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

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: 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: Polukranos, World Eater

Welcome back,

Honestly, I never thought of [c]Polukranos[/c] as a commander up until this point. He seemed too basic and at first I didn’t think he was going to be all that useful. Yea, I could kill a few creatures here and there, but then what? He was going to die and that would be pretty much the end of it. I pretty much just saw him as the Standard player that he is. That notion changed rather quickly over the course of a few days.

Originally this deck was supposed to be lead by one of my pet cards, [c]Sekki, Seasons’ Guide[/c]. It was going to be a group hug strategy that won via mass token generation and [c]Overrun[/c] style effects. It had cards that let everybody produce a boat load of mana and be able to do whatever they want with it. The deck ended up being lackluster, as what I was doing didn’t seem to be as good as what my opponents were doing, outside of one game.

This game had been going on for quite some time. The board was cluttered, nobody was doing anything, and we each had an absurd amount of mana. I’m talking somewhere in the hundreds of floating mana. I ended up drawing the card that won me the game and proved its worth. That card was [c]Polukranos, World Eater[/c], obviously.

I windmill slammed it down and immediately used its monstrosity ability, destroying every creature my opponent had and crashed in for the win. I was surprised at how good this thing was, and it got me thinking. What if, instead of doing this in a Sekki build, I made a deck tailored to making this monster of a card as huge as possible. With that, I brewed for a few days, and this is the end result. It still has some of the core cards from [c]Sekki[/c], but radically changes its plan.

Instead of going wide, we are going to go big, and I mean BIG.

feat261a_pwe_art_qco60dn7jw

It turns out, when you build a deck around a card, that card ends up being pretty good

[d title = “The World Ends With Polukranos (EDH)]

Commander

1 Polukranos, World Eater

Lands

1 Cavern of Souls

32 Forest

1 Homeward Path

1 Myriad Landscape

1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

1 Thawing Glaciers [/d]

[d]

Creatures

1 Acidic Slime

1 Brawn

1 Craterhoof Behemoth

1 Elvish Mystic

1 Fyndhorn Elves

1 Genesis Hydra

1 Gyre Sage

1 Hooded Hydra

1 Hornet Queen

1 Hydra Broodmaster

1 Kalonian Hydra

1 Kalonian Twingrove

1 Kamahl, Fist of Krosa

1 Karametra’s Acolyte

1 Khalni Hydra

1 Lifeblood Hydra [/d]

[d]

Creatures Cont.

1 Llanowar Elves

1 Magus of the Vineyard

1 Nylea’s Disciple

1 Nylea, God of the Hunt

1 Omnath, Locus of Mana

1 Oracle of Mul Daya

1 Primalcrux

1 Reverent Hunter

1 Seedborn Muse

1 Solemn Simulacrum

1 Temur Sabertooth

1 Terastodon

1 Thragtusk

1 Veteran Explorer

1 Wolfbriar Elemental

1 Woodfall Primus [/d]

[d]

Instants

1 Beast Within

1 Krosan Grip

1 Setessan Tactics

1 Unravel the AEther

Sorceries

1 Collective Voyage

1 Explore

1 Genesis Wave

1 Kodama’s Reach

1 Rampant Growth

1 Reap and Sow

1 Sylvan Scrying

1 Tempt with Discovery

1 Tooth and Nail [/d]

[d]

Enchantments

1 Beastmaster Ascension

1 Dictate of Karametra

1 Eladamri’s Vineyard

1 Frontier Siege

1 Heartbeat of Spring

1 Primal Vigor

1 Rites of Flourishing

1 Song of the Dryads

1 Upwelling

Artifacts

1 Bow of Nylea

1 Darksteel Ingot

1 Gilded Lotus

1 Horn of Ramos

1 Sol Ring

1 Weatherseed Totem

Planeswalkers

1 Freyalise, Llanowar’s Fury

1 Garruk Wildspeaker

[/d]

This deck can pretty much go as big as you want it to. We can generate as much mana as we need, and with plenty of mana sinks, we will always have something to do with our abundance of the stuff. It has some group hug style of cards, which can lead to some interesting games. While yes, your opponent does get helped out by this, what you’re doing has so much sheer power behind it that it shouldn’t matter. A [c]Genesis Wave[/c] for twenty or a entwined [c]Tooth and Nail[/c] should be able to get the job done in most cases.

As with most green decks, the only way to win is to beat down. Many of the creatures, including the commander, are great at beating up any opponent. There is a small hydra theme going on in here which is useful. They tend to work well together for the most part, especially [c]Kalonian Hydra[/c]. Most of them scale with the amount of mana we have, which is very useful for us. The hydras in this deck will provide more value with the more mana you put into them. This used to be a problem for hydras of the past. You would put a ton of mana into them, and you would get no value out of them because they would die immediately. Now with these more modern hydras, we get value out of the regardless if we dump all of our mana into them and they die. Outside of hydras, we have a good chunk of value creatures that will keep us going. Once we stabilize, we should be able to cast our general and smash their faces in.

Once our general is out, we should be set up to wipe their board and kill them either the next turn with him, or just kill him that turn with what we have on the board already. With the amount of mana we can generate with our enchantments and creatures, we can pretty much take out their entire board a good portion of the time. [c]Polukranos[/c] is the best defense we have against opposing creatures, since we don’t have access to typical removal. If for some reason we don’t have access to him, our backup measure for that type of effect is [c]Setessan Tactics[/c]. Our creatures are large enough where we should be able to win most fights, plus with its cheap strive cost, we can fight a good amount of creatures.

This deck does have a few holes in its armor. Since it is mono-green, we don’t have access to a large card pool, thus making us weaker in general. We don’t have access to typical creature removal, board sweeps, or draw power. Instead, we have to make do with what we have. We get the fight effects for our creature removal. If we don’t have any creatures though, then its pretty much a dead card. Our only sweeper is our commander, which is nice to have, but won’t always get the job done as he can die to almost any removal spell. With the amount of mana we make though, we can just simply recast him and go for it again. We don’t draw cards normally either. We have to use things like [c]Lifeblood Hydra[/c] to draw cards. We could run [c]Harmonize[/c] instead, but I feel that it doesn’t fit all that well into our overall game plan. We do get access to [c]Genesis Hydra[/c] and [c]Genesis Wave[/c] which is arguably better than drawing cards for this style of deck. We may not be able to do everything multicolor decks can do, but we can sure as hell keep up with them without any problems.

Overall, this deck is a great ton of fun. It can keep up with most decks and can generate as much mana as you will ever need. With that mana, we can make some powerful plays, and quickly overcome almost any obstacle. We can overpower mass removal, push through control magic, destroy the board, put tons of permanents into play in one move, and generate a ton of tokens. We can attack from a variety of angles, all leading towards one conclusion, a dead opponent. This deck has surprised me in more ways than one. It can stand up to almost any test, as its sheer resiliency is something to behold. I’m extremely happy with how this deck turned out. If you’re looking for brute force, look no further.

Thank you for checking out this weeks Commander Corner. If you have any suggestions for commanders you want featured in a future article, please let me know in the comments below. Next week, we get rich quick. See you next time, my friends.

-Steven Gulsby

Commander Corner: Grenzo, Dungeon Warden

Welcome back,

In the High City of [c]Paliano[/c], there is a goblin who rules the underground. The council above sends the prisoners to his domain to be locked away forever. They will never be seen or heard from again. The only contact they will have is with the dungeon warden himself. He holds the keys to every lock in Paliano.

When he isn’t locking way wrongdoers, he schemes up ways to overthrow the council. His goal is to gain control of the High City, with the help of his many goblin assassins, and plunge it into chaos. He also wishes to slay his arch rival, [c]Muzzio, Visionary Architect[/c]. If he can take down Muzzio, he can take over the entire city. With enough time, he will surely succeed.

[c]Grenzo, Dungeon Warden[/c] is a bit of an odd commander. His [c]cellar door[/c]-esque ability isn’t a normal design for a creature. You can make him as big as you want, though, which is a huge plus.

It can be hard for any deck to really take advantage of this ability, especially in these colors. While we may not be able to abuse his ability, it can certainty pay off for us in the later stages of the game. He provides a solid mana-sink that lets us grab creatures from out of nowhere.

Let’s take a look at what Grenzo can come up with for us this week.

ArtID 153180_Nozzo, Goblin Dungeonkeeper_Final01

He schemes below the city, waiting for his chance to take over Paliano.

[d title=”Grenzo’s Cutthroats (EDH)”]

Commander

1 Grenzo, Dungeon Warden

Lands

1 Auntie’s Hovel

1 Blood Crypt

1 Bloodstained Mire

1 Cavern of Souls

1 Command Tower

1 Dragonskull Summit

1 Graven Cairns

16 Mountain

1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

1 Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep

1 Shizo, Death’s Storehouse

8 Swamp

1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth[/d]

[d]

Creatures

1 Adaptive Automaton

1 Battle Squadron

1 Beetleback Chief

1 Bloodmark Mentor

1 Boggart Harbinger

1 Boggart Mob

1 Frogtosser Banneret

1 Gempalm Incinerator

1 Goblin Bushwhacker

1 Goblin Chieftain

1 Goblin Guide

1 Goblin King

1 Goblin Lackey

1 Goblin Marshal

1 Goblin Matron

1 Goblin Piledriver

1 Goblin Recruiter

1 Goblin Ringleader

1 Goblin Ruinblaster

1 Goblin Sharpshooter[/d]

[d]

Creatures (cont.)

1 Goblin Warchief

1 Goblin Wardriver

1 Goblin Wizard

1 Horde of Boggarts

1 Ib Halfheart, Goblin Tactician

1 Jeering Instigator

1 Knucklebone Witch

1 Krenko, Mob Boss

1 Legion Loyalist

1 Lightning Crafter

1 Mad Auntie

1 Mogg War Marshal

1 Moggcatcher

1 Purphoros, God of the Forge

1 Reckless One

1 Siege-Gang Commander

1 Skirk Drill Sergeant

1 Skirk Prospector

1 Tuktuk Scrapper

1 Tuktuk the Explorer

1 Warren Instigator

1 Wort, Boggart Auntie[/d]

[d]

Instants

1 Doom Blade

1 Hero’s Downfall

1 Lightning Bolt

1 Tarfire

1 Terminate

Sorceries

1 Demonic Tutor

1 Dreadbore

1 Fodder Launch

1 Gamble

1 Mizzium Mortars

1 Patriarch’s Bidding

1 Warren Weirding[/d]

[d]

Enchantments

1 Goblin Warrens

1 Phyrexian Arena

1 Quest for the Goblin Lord

1 Shared Animosity

1 Sulfuric Vortex

Artifacts

1 Lightning Greaves

1 Obelisk of Urd

1 Reito Lantern

1 Sol Ring

Planeswalkers

1 Chandra, Pyromaster

[/d]

This deck is meant to kill your opponent as fast as possible. Its low curve allows you to get ahead of your opponent and apply as much pressure as possible right from the start.

Many of these creatues either buff your team, apply tons of pressure, or search for more goblins. Grenzo acts as a huge finisher and can also find some creatures from the bottom of the deck with his ability. With [c]Reito Lantern[/c] out, he just turns into [c]Zombify[/c] on a stick. The amount of synergy and sheer aggression that this deck can put out will crush most opponents before they made any meaningful play. Pumping out threats consistently and turning creatures sideways is the name of the game, and Grenzo is happy to provide everything you might need to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

This deck does have an issue when it comes to the late game.

Since your creatures are much smaller then most, they will become outclassed the longer the game goes. You can remedy this by simply just going wide. You can produce as many goblin tokens as you can count with [c]Beetleback Chief[/c], [c]Goblin Marshal[/c], [c]Krenko, Mob Boss[/c], [c]Mogg War Marshal[/c], and [c]Siege-Gang Commander[/c]. Krenko can get out of hand quickly if left unchecked. He is usually the main way of winning in this deck besides just beating your opponent to death with all of your 1/1s and 2/2s.

When building this deck, I grouped up what type of goblins I wanted into different classes. There are four classes of goblins in this deck.

  1. There are the lords which give your team some type of buff, whether it be giving them +1/+1 or first strike. Cards like [c]Goblin King[/c], [c]Bloodmark Mentor[/c], and [c]Goblin Warchief[/c] fall here.
  2. Then there are the tutors, which search up any goblin that you need at the time. [c]Goblin Recruiter[/c], [c]Goblin Ringleader[/c], and [c]Moggcatcher[/c] will get the job done for us.
  3. Then there are the beaters, which are only there to beat your opponent senseless. Creatures like [c]Mogg War Marshal[/c], [c]Battle Squadron[/c], [c]Goblin Guide[/c], [c]Goblin Lackey[/c] and [c]Beetleback Chief[/c] are here to put the hurt on your opponent.
  4. The last class is called support. These cards don’t search up goblins, but merely keep them going by bringing them back or protecting them. [c]Goblin Wizard[/c], [c]Mad Auntie[/c], and [c]Wort, Boggart Auntie[/c] tend to fall in this category.

If a goblin did not fall into one of these four classes, then it didn’t make it into the deck. Cards that can fit into these categories will provide the most synergy and will work together to crush your opponent better than most.

While testing this deck, there were a few cards that were in here that ended up not making the cut. The big ones that I ended up cutting are [c]Goblin Rabblemaster[/c] and [c]Coat of Arms[/c]. [c]Goblin Rabblemaster[/c] may seem like an auto-include for a deck like this, but it does not play nice in an all-goblins strategy. While you almost always will be attacking, there are times when you have to hold your creatures back. Suiciding my lords into my opponents creatures almost always ended up in a loss. The card just doesn’t play well with other goblins.

[c]Coat of Arms[/c] ended up being cut because I found that [c]Obelisk of Urd[/c] ended up being simply better in most cases. I was able to get it out earlier than [c]Coat of Arms[/c] and it still provided basically the same effect, so I ended up choosing the Obelisk over it.

This deck is for anybody that likes a tribal theme, or just wants a hyper aggressive EDH deck. This deck is great at punishing any player that stumbles, which is an all-too-common thing in this format. Any opponent whose deck takes some time to set up shop will have a difficult time dealing with the pressure this deck can provide in an instant. If you like turning creatures sideways and racing your opponent, this is the deck for you.

Thank you for checking out this week’s Commander Corner. If you have any suggestions for a commander you want to be featured in a future article, let me know in the comments below. Next week, we go bigger. Much bigger. See you next time, my friends.

-Steven Gulsby

Commander Corner: Roon of the Hidden Realm

Welcome back,

For this week’s article I decided to feature my friend Dylan’s commander, [c]Roon of the Hidden Realm[/c]. 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 [c]Roon[/c] 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.

ur271_roon

When one Craterhoof trigger isn’t enough…

[d title=”Roon’s Bouncy Castle (EDH)”]

Commander

1 Roon of the Hidden Realm

Lands

1 Bant Panorama

1 Breeding Pool

1 Evolving Wilds

1 Flooded Strand

7 Forest

1 Glacial Fortress

1 Halimar Depths

1 Hallowed Fountain

1 Island

1 Krosan Verge

1 Maze of Ith

1 Misty Rainforest

1 Myriad Landscape

5 Plains

1 Reliquary Tower

1 Seaside Citadel

1 Sunpetal Grove

1 Temple Garden

1 Terramorphic Expanse

1 Windswept Heath[/d]

[d]

Creatures

1 Angel of Serenity

1 Armada Wurm

1 Banisher Priest

1 Birds of Paradise

1 Bloom Tender

1 Clever Impersonator

1 Coiling Oracle

1 Craterhoof Behemoth

1 Deadeye Navigator

1 Duplicant

1 Ephara, God of the Polis

1 Eternal Witness

1 Fauna Shaman

1 Fiend Hunter

1 Hornet Queen

1 Karmic Guide

1 Kitchen Finks

1 Mulldrifter

1 Mystic Snake

1 Prime Speaker Zegana

1 Progenitor Mimic

1 Prophet of Kruphix

1 Restoration Angel

1 Reveillark

1 Snapcaster Mage

1 Solemn Simulacrum

1 Soul of the Harvest

1 Sun Titan

1 Sylvan Caryatid

1 Thragtusk

1 Venser, Shaper Savant

1 Wood Elves

1 Woodfall Primus[/d]

[d]

Instants

1 Beast Within

1 Brainstorm

1 Condemn

1 Counterspell

1 Cyclonic Rift

1 Hinder

1 Path to Exile

1 Pongify

1 Return to Dust

1 Spell Crumple

1 Sphinx’s Revelation

1 Swords to Plowshares

1 Think Twice

1 Worldly Tutor[/d]

[d]

Sorceries

1 Austere Command

1 Kodama’s Reach

1 Ponder

1 Search for Tomorrow

1 Supreme Verdict

1 Tooth and Nail

1 Treasure Cruise

Artifacts

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

Planeswalkers

1 Venser, the Sojourner

[/d]

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 [c]Roon[/c]’s ability. Gaining the edge by reusing the same cards over and over by bouncing [c]Eternal Witness[/c] or drawing and ramping out your deck with [c]Solemn Simulacrum[/c] is this deck’s bread and butter. If you ever need to win on the spot, how does double [c]Craterhoof[/c] 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 [c]Roon[/c] a shot.

The primary modes of winning are with multiple [c]Craterhoof[/c] triggers, or just by beating your opponents with sheer card advantage. [c]Craterhoof[/c] 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 [c]Treasure Cruise[/c] or [c]Sphinx’s Revelation[/c] every turn by bouncing your [c]Eternal Witness[/c] 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 [c]Roon[/c] 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 [c]Prophet of Kruphix[/c], and [c]Deadeye Navigator[/c]. [c]Prophet of Kruphix[/c] is exactly what you need with [c]Roon[/c]. 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.

[c]Deadeye Navigator[/c] 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 [c]Thousand-Year Elixir[/c] but I found that it really didn’t impact the game in any meaningful way. Being able to use [c]Roon[/c] 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 [c]Sensei’s Divining Top[/c] – 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 [c]Mayael[/c] 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.

-Steven Gulsby

Commander Corner: Captain Sisay

Welcome back,

[c]Captain Sisay[/c]’s life has been predetermined since her birth. Her bloodline was tampered with for years by Urza in order to create an heir to the Legacy. The Legacy was a collection of artifacts that, when together, had enough power to wipe out Yawgmoth and save the plane of Dominaria from the incoming Phyrexian invasion.

The Phyrexians discovered Urza’s plan and made an attempt to sabotage it. They raided and burned down Sisay’s hometown, killing her parents. Her parents were not able to tell her about her true destiny since she still too young. She grew up with only a slight understanding of the legend of the [c]Legacy[/c]. She then set sail on her ship, the Weatherlight, to find the remaining pieces of the Legacy.

During her travels, she amassed a crew of people that were also part of Urza’s project. She recruited [c]Gerrard[/c], [c]Hanna[/c], [c]Ertai[/c], [c]Karn[/c], [c]Rofellos[/c], and [c]Squee[/c]. They went on many journeys throughout the years, slowly gathering the pieces to the Legacy.

During this time, Sisay was captured by a former ally named [c]Starke[/c]. Starke showed them the way to the pieces of the Legacy. Rath was working for the Phyrexians, and was tasked with capturing Sisay and the Legacy. Gerrard, who left the crew when Rofellos died in battle, came back as soon as he heard the news. He led the Weatherlight crew to save their captain and take back the Legacy from the clutches of Yawgmoth. After they escaped, they crashed on Mercadia.

A short time after they made it back to Dominaria, they had to defend the plane from the Phyrexian Invasion. They held off the invasion as much as they could, but the ship was destroyed by a dragon. Karn, after regaining his memories, used the Thran Tomb to unite the pieces of the Legacy. Gerrard, Urza, and Karn himself merged together along with the Weatherlight and the other artifacts to form the weapon. The Legacy became self-aware and attacked the Phyrexians. The weapon obliterated the oncoming force and destroyed Yawgmoth. Dominaria was safe at last.

Captain Sisay is a very popular commander, at least in my play group. Her ability to tutor up other legendary cards not only speaks to the story behind her, but creates a powerful commander as well. She is able to search for just about whatever you want, whenever you want it. She keeps your hand stocked with powerful creatures, which will keep you going in the later stages of the game. Let’s see what kind of crew we can build with Captain Sisay.

mr308_Sisay

She commanded the most powerful crew in all of Dominaria, and also saved the plane from utter destruction

[d title=”Captain Sisay (EDH)”]

Commander

1 Captain Sisay

Lands

1 Yavimaya Hollow

1 Untaidake, the Cloud Keeper

1 Terramorphic Expanse

12 Plains

1 Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers

1 Myriad Landscape

1 Miren, the Moaning Well

1 Mikokoro, Center of the Sea

1 Kor Haven

1 Hall of the Bandit Lord

1 Gods’ Eye, Gate to the Reikai

12 Forest

1 Flagstones of Trokair

1 Evolving Wilds

1 Eiganjo Castle[/d]

[d]

Creatures

1 Yosei, the Morning Star

1 Yomiji, Who Bars the Way

1 Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger

1 Tolsimir Wolfblood

1 Thrun, the Last Troll

1 Sylvan Caryatid

1 Solemn Simulacrum

1 Sigarda, Host of Herons

1 Selvala, Explorer Returned

1 Sakura-Tribe Elder

1 Saffi Eriksdotter

1 Rune-Tail, Kitsune Ascendant

1 Reki, the History of Kamigawa

1 Polukranos, World Eater

1 Myojin of Life’s Web

1 Mother of Runes

1 Mangara of Corondor

1 Llanowar Elves

1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence

1 Kongming, “Sleeping Dragon”

1 Karametra, God of Harvests

1 Kamahl, Fist of Krosa

1 Iwamori of the Open Fist

1 Hua Tuo, Honored Physician

1 Fyndhorn Elves

1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite

1 Eight-and-a-Half-Tails

1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos

1 Brigid, Hero of Kinsbaile

1 Bloom Tender

1 Birds of Paradise

1 Avacyn, Guardian Angