exactly follow that trend though. I bought the best things I could, outside of [c]Volcanic Island[/c] and fetchlands, and just made the best deck I could possibly make to crush everybody. What ended up happening is that people just didn’t want to play with me anymore. People left the playgroup, and cited my deck as the reason for them leaving. They just wanted to have a good time, and when I wandered in, they didn’t let me play anymore. People refused to play games with me because they knew that they would loose.

Once I started losing out on games, and friends, it finally hit me. I had forgotten what I loved about the format in the first place. When I started playing Commander, I loved that all my favorite cards where viable. I loved the wacky shenanigans and high-jinks that ensue whenever a game is played. I waited for the long nights where we made the mistake of mixing Planechase and Commander. I lost sight of what the format was about.

So I decided to take a step back and reevaluate what I was doing. Back to the drawing board I went, and changed my deck for the better. I powered it down, and added a Commander that is a bit more fun due to his random nature. I even added a third color to support this new guy as well. [c]Mizzix of the Izmagnus[/c] is a busted commander, and I will never say you shouldn’t run her. She is the best Izzet commander period. If your in the playgroup that is as cutthroat as can be, run her. You will have a great time. For me though, I’ll move onto something a bit more fun, like a certain 7/7 for four mana that attacks random people each turn. I’m talking about that rage filled giant, [c]Ruhan of the Fomori[/c].

stf148_ruhan

Sometimes its fun to just attack somebody for no reason other that being there. At lease Ruhan thinks so.

[d title= “Ruhan of the Fomori (EDH)’]
Commander
1 Ruhan of the Fomori

Lands
1 Adarkar Wastes
1 Azorius Chancery
1 Azorius Guildgate
1 Battlefield Forge
1 Blighted Cataract
1 Boros Guildgate
1 Cascade Bluffs
1 Clifftop Retreat
1 Command Tower
1 Desolate Lighthouse
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Glacial Fortress
1 Halimar Depths
1 Hallowed Fountain
4 Island
1 Izzet Boilerworks
1 Izzet Guildgate
1 Minamo, School at Water’s Edge
3 Mountain
1 Mystic Gate
1 Mystic Monastery
3 Plains
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep
1 Shivan Reef
1 Steam Vents
1 Sulfur Falls
1 Swiftwater Cliffs
1 Terramorphic Expanse[/d]

[d]
Creature
1 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy

Instants
1 Afterlife
1 Azorius Charm
1 Blue Sun’s Zenith
1 Brainstorm
1 Brutal Expulsion
1 Capsize
1 Chaos Warp
1 Comeuppance
1 Counterflux
1 Counterspell
1 Crib Swap
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Dig Through Time
1 Dismiss
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Izzet Charm
1 Lightning Bolt
1 Muddle the Mixture
1 Mystic Confluence
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Path to Exile
1 Prophetic Bolt
1 Sphinx’s Revelation
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Turn//Burn
1 Wear//Tear[/d]

[d]
Sorceries
1 Call the Gatewatch
1 Exquisite Firecraft
1 Faithless Looting
1 Gitaxian Probe
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Mizzium Mortars
1 Ponder
1 Preordain
1 Roast
1 Supreme Verdict
1 Treasure Cruise
1 Volcanic Visions
1 Wrath of God

Enchantments
1 Myth Realized
1 Steel of the Godhead[/d]

[d]
Artifacts
1 Azorius Signet
1 Boros Signet
1 Coalition Relic
1 Darksteel Ingot
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Izzet Signet
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Scroll Rack
1 Sensei’s Divining Top
1 Sol Ring
1 Sphinx-Bone Wand
1 Thought Vessel

Planeswalkers
1 Ajani VEngeant
1 Chandra, Flamecaller
1 Dack Fayden
1 Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
1 Narset Transcendent
1 Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
1 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
1 Venser, the Sojurner[/d]

Ever since I changed my deck, things have been going much better. People actually enjoy playing against me. I may be a bit less powerful, but at least I’m actually able to play with people now. [c]Ruhan of the Fomori[/c] has been especially good in my playgroup. He will end games, but in a fun, exciting way. It may be random, but that commander damage will matter. The super friends sub-theme has also been great. Each planeswalker serves their own purpose, and each fill their respective rolls perfectly. The deck is not overpowering, but its powerful enough to be effective. Most importantly, its just damn good fun for a control mage like me.

The biggest thing to take away from all of this, is to understand your playgroup’s power level. You don’t need to play the most powerful, busted cards of all time to make something work well enough, and you don’t need to win every game. You don’t need to be able to answer everything all the time. What matters most is that everybody is having a good time. Talk to your playgroup about your card selections and what power level you collectively will be around. If you end up overpowering them to the point of them not being able to compete anymore, you’ll just have nobody to play with anymore. Put down the [c]Force of Will[/c]s and pick up [c]Dismiss[/c] instead.

As always, thanks for sticking it out this far, I know it was a bit of a long one this time around. I’ll only be able to write biweekly, mostly because I have a full time job now. So just keep checking back for new spicy brews, cause I have some great ones coming down the pipeline. Ill see you soon my friends.

– Steven Gulsby

Pauper Commander League Reminder and Updates

community league 8 banner

Hello! I wanted to remind folks to sign up for our upcoming league by the end of Thursday this week.

Sign up in the comments on this post.

And now for some quick updates.

These commanders are banned based on 1v1 “Duel Commander” rules: Derevi, Empyrial Tactician, Edric, Spymaster of Trest, Erayo, Soratami Ascendant, Oloro, Ageless Ascetic, Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary, Zur the Enchanter.

Join the #PEDH chat room when you’re in MTGO to find practice partners.

Match timers should be set for 40 minutes rather than the normal 25. I could not find this option when making a challenge, but if you are in the play screen you can open a match with a 40-minute time limit and restrict it to just your buddies, then message your opponent to join. 25 minutes does not seem enough time to finish an EDH match.

We have just over 20 people signed up at the moment. Tell your friends and get more people to join us; I have been practicing and it is a really fun, interesting, and challenging format!

Get in touch if you have questions and, if you really love us, become a patron today. Thanks!

/bava

Commanding on a Dime: Lovisa Coldeyes

Welcome back,

I was looking through the legendary creature list, looking for something to work on this week, and I just found this little one. I never really heard [c]Lovisa Coldeyes[/c] before this, and she seemed really straightforward and interesting. Honestly, I don’t know why I don’t see her pop up more at my local game store. Her ability is crazy powerful, and pretty much builds the deck by herself. She may be nothing flashy or make for interesting lines, but she gets the job done. Lets take a look at what Barbarians, Warriors, and Berserkers we can rally together with [c]Lovisa Coldeyes[/c].

 

1113_lovisa4

She’s blunt, straightforward, and powerful. She’ll get the job done, no matter what.

[d title= “Lovisa Coldeyes (EDH)”]

Commander

1 Lovisa Coldeyes

Lands

1 Ghitu Encampment

34 Mountain

1 Myriad Landscape

1 Spinerock Knoll

[/d]

[d]

Creatures

1 Anger

1 Archetype of Aggression

1 Ash Zealot

1 Atarka Pummeler

1 Bloodmark Mentor

1 Boldwyr Intimidator

1 Brighthearth Banneret

1 Cyclops Gladiator

1 Falkenrath Marauders

1 Flamerush Rider

1 Goblin Wardriver

1 Inner-Flame Igniter

1 Kamahl, Pit Fighter

1 Kargan Dragonlord

1 Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs

1 Lightning Berserker

1 Lightning Mauler

1 Manic Vandal

1 Ogre Battledriver

1 Purphoros, God of the Forge

1 Scab-clan Berserker

1 Tahngarth, Talruum Hero

1 Taurean Mauler

1 Zurgo Bellstriker

[/d]

[d]

Instants

1 Beacon of Destruction

1 Burst Lightning

1 Chain of Plasma

1 Chaos Warp

1 Comet Storm

1 Dead // Gone

1 Fated Conflagration

1 Grab the Reins

1 Lightning Bolt

1 Magma Jet

1 Pyrokinesis

1 Seismic Strike

1 Shard Volley

1 Smash to Smithereens

1 Stoke the Flames

Sorceries

1 Exquisite Firecraft

1 Magmatic Insight

1 Mizzium Mortars

1 Roast

1 Rough // Tumble

[/d]

[d]

Enchantments

1 Berserkers’ Onslaught

1 Flameshadow Conjuring

1 Outpost Siege

1 War Cadence

1 Warstorm Surge

Artifact

1 Dragon Throne of Tarkir

1 Hall of Triumph

1 Hammer of Purphoros

1 Lightning Greaves

1 Obsidian Battle-Axe

1 Skullclamp

1 Sol Ring

1 Thran Dynamo

1 Wayfarer’s Bauble

1 Worn Powerstone

Planeswalkers

1 Chandra, Pyromaster

1 Koth of the Hammer

1 Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker

[/d]

Prices

MTGO: 38.69 TIX (Note that this does not contain the prices for the cards in Magic Origins)

Paper: $89.86

Not bad, especially for its price. Its a pretty straightforward aggressive deck. Nothing too fancy or anything, just play your creatures and turn them sideways. Unlike most aggressive decks, we can make some bigger plays and actually have stuff to do in the end game with our handful of mana sinks. Like I said earlier, [c]Lovisa Coldeyes[/c] pretty much builds the deck herself because of her static ability. Its such a great one though that its hard not to build around it.

Lovisa’s ability, while restrictive, is extremely powerful. Its only as good as the creatures that are in the deck though, which there are plenty of good Warriors, Berserkers, and Barbarians in red to make a viable deck. The tribal synergy may not be as strong as say, an [c]Ezuri, Renegade Leader[/c] or a [c]Krenko, Mob Boss[/c] deck, but her ability makes up for that lack of synergy by making your creatures bigger than everybody else’s. Its not like there aren’t any synergies here, we have [c]Boldwyr Intimidator[/c] that can make almost every creature in this deck unblockable for one mana per opposing creature. [c]Brighthearth Banneret[/c] makes things just a bit cheaper, and [c]Bloodmark Mentor[/c] gives everybody first strike. This band of brothers will end up playing together quite well actually. If not, most of them are just solid creatures on their own.

For removal, out side of a couple of spells, we pretty much just have a pile of burn. You won’t be able to kill big creatures outside of blocking them or attacking into them for the most part. Since we are red, we wont really be interacting with enchantments either outside of [c]Chaos Warp[/c], one of the best removal spells in the format.

Since we can’t really deal with super large creatures outside of smashing into them or blocking, we will try to simply go around them. [c]War Cadence[/c] can wreck combat for your opponent. It will help end board stalls and allow your team to sneak by and crash in for huge amounts of damage. As mentioned earlier [c]Boldwyr Intimidator[/c] also does some much needed work in this department as well. [c]Chandra, Pyromaster[/c] can help out a bit, but she isn’t as effective as the other two.

Overall, this deck is pretty solid, and a lot of fun. Its on the cheap, easy to play, and can hold its own with relative ease. In terms of upgrading it if you want to put more money into it, the creature base is pretty much l0cked in. For burn spells though, there are some more efficient ones, they just cost a bit more money. It wouldn’t cost too much to make some good changes, but if I were to add anymore to it, I couldn’t exactly call it a budget deck anymore.

Thank you for checking out this weeks Commander Corner. If you have any suggestions, let me know in the comments below. I apologize for not having anything last week, my internet went out again. Hopefully it shouldn’t happen again, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. See you next time my friends.

-Steven Gulsby

Commander Corner: Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy

Welcome back,

Its that time of the year again! Spoiler season is upon us, and it’s been a good one so far. With several promising cards, and some busted ones like Day’s Undoing, we are looking at what has the potential to be the best core set ever. It’s always great to go out on a bang. Going into this set, I’ve really been looking forward to one card in particular. A certain planeswalker that aligns himself with blue mana.

en_jM4lpIu9Uy Jace-Telepath-Unbound-Magic-Origins-Planeswalker

Of cource, I’m talking about Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy. At first glance, I honestly didn’t know what to think of this guy. He definitely isn’t what I was expecting, but he isn’t bad either. He will make for a useful general, and a hard one to get rid of to boot. For a two mana general, he isn’t bad. His ability to loot for free is nice, and he is super easy to flip. He will most likely always flip the turn you untap with him. His plus ability isn’t stellar, but it can keep you from taking a few points of damage, and keep him around. His minus ability is awesome. Having a [c]Snapcaster Mage[/c] on a stick is wonderful and is definitely the best part of him. His ultimate is quite funny, and can make for an interesting path to victory, if you choose to take it. All in all, we can definitely work with him. Lets take a look at what we can cook up with the prodigy of Vryn.

[d title=”Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy (EDH)”]

Commander

1 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy

Lands

1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All

1 Coral Atoll

1 Evolving Wilds

1 Flooded Strand

1 Halimar Depths

24 Island

1 Lonely Sandbar

1 Myriad Landscape

1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

1 Polluted Delta

1 Reliquary Tower

1 Remote Isle

1 Temple of the False God

1 Terramorphic Expanse

[/d]

[d]

Creatures

1 Archaeomancer

1 Augur of Bolas

1 Clever Impersonator

1 Clone

1 Consecrated Sphinx

1 Draining Whelk

1 Duplicant

1 Guile

1 Mercurial Pretender

1 Phantasmal Image

1 Sakashima the Impostor

1 Sakashima’s Student

1 Talrand, Sky Summoner

1 Vesuvan Doppelganger

1 Vesuvan Shapeshifter

[/d]

[d]

Instants

1 Blue Sun’s Zenith

1 Brainstorm

1 Coutnerspell

1 Cryptic Command

1 Cyclonic Rift

1 Day’s Undoing

1 Deprive

1 Desertion

1 Dig Through Time

1 Dissipate

1 Dissolve

1 Evacuation

1 Fact or Fiction

1 Gather Specimens

1 Impulse

1 Last Word

1 Mystical Tutor

1 Pongify

1 Pulse of the Grid

1 Rapid Hybridization

1 Rewind

1 Supplant Form

1 Trickbind

[/d]

[d]

Sorceries

1 Acquire

1 Bribery

1 Clone Legion

1 Curse of the Swine

1 Knowledge Exploitation

1 Ponder

1 Preordain

1 Rite of Replication

1 Spelltwine

1 Tempt with Reflections

1 Treasure Cruise

Enchantments

1 Jace’s Sanctum

1 Treachery

[/d]

[d]

Artifacts

1 Darksteel Ingot

1 Eye of Ramos

1 Gilded Lotus

1 Lightning Greaves

1 Runechanter’s Pike

1 Sensei’s Divining Top

1 Sol Ring

1 Sphinx-Bone Wand

1 Thran Dynamo

Planeswalker

1 Tamiyo, the Moon Sage

[/d]

Seems pretty simple. Its a control deck that wins using clone spells to kill your opponent. Almost all of our creatures are clone spells, which can make things interesting. The deck tends to take some interesting lines that may seem a little unorthodox to our opponent. Sometimes you have to let their big monster resolve, only just to get one of our own. Its unique, powerful, and most importantly, fun.

This deck is a control deck first and foremost. There is plenty of card draw, counterspells, and ways to keep creatures off the board, to allow us to get to the late game. When our opponent is starting to slam down their hay makers, we can start copying them. Or whatever else we want to. With a board full of the same creatures, the games will tend to go into a stalemate for a while. We do have a way to alleviate that with some ways to push our creatures through. We can tap down our opponents team with [c]Cryptic Command[/c], or just return them all to their hand with [c]Cyclonic Rift[/c].

If you can’t contain the board for whatever reason, we do have a reset button with [c]Evacuate[/c]. We also have some threats of our own if our clones aren’t getting the job done. [c]Consecrated Sphinx[/c] will usually win us the game in a few turns with all of the cards we will be drawing. [c]Talrand, Sky Summoner[/c] can create a bunch of evasive tokens, which will keep the pressure on our opponents while we cast our other spells. [c]Guile[/c] will just turn our counterspells into [c]Spelljack[/c], which will turn the game around quickly in our favor.

Jace isn’t so much of a win condition for us as he is a great tool for us by helping us get more value out of our spells and keeping us alive. He can also help us push through our creatures by putting combat in our favor instead of having the board locked up. You will never really use his ultimate unless you really need a way to win. Its going to be difficult churning through an opponents deck five cards at a time. It does trigger off of every spell we cast, but it still will take a lot of work to win by milling them out.

This deck does have an issue with hyper aggressive decks. We usually don’t do much on the first few turns, so if somebody get to putting pressure on us in the first couple of turns, we may just get pushed out of the game. We can stall the game out so that we can get going, but it may not be enough some times. As long as we can get to the late game, we should be favored to win.

Thank you for checking out this week’s Commander Corner. If you have any comments or suggestions, let me know in the comments below. See you soon, my friends.

-Steven Gulsby

Commander Corner: Hikari, Twilight Guardian

custodi squire art wide

Welcome back,

So I was sitting around, playing some games after a Modern Masters 2015 draft. I put down the game after getting killed for the millionth time, Bloodborne is hard, and I decided to sift through my Modern Masters bulk just to pass the time. I ended up stumbling upon [c]Hikari, Twilight Guardian[/c] in the pile of bulk. I was immediately intrigued and started to look up some cards that can work with him.

Flash forward to a few days later, and I finally have the final pieces of the deck in place and started testing. I was a bit hesitant going in, as I have yet to actually see any other Hikari decks really ever. After running through a few games and swapping out some cards for others, I decided to buy the full deck in paper. It was just a blast taking people off guard and killing them with Hikari.

[c]Hikari, Twilight Guardian[/c] is a unique Commander to say the least. His ability sort of limits your card pool, as he rewards you for playing with spirit and arcane cards. Arcane cards aren’t exactly known for their power, but there are a solid handful that we can utilize and do well with. There are a solid amount of spirits, so we have no problem on that part. This random mishmash of cards turns this into a unique voltorn style deck. It does a lot better than one might think. Lets take a look at what we can do with [c]Hikari, Twilight Guardian[/c].

[d title=”Hikari, Twilight Guardian (EDH)”]
Commander
1 Hikari, Twilight Guardian
Lands
1 Emeria, the Sky Ruin
1 Karoo
1 Maze of Ith
1 Mikokoro, Center of the Sea
1 Myriad Landscape
1 Mystifying Maze
1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
1 Scrying Sheets
27 Snow-Covered Plains
1 Temple of the False God
1 Winding Canyons
[/d]
[d]
Creatures
1 Banisher Priest
1 Battlegrace Angel
1 Blinking Spirit
1 Celestial Crusader
1 Custodi Squire
1 Eight-and-a-Half-Tails
1 Eternal Dragon
1 Fiend Hunter
1 Kami of Ancient Law
1 Karmic Guide
1 Kor Sanctifiers
1 Magus of the Disk
1 Magus of the Moat
1 Marble Titan
1 Mother of Runes
1 Myojin of Cleansing Fire
1 Nikko-Onna
1 Restoration Angel
1 Sandsower
1 Silent Arbiter
1 Spirit en-Dal
1 Spirit of the Hearth
1 Sublime Archangel
1 Waxmane Baku
1 Windborn Muse
1 Yosei, the Morning Star
[/d]
[d]
Instants
1 Afterlife
1 Blessed Breath
1 Crib Swap
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Oblation
1 Otherworldly Journey
1 Path to Exile
1 Plow Through Reito
1 Quiet Purity
1 Shining Shoal
1 Swords to Plowshares
Sorceries
1 Austere Command
1 Hallowed Burial
1 Terashi’s Grasp
Enchantments
1 Faith’s Fetters
1 Journey to Nowhere
1 Oblivion Ring
1 Parallax Wave
1 Prison Term
[/d]
[d]
Artifacts
1 Caged Sun
1 Cloudstone Curio
1 Crawlspace
1 Darksteel Ingot
1 Erratic Portal
1 Extraplanar Lens
1 Gauntlet of Power
1 Hero’s Blade
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Nevinyrral’s Disk
1 Ronin Warclub
1 Sai of the Shinobi
1 Sol Ring
1 Stormrider Rig
1 Thunder Totem
1 Tooth of Ramos
1 Vedalken Orrery [/d]

Well this is different. This deck is geared to control combat by limiting what and how many creatures can attack. Good thing for us, it doesn’t really impact our overall goal of killing people with commander damage. We will be primarily be attacking just with our general, as well as protecting him by blinking him out with his ability. It creates an interesting and fun deck that has quite a bit of play to it.

The main goal, as well as most voltron decks, is to kill the opponent with commander damage. [c]Hikari, Twilight Guardian[/c] does a solid job by himself, but we have some equipment to speed things up. Our equipment may seem a bit lackluster at first, but they have a great synergy with our commander. Instead of constantly having to spend your mana reequipping him and attacking, our equipment just equips itself for free at instant speed. Whenever he comes back into play, our equipment just pops back onto him and he’s all suited up and ready to go. Even the worse ones, like [c]Stormrider Rig[/c] and [c]Sai of the Shinobi[/c], speed up the clock by a full turn for each one equipped. [c]Hero’s Blade[/c] makes sure that our general is a giant flying 7/6 monster that will end the game rather quickly. We also have a touch of exalted with [c]Battlegrace Angel[/c] and [c]Sublime Archangel[/c], which works great in this strategy.

In order to help us dominate the combat, we will be limiting what can attack and what can block. We have plenty of things to inhibit our opponents from attacking such as [c]Magus of the Moat[/c], [c]Crawlspace[/c], [c]Windborn Muse[/c], [c]Silent Arbiter[/c], and a couple of others. These cards will go a long way to keep us from being crushed by our opponents’ creatures, because to be honest, most of our creatures aren’t that big. We can block decently with a few bigger creatures, but most of the time, we will just be tapping them down with [c]Waxmane Baku[/c] or [c]Sandsower[/c]. We also have [c]Eight-and-a-Half-Tails[/c] to just blank our opponents offense, as well as protect our creatures.

Our commander also tends to work well with wrath effects. We can keep him off the table by casting any spirit or arcane spell, then wrath the board and be left with a flying 4/4, or even larger if we have some equipment lying around. We can even use [c]Parallax Wave[/c] and [c]Nevinyrral’s Disk[/c] to save our board and destroy theirs. We can also bring back some of our creatures with [c]Emeria, the Sky Ruin[/c] or bring them back to our hand with [c]Custodi Squire[/c], which has impressed me. In a one-on-one game, it ends up being a double [c]Eternal Witness[/c] most of the time. We can also bring it back to our hand with [c]Erratic Portal[/c] and keep doing it if we need to.

Overall, this deck is surprisingly powerful and different. It has some great synergies that work together to create a monster of a voltron deck. I would not recommend this for multiplayer, as trying to kill multiple people and hold everybody off can be a struggle. In a one-on-one situation, you have a lot more game and will be a force to be reckoned with.

Thank you for checking out this week’s Commander Corner. Sorry about not having anything for you last week, my internet was cut out do to a storm. Sorry about that. I’ll see you soon, my friends.

-Steven Gulsby

Commander Corner: Keranos, God of Storms

Welcome,

So about that [c]Ghost Council of Orzhova[/c] deck that I alluded to last week… it’s taking me a bit longer to get that done than I originally expected. I’ve decided to work a bit longer on it because I really want to make this one right. I love Ghost Dad and I just want to make sure that I nail it.

So it’s a good thing my friend gave me a bit of a challenge to work on and test for him this week. He has been in and out of Magic for awhile now and wanted me to help him build a new EDH deck. He told me he wanted to build [c]Keranos, God of Storms[/c] and had some stuff for it. We were talking back and forth and we decided to attempt to build this deck with a specific restriction. We decided not to run any creatures besides Keranos himself. He said that he wanted something unique, and we both agreed a creatureless build seems pretty unique.

With my restriction set, I was off to build the the deck of my friend’s dreams. I think I did a good job.

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A deck for a friend. To crush me with. I guess it’s fine if I build the tools that lead to my own destruction.

[d title= “Keranos, God of Storms (EDH)”]
Commander
1 Keranos, God of Storms
Lands
1 Command Tower
1 Desolate Lighthouse
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Halimar Depths
14 Island
1 Izzet Boilerworks
1 Izzet Guildgate
11 Mountain
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Shivan Reef
1 Steam Vents
1 Sulfur Falls
1 Terrain Generator
1 Terramorphic Expanse
[/d]
[d]
Instants
1 Brainstorm
1 Chaos Warp
1 Comet Storm
1 Counterflux
1 Counterspell
1 Cryptic Command
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Desertion
1 Dig Through Time
1 Dissolve
1 Electrolyze
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Fire // Ice
1 Impulse
[/d]
[d]
Instants Cont.
1 Izzet Charm
1 Lightning Bolt
1 Mindswipe
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Negate
1 Prophetic Bolt
1 Reality Shift
1 Remand
1 Rewind
1 Smash to Smithereens
1 Stifle
1 Suffocating Blast
1 Swan Song
1 Think Twice
[/d]
[d]
Sorceries
1 Anger of the Gods
1 Blasphemous Act
1 Bonfire of the Damned
1 Bribery
1 Mizzium Mortars
1 Past in Flames
1 Plea for Power
1 Ponder
1 Preordain
1 Shattering Spree
1 Spelltwine
1 Treasure Cruise
[/d]
[d]
Enchantments
1 Monastery Siege
1 Rhystic Study
1 Thought Reflection
1 Treachery
Artifacts
1 Coercive Portal
1 Commander’s Sphere
1 Darksteel Ingot
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Izzet Keyrune
1 Izzet Signet
1 Sensei’s Divining Top
1 Sol Ring
1 Sphinx-Bone Wand
[/d]
[d]
Planeswalkers
1 Chandra, the Firebrand
1 Dack Fayden
1 Jace Beleren
1 Jace, Architect of Thought
1 Karn Liberated
1 Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
1 Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
1 Teferi, Temporal Archmage
1 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon [/d]

Cost: MTGO = 188.33 TIX | Paper = $383.48

Izzet mages everywhere should be giddy at the sight of this list. It’s pure control, burn, and card advantage. This deck is filled to the brim with cheap interaction, cantrips, sweepers, and best of all, planeswalkers. This deck is the antithesis of anything involving aggression. It’s all about card advantage and controlling the flow of battle.

You control the game. Nothing resolves unless you say so. Nothing lives unless you allow it, including other players. You and Keranos are in control of the the game.

This deck is all about card advantage. Whether it be simply drawing extra cards or getting two-for-ones. To develop this advantage, we have some of the best cards in the business to do so. We have our bread and butter spells in these colors, like [c]Lightning Bolt[/c], [c]Counterspell[/c], [c]Fact or Fiction[/c], [c]Treasure Cruise[/c], and [c]Cryptic Command[/c]. These spells are simply the best at what they do, and pretty much should just be in every deck that is trying this game plan in these colors.  In fact, most of our instants and sorceries are in here because I think they are the best at what they do. This package of spells have proven time and time again that they are simply some of the best red and blue instants and sorceries in the format. They have won me countless numbers of games throughout my time playing this format. Things start to get spicy when we look at our haymakers.

The way to turn that card advantage into something meaningful is with our planeswalkers and our general. While some are in here to help generate card advantage, like [c]Jace Beleren[/c], most of them are here to beat our opponent into dust.

[c]Ugin, the Spirit Dragon[/c] is one of the most powerful planeswalkers ever printed. He’s one of the only planeswalkers that actually wants the board to be filled with threats. He just comes down and resets the board, except you have a planeswalker and they don’t.

[c]Karn Liberated[/c] is no slouch either. He’s been pulling his weight for years in Modern Tron decks, and he does exactly that here. Unconditional removal and discard on a stick is exactly what we want.

[c]Teferi, Temporal Archmage[/c] is an interesting choice, but one that I found to be quite useful. He can tick up and allow us to sift through our deck and find what we need, or he lets us untap lands and keep mana up after we cast our general. His ultimate is usually “lights out” in most games. Your planeswalkers just get to go bananas and will get out of hand very quickly. Let’s not forget who the real man of the hour here is though.

[c]Keranos, God of Storms[/c] is great. If you haven’t had the experience of playing against this guy, you should count yourself lucky, because it is brutal. Playing with this guy on the board is wonderful. Either you get to draw two cards a turn, or you get to draw one card and [c]Lightning Bolt[/c] something, which is pretty much the same as drawing an extra card.

Yes, your opponent gets to know what cards you’re drawing, but I have yet to get into a situation where that actually mattered all that much. Yes, they are able to know if we have a counter spell or not, but they still have to deal with it eventually. The more time they spend playing around the cards they know about, the better it is for us because the games end up going longer. The longer the games go, the more likely we are to win.

Keranos will keep your hand stocked with cards, allowing you to get to the late game with ease. Plus, he is extremely hard to deal with. Being an indestructible enchantment, or sometimes creature as well, is difficult to deal with unless your opponent exiles him. He tends to stick around a long time. If he isn’t dealt with, he will just take over a game, there is no two ways about it.

If you’re the kind of guy that likes to win on your terms, not theirs, play this deck. If you like to sit around and dictate how everything plays out, you should be playing this deck. If you’re like me, you should be playing this deck. I would build this if I already didn’t have [c]Melek, Izzet Paragon[/c]. This deck is a control player’s dream, and an aggressive player’s worst nightmare. Creatures don’t stick around long, and your hand is never without action. Be warned though, you may lose some friends.

Thank you for checking out this week’s Commander Corner. If you have any suggestions for a general for me to write about, or a topic, please let me know in the comments below. See you soon, my friends.

-Steven Gulsby

 

Commander Corner: Zurgo Bellstriker

Welcome back,

For this week, I decided to get away from the slow ramp decks and control decks for something lean and mean. [c]Zurgo Bellstriker[/c] is about as lean as it gets. A 2/2 for one is pretty solid in other constructed formats, so why not in this one? We can definitely make this work in this wonderful format we call Commander.

Last time we saw Zurgo, he was the man in charge. He was the leader of the Mardu, charging them into battle. He was a master of war, dominating his foes on the battlefield. Things have changed since Sarkhan went back in time. Now, he rings bells and serves Kolaghan. He is Kolaghan’s personal attendant, and essentially a punching bag. When Kolaghan wishes to go to war, its Zurgo’s job to ring the bell and rally the troops together. Before this time shift, Sarkhan and Zurgo were enemies. Sarkhan wanted nothing more than to take vengeance on him, but now that he has saw how low his enemy has fallen, he decided against it. It seems that Zurgo’s fate was worse than what Sarkhan had planned for him.

[c]Zurgo Bellstriker[/c] lends himself to a super lean aggressive deck. In terms of constructed formats like Standard, he fits square into these hyper aggressive red decks that focus so much on curving out perfectly. This format is no different. The deck’s focus is about curving out and utilizing your mana effectively, while squeezing out every last point of damage you can from each spell you cast. Lets take a look at what troops [c]Zurgo Bellstriker[/c] can rally up for us.

cardart_qtcpFTe09Z

He may have lost his power, but he sure makes up for it in speed and efficiency

[d title= “Zurgo Bellstriker (EDH)”]

Commander

1 Zurgo Bellstriker

Lands

1 Bloodstained Mire

1 Mutavault

1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

1 Scrying Sheets

1 Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep

28 Snow-Covered Mountain

1 Strip Mine

1 Tectonic Edge

1 Wooded Foothills

[/d]

[d]

Creatures

1 Anger

1 Ash Zealot

1 Avalanche Riders

1 Chandra’s Phoenix

1 Diaochan, Artful Beauty

1 Dragon Whisperer

1 Eidolon of the Great Revel

1 Fanatic of Mogis

1 Firedrinker Satyr

1 Firefist Striker

1 Flametongue Kavu

1 Foundry Street Denizen

1 Frenzied Goblin

1 Goblin Guide

1 Goblin Heelcutter

1 Goblin Rabblemaster

1 Goblin Wardriver

1 Grim Lavamancer

1 Hellrider

[/d]

[d]

Creatures Cont.

1 Hero of Oxid Ridge

1 Ire Shaman

1 Kargan Dragonlord

1 Legion Loyalist

1 Lightning Berserker

1 Lightning Mauler

1 Magus of the Moon

1 Manic Vandal

1 Mardu Scout

1 Monastery Swiftspear

1 Ogre Battledriver

1 Purphoros, God of the Forge

1 Satyr Firedancer

1 Stormbreath Dragon

1 Thundermaw Hellkite

1 Urabrask the Hidden

1 Vexing Devil

1 War-Name Aspirant

1 Zealous Conscripts

[/d]

[d]

Instants

1 Chain of Plasma

1 Falter

1 Fireblast

1 Lightning Bolt

1 Magma Jet

1 Price of Progress

1 Pyrokinesis

1 Searing Blaze

1 Searing Blood

1 Stoke the Flames

Sorceries

1 Arc Lightning

1 Blinding Flare

1 Chain Lightning

1 Goblin War Cry

1 Harness by Force

1 Hordeling Outburst

1 Magmatic Chasm

1 Mizzium Mortars

1 Wheel of Fate

1 Wheel of Fortune

[/d]

[d]

Enchantments

1 Aggravated Assault

1 Goblin War Drums

1 Heat Stroke

1 Sulfuric Vortex

Artifacts

1 Hall of Triumph

[/d]

Price: Paper = $201.42 | MTGO = 154.9 TIX

The MTGO price does not include [c]Goblin War Cry[/c]. I would recommend replacing it with another [c]Falter[/c] effect like [c]Ruthless Invasion[/c], but this slot is up to you.

This deck is pretty much hellbent on beating your opponent’s face into the pavement. This is the most aggressive deck I think I’ve ever seen or built. It’s creature dense, packed with burn and [c]Falter[/c] effects, and some card draw to keep the pain train coming. It does one thing, but it does that one thing extremely well.

The biggest draw to this deck is its curve. I’ve done the best I can to make the curve as good as possible. This deck has been in the works for at least a month now, so I’ve had a lot of time with it. The deck tends to curve out supremely, and usually has some way to use all of its mana in the turn cycle. I skimped a little on the one drops, because our turn one play is usually just [c]Zurgo Bellstriker[/c]. We do curve up to five drops, or six drops if you include [c]Pyrokinesis[/c] and [c]Fireblast[/c] though you usually won’t be casting it for its mana cost, so that we can maximize the pressure on our opponent during the early game.

Most decks in the format take some time to set up, which is where we do the most of our damage. We curve out to some of the best aggressive five drops printed in recent memory with [c]Stormbreath Dragon[/c], [c]Thundermaw Hellkite[/c], and [c]Urabrask the Hidden[/c]. These hasty threats will be able to close out the game in short order.

If we do end up going into the long game, our smaller creatures will probably get outclassed. So to mitigate this, we have a handfull of [c]Falter[/c] effects. They will allow us to blow out our opponent and shove tons of damage through. I hope your opponent doesn’t plan on blocking often, because that’s not going to happen.

On top of these effects, we also have some mana sinks to help us utilize our mana in the late game. Cards like [c]Aggravated Assault[/c] will give us extra combat steps, which lets us utilize [c]Falter[/c] even more. If one combat step where their creatures can’t block was bad, two seems like a death sentence. [c]Blinding Flare[/c] also acts like a mana sink when we get to pour mana into its strive cost. We can even refill our hand with [c]Wheel of Fortune[/c] and [c]Wheel of Fate[/c] so that we never run out of gas.

Our early game aggression, compounded with our late game mana sinks, lets us consistently keep the pressure on our opponent. This deck will never let up, and will punish any misstep or stumble from our opponent. Most of our creatures may be small, but it’s unwise to underestimate their potential. Who said red was the worst color in EDH? Zurgo would beg to differ.

Overall, this deck is tons of fun if you like turning cards sideways. It borrows its core concepts from the red decks of yore, focusing on curving out instead of shear power. In a format known for durdeling around in the early game, this deck doesn’t mess around. Its quick and unrelenting nature will turn any opponent to a pile of ash. Zurgo is ringing his bell. Will you answer the call to war?

Thank you for checking out this week’s Commander Corner. If you have any suggestions for a future commander, or topic you wish for me to discuss, let me know in the comments below. Next week, we will take a visit to Ravnica once again to meet the head of the [c]Church of Deals[/c]. I’ll get to testing that deck, as soon as I stop watching Kung Fury. Seriously, go watch that movie. It’s radical.

-Steven Gulsby

 

Commander Corner: Anowon the Ruin Sage

Welcome back,

For most of his life, [c]Anowon, the Ruin Sage[/c] has been searching for one thing, the [c]Eye of Ugin[/c]. He used his reputation of being a master of the ancient languages, ruins, and runes to his advantage. He created a following, as adventurers would seek him out for his wisdom. In order to gain this reputation, he had to hide his vampiric heritage. Anowon is known to stoop to violence to get what he wants. Many vampires on Malakir know that he is a ruthless murderer and is hungry for power. He wasn’t always this way though.

In his early life, [c]Anowon[/c] belonged to the House of Ghet. His parents are unknown, but he took to the bloodchief, Tenihas, and saw him as a father figure. Tenihas also was fond of the young boy. During his childhood, [c]Anowon[/c] spent most of his time in Tenihas’s library. He was fascinated with the ancient world. This world was described as “a world in which vampires were enslaved by famished gods.” Tenihas didn’t want him to unearth anything that had to do with the old world, but Anowon disagreed. This created tension between the two.

One night Tenihas was found murdered in his chambers, and all of his treasures were missing. A witness stated that it was [c]Anowon[/c] himself that killed the bloodchief. In a fit of rage, he left the House of Ghet.

For many years he wandered and went on many expeditions. Eventually. he went to the Lighthouse at Sea Gate, disguised as a man named Kejahar. He dazzled the scholars with his knowledge of the ancient world, as well as with the many relics he possessed. He successfully integrated himself among the scholars, and decided to spend his time there for a while. During his stay, he went on many expeditions with the local merfolk. He also spent a great deal of time in the Lighthouse’s library, as it was the largest collection of works in all of Zendikar. It was there that he discovered a connection between the [c]Eye of Ugin[/c] and the vampires of the old world.

After this discovery, a Kor woman was found in an alleyway, brutally murdered. [c]Anowon[/c] was blamed for her death, as she was friends with him at the time. During the interrogations about this murder, it was revealed that [c]Anowon[/c] was a vampire. They immediatly kicked him out of the Lighthouse and savagely beat him within an inch of his life. They then threw him hundreds of feet off a cliff, into the Halimar.

He managed to survive, and went on a quest for the [c]Eye of Ugin[/c]. Using his reputation, he created a following. Many adventurers would seek him out, and he would use their relics to help him find the Eye. It was during this time that [c]Chandra Nalaar[/c] appeared. She seeked him out for his knowledge of the ancient world, as she was also searching for the Eye. She claimed that she memorized a map that would take them to the Eye. [c]Anowon[/c] agreed to venture with her, and set off. [c]Anowon[/c] later discovered that she had a physical map, and tried to kill her. Out of nowhere, [c]Sarkhan Vol[/c] showed up and knocked him out.

When he awoke, he found a man by the name of [c]Jace Beleren[/c]. He attacked Jace, but Jace disabled him. Jace read his mind, and convinced [c]Anowon[/c] to lead him to the Eye.

When the Eldrazi were released, they found [c]Anowon[/c] and enslaved him like all of the other vampires. He followed their code for many months, until he was freed by [c]Sorin Markov[/c] and [c]Nissa Revane[/c]. They went back to the Eye, and [c]Anowon[/c] divulged all he knew about the ancient world to them.

Nissa then freed the Eldrazi Titans. She, along with [c]Anowon[/c], fled to Afta. [c]Anowon[/c] was last seen stalking her.

[c]Anowon, the Ruin Sage[/c] is a complex character. He is a vital piece to the story of Zendikar. The type of decks he lends himself too, however, is much more straight-forward. His ability is powerful, and can easily swing the game to your favor, as he helps clear the board, and allows for your swath of vampires to go in for the kill. Let’s take a look at what the Ruin Sage can do for us today.

Anowon,_the_Ruin_Sage

A vampire obsessed with the ancient world. In the end, I guess he did get what he wanted
[d title = “Anowon, the Ruin Sage (EDH)”]
Commander
1 Anowon, the Ruin Sage
Lands
1 Barren Moor
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Cabal Coffers
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Crypt of Agadeem
1 Deserted Temple
1 Everglades
1 Lake of the Dead
1 Leechridden Swamp
1 Mutavault
1 Myriad Landscape
1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
1 Polluted Mire
1 Shizo, Death’s Storehouse
23 Swamp [/d]

[d]
Creatures
1 Adaptive Automaton
1 Ascendant Evincar
1 Blood Artist
1 Bloodghast
1 Bloodhusk Ritualist
1 Bloodline Keeper
1 Bloodlord of Vassgoth
1 Butcher of Malakir
1 Captivating Vampire
1 Dark Impostor
1 Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
1 Falkenrath Noble
1 Gatekeeper of Malakir
1 Guul Draz Assassin
1 Kalastria Highborn
1 Kalitas, Bloodchief of Ghet
1 Malakir Bloodwitch
1 Mirri the Cursed
1 Necropolis Regent
1 Nirkana Revenant
1 Sangromancer
1 Vampire Hexmage
1 Vampire Nighthawk
1 Vampire Nocturnus [/d]

[d]
Instants
1 Dismember
1 Doom Blade
1 Hero’s Downfall
1 Sudden Death
1 Tragic Slip
Sorceries
1 Beseech the Queen
1 Blood Tribute
1 Chainer’s Edict
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Exsanuinate
1 Mutilate
1 Night’s Whisper
1 Overwhelming Forces
1 Patriarch’s Bidding
1 Profane Command
1 Sign in Blood
1 Yagmoth’s Will [/d]

[d]
Enchantments
1 Black Market
1 Dictate of Erebos
1 Grave Pact
1 Greed
1 No Mercy
1 Phyrexian Arena
Artifacts
1 Blade of the Bloodchief
1 Caged Sun
1 Charcoal Diamond
1 Darksteel Ingot
1 Door of Destinies
1 Expedition Map
1 Gauntlet of Power
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Mimic Vat
1 Mind Stone
1 Sol Ring
1 Worn Powerstone
Planeswalkers
1 Liliana Vess
1 Sorin Markov [/d]

Price: MTGO = 87.10 TIX | Paper = $493.14

Price will vary greatly if you get the Overwhelming Forces Promo instead of the Portal 3K one. This is the price with the Promo.

This deck is rather straightforward, but powerful. Its primary focus is to just keep the board clear of creatures so yours can freely attack through. Easy as that. It works more like a monoblack control deck, slowly grinding your opponents down until you’re the only one left with things to do. It’s simple, yet effective.

The main way to win, like almost all tribes, is to just beat down. Just about all of your creatures are capable of applying a solid amount of pressure. Creatures like [c]Captivating Vampire[/c], [c]Adaptive Automaton[/c], and [c]Vampire Nocturnus[/c] will buff your entire team and just make things easier for you. Your finishers usually involve [c]Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief[/c] or [c]Butcher of Malakir[/c], and a handful of others, as they will end the game almost immediatly. Especially [c]Drana[/c]. I have yet to loose when she stuck around for a few turns.

The only real function [c]Anowon[/c] serves in here is to keep the board clear. He does this extremely well though. In order for them to have anything on the board, they have to at least have two creatures to be able to block anything. If it’s late in the game, Anowon will pretty much just lock an opponent out of creatures. He will grind your opponent down, generating you value every turn until your opponent has nothing left.

If your opponent is playing a token strategy, things get a bit harder for you. [c]Anowon[/c] becomes much less effective if they can sacrifice one of their more useless tokens. We do have ways to mitigate this though. The handful of board sweeps will be able to keep the tokens at bay. [c]Overwhelming Forces[/c] is hands down the best out of the bunch, as it will pull us ahead so far that it will be difficult for them to come back. As long as you can get to its astronomical mana cost, that is. Besides that, we have [c]No Mercy[/c] which isn’t at its best here, but gets the job done nonetheless.

Overall, this deck is a good amount of fun, though it’s super grind-heavy. If you really like a tribal theme in black, I can easily recommend giving this a shot. It’s rather straight forward and to the point. This deck wants nothing more than your opponent to be dead, one way or another.

Thank you for checking out this week’s Commander Corner. If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments below. See you soon, my friends.

-Steven Gulsby

 

Commander Corner: Vorel of the Hull Clade

Welcome back,

[c]Vorel of the Hull Clade[/c] was the maze runner for the Simic during Dragon’s Maze. Though, his background isn’t exactly what you might expect. He was originally a leader of a small Gruul tribe. During his leadership, he gave the order to give territory away to the encroaching Boros Leagion, so they may set up a garrison. This move was to protect his tribe, but his followers quickly turned on him. He was cast out of the Gruul, and nearly died in the process.

Vorel, being a shaman, took his skills over to the Simic Combine, where his skills were a natural fit. Though he is more emotional than most of the Combine due to his Gruul background, he fit right into the Simic way of life and became a biomancer.

[c]Vorel[/c] is a very flavorful and deceptively powerful commander. His ability, which doubles the counters on specific permanents, resonates with his guild and their mechanics, evolve and graft. This ability, coupled with some ways to utilize those counters outside of just beating your opponents faces in, makes for a unique and dangerous build. What may seem unassuming at first will grow out of hand quite fast. Lets take a look at what this biomancer is bringing to the table.

arc1215_vorel_2

Once a Gruul leader, now a Simic biomancer. He utilizes his shamanistic powers to evolve and create new life in the Combine

[d title = “Vorel of the Hull Clade (EDH)”]
Commander
1 Vorel of the Hull Clade
Lands
1 Breeding Pool
1 Evolving Wilds
11 Forest
1 Gemstone Mine
1 Hinterland Harbor
7 Island
1 Llanowar Reborn
1 Minamo, School at Water’s Edge
1 Mirrodin’s Core
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Novijen, Heart of Progress
1 Oran-Rief, the Vastwood
1 Rushwood Grove
1 Saprazzan Cove
1 Simic Growth Chamber
1 Simic Guildgate
1 Tendo Ice Bridge
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Vivid Creek
1 Vivid Grove
1 Yavimaya Coast
[/d]
[d]
Creatures
1 Avatar of the Resolute
1 Bane of Progress
1 Birds of Paradise
1 Champion of Lambholt
1 Chasm Skulker
1 Cytoplast Manipulator
1 Cytoplast Root-Kin
1 Den Protector
1 Draining Whelk
1 Experiment Kraj
1 Fathom Mage
1 Feral Hydra
1 Forgotten Ancient
1 Fungal Behemoth
1 Genesis Hydra
1 Gyre Sage
[/d]
[d]
Creatures Cont.
1 Heroes’ Bane
1 Hooded Hydra
1 Kalonian Hydra
1 Lifeblood Hydra
1 Master Biomancer
1 Mystic Snake
1 Novijen Sages
1 Phantom Nantuko
1 Prime Speaker Zegana
1 Protean Hydra
1 Renegade Krasis
1 Sandsteppe Mastodon
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Scute Mob
1 Vorapede
[/d]
[d]
Instants
1 Beast Within
1 Decree of Savagery
1 Krosan Grip
1 Pongify
1 Rapid Hybridization
1 Setessan Tactics
1 Solidarity of Heroes
1 Think Twice
Sorceries
1 Collective Voyage
1 Cultivate
1 Explore
1 Give // Take
1 Increasing Savagery
1 Incremental Growth
1 Kodama’s Reach
1 Ponder
1 Preordain
1 Rampant Growth
1 Search for Tomorrow
1 Sunbringer’s Touch
[/d]
[d]
Enchantments
1 Doubling Season
1 Primal Vigor
Artifacts
1 Coalition Relic
1 Darksteel Ingot
1 Darksteel Reactor
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Simic Keyrune
1 Simic Signet
1 Sol Ring
1 Thousand-Year Elixir [/d]

Cost: Paper = $425.43 | MTGO = 94.84 TIX

We are going to need a ton of dice. The amount of counters we can make is bananas. These creatures will get so large so quickly that your opponent probably won’t be able to deal with it outside of wrathing the board. This deck is very different and really speaks to the flavor of the Simic Combine and what they can do.

With this deck, you’re mostly going to be building your monsters instead of just casting them. Many of the creatures in here have very little, or no power at all, and rely on the +1/+1 counters on them to even survive. This is where [c]Vorel[/c] comes in. He will generate enough counters for the creatures to become a force to be reckoned with over the course of turn or two. We also have a couple of ways to generate more counters with [c]Doubling Season[/c], [c]Primal Vigor[/c], [c]Solidarity of Heroes[/c], and the handful of bolster effects. These effects will be able to generate humongous monsters that will crush our opponents into dust.

If, for some reason, this doesn’t work, we do have a backup plan. That plan is [c]Darksteel Reactor[/c].

[c]Darksteel Reactor[/c] is a perfect fit for this type of deck. With its ability to place counters on itself, and our ability to double those counters, we will be able to win the game in just a couple of turns. Its very simple, quick, and effecient, as there is no way to remove the reactor outside of exiling it. It doesn’t combo well with cards like [c]Primal Vigor[/c] and the other ways we can put counters on things, but it works well enough with [c]Doubling Season[/c] and [c]Vorel[/c] that its worth including as an alternate win condition. Its a fun and unique way to win outside of smashing your opponents.

The biggest problem with this deck that I’ve had so far is against a super grind heavy deck, we won’t be doing that well. If the opponent can keep our board clear, the likelihood of us winning will severely diminish. Outside of the [c]Darksteel Reactor[/c] win condition, we pretty much rely on our creatures to be able to get the job done. Without them, we are pretty much just dead in the water. We also tend to lean on our commander a bit, so if he is not sticking around that often, then our progress will slow down as well. We do have access to [c]Lightning Greaves[/c] though which will help immensely.

Overall this deck is a ton of fun and really speaks to the flavor of the Simic Combine. Its all about evolving and making our own monsters to tear apart the opposition. We also get to play a sweet alternate win condition with [c]Darksteel Reactor[/c] which is always hilarious to pull off. Its a deck that requires a little set up, but it will snowball quickly. If you’re looking for something fun to bring to the kitchen table, look no further. just make sure you have plenty of dice. You’re going to need them.

Thank you for checking out this week’s Commander Corner. As always, if you have any suggestions for a commander I should check out in the future, let me know in the comments below.

Next week, we go tribal. See you soon, my friends.

-Steven Gulsby

Commander Corner: Scion of the Ur-Dragon

Welcome back,

So what does it mean to be a dragon in the context of Magic? Should a dragon just smash and burn everything into the ground? Should they do their best to teach their wisdom to other beings? Should they try to dominate the multiverse? Or should they do anything at all? The concept of what a dragon is can be a little vague. Each legendary dragon in Magic tends to carve its own path, leave its own mark.

[c]Dragonlord Ojutai[/c] spends his time teaching his wisdom to his followers, while [c]Dragonlord Atarka[/c] tends to just smash and eat everything in sight. The battle between the sinister [c]Nicol Bolas[/c] and [c]Ugin, the Spirit Dragon[/c] has been raging over a long period of time. Each dragon follows its own path, yet they all contain the same blood. The blood of the Ur-Dragon.

The Ur-Dragon is not a creature though, it is a concept. It is the pinnacle, the paragon of what it means to be a dragon. This concept is what [c]Scion of the Ur-Dragon[/c] is. He is a manifestation of what it means to be a dragon. His blood courses through every dragons’ veins. He literally is every dragon in existence. The blood of the Ur-Dragon lives on in every dragon that has come and gone and every dragon that has yet come into being.

[c]Scion of the Ur-Dragon[/c] is an interesting and flavorful design. The concept of the Ur-Dragon is shown very well with his ability. He allows you to search your library for any dragon and put it into your graveyard, then he becomes that dragon for the turn. This allows us to find the right dragon for the job, an ability that is extremely powerful and can easily swing the game in your favor. Outside of our commander, our deck is stuffed to the brim with powerful dragons that can crush our opponent in a quick fashion. As long as our mana is set up properly, we can crush almost anybody. Lets take a look at what the blood of the Ur-Dragon can give us.

ct252_ur-dragon

The blood of the Ur-Dragon lives on…

[d title= “Scion of the Ur-Dragon (EDH)”]

Commander

1 Scion of the Ur-Dragon

Lands

1 Ancient Ziggurat

1 Azorius Guildgate

1 Blood Crypt

1 Bloodstained Mire

1 Boros Guildgate

1 Breeding Pool

1 Cavern of Souls

1 City of Brass

1 Command Tower

1 Crucible of the Spirit Dragon

1 Dimir Guildgate

1 Flooded Strand

1 Forbidden Orchard

1 Godless Shrine

1 Golgari Guildgate

1 Grand Coliseum

1 Gruul Guildgate

1 Hallowed Fountain

1 Haven of the Spirit Dragon [/d]

[d]

Lands Cont.

1 Izzet Guildgate

1 Mana Confluence

1 Maze’s End

1 Orzhov Guildgate

1 Overgrown Tomb

1 Polluted Delta

1 Rakdos Guildgate

1 Reflecting Pool

1 Rupture Spire

1 Sacred Foundry

1 Selesnya Guildgate

1 Simic Guildgate

1 Steam Vents

1 Stomping Ground

1 Temple Garden

1 Watery Grave

1 Windswept Heath

1 Wooded Foothills [/d]

[d]

Creatures

1 Alloy Myr

1 Atarka, World Render

1 Balefire Dragon

1 Birds of Paradise

1 Bladewing the Risen

1 Broodmate Dragon

1 Courser of Kruphix

1 Dragonlord Atarka

1 Dragonlord Dromoka

1 Dragonlord Ojutai

1 Dragonlord Silumgar

1 Dragonlord’s Servant

1 Dragonspeaker Shaman

1 Dromoka, the Eternal

1 Gatecreeper Vine

1 Hellkite Overlord

1 Joiner Adept [/d]

[d]

Creatures Cont.

1 Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund

1 Keiga, the Tide Star

1 Kokusho, the Evening Star

1 Kolaghan, the Storm’s Fury

1 Lotus Cobra

1 Nicol Bolas

1 Ojutai, Soul of Winter

1 Oracle of Mul Daya

1 Ryusei, the Falling Star

1 Scourge of Valkas

1 Silumgar, the Drifting Death

1 Somberwald Sage

1 Steel Hellkite

1 Sylvan Caryatid

1 Thunderbreak Regent

1 Utvara Hellkite

1 Weathered Wayfarer

1 Yosei, the Morning Star

Instants

1 Dismember

1 Lightning Bolt

1 Murderous Cut

1 Path to Exile

1 Sarkhan’s Triumph

1 Swords to Plowshares

1 Wear // Tear

1 Worldly Tutor [/d]

[d]

Sorceries

1 Crux of Fate

1 Farseek

1 Mizzium Mortars

1 Patriarch’s Bidding

1 Reap and Sow

1 Spoils of Victory

1 Tempt with Discovery

1 Tooth and Nail

1 Unburial Rites

Enchantments

1 Crucible of Fire

Artifacts

1 Chromatic Lantern

1 Coalition Relic

1 Commander’s Sphere

1 Darksteel Ingot

1 Golgari Signet

1 Gruul Signet

1 Manalith

1 Sol Ring

Planeswalkers

1 Sarkhan Unbroken [/d]

Cost: MTGO = 201.28 TIX | Paper = $584.98

Its hard to go wrong with this many dragons. After the first few turns, we can start pumping out threat after threat until our opponent has been crushed under our might. We also have a small amount of reanimation with [c]Unburial Rites[/c] and [c]Patriarch’s Bidding[/c] to fully take advantage of our commander, and also give us a fail safe just in case if the board is wiped clean.

To win, you just have to smash face. Its that simple. Stick a threat and turn it sideways. Doesn’t get much more simple than that. What makes this a little more challenging is finding the right dragon for the job. Many of our dragons do different things. For example, if we need to go wide, we have [c]Utvara Hellkite[/c] which creates tons of dragons for us. If we need to simply go big, we have [c]Hellkite Overlord[/c] or [c]Atarka, World Render[/c] to close the game out right away. We can gain some card advantage with [c]Dragonlord Ojutai[/c] or simply make our opponent discard their entire hand with [c]Nicol Bolas[/c]. Each dragon has a role to play and helps us attack our opponents from a different angle, all leading to our opponents demise.

[c]Scion of the Ur-Dragon[/c] helps tie everything together by being every dragon in the deck. Whatever the situation calls for, our commander will get the job done. If he is getting targeted by removal, we can turn him into [c]Dragonlord Ojutai[/c] to protect him if need be. The only thing that we can’t protect our creatures from is a board sweep. Even so, we have [c]Patriarch’s Bidding[/c] to turn things around after a [c]Wrath of God[/c]. Whatever we need, [c]Scion of the Ur-Dragon[/c] will become it. Unless if what we need isn’t a dragon. He can’t do that.

The same issues with any five color deck comes into play here, which is the mana base. We have heavy mana requirements so we need to prioritize our mana first and foremost. If we don’t have our mana base set up properly, we won’t be able to cast any of our sweet dragon spells. To help that, we have shocklands, fetchlands, guildgates, and five color lands to help us cast our spells. On top of that, we have mana fixers with signets, and mana rocks that can help fix our colors for us, as well as [c]Joiner Adept[/c] and [c]Chromatic Lantern[/c] to turn all of our lands into [c]Command Tower[/c]s essentially. If we can get our mana base working, it will be hard for our opponents to stop us.

This deck has been a ton of fun to test out over the past couple of weeks. It has been crushing opponents left and right, but not being an oppressive force. Its just a fun deck. If you like dragons, something tells me you already have a [c]Scion of the Ur-Dragon[/c] deck of your own. If your looking for a new tribal deck to take for a spin, I can easily recommend this one to you. It is a bit pricey if you want to buy the real cards instead of on MTGO.

Thank you for checking out this weeks Commander Corner. If you have any suggestions of what you want to see in a future article, please let me know in the comments below. Next week, we need a lot of dice. See you soon, my friends.

– Steven Gulsby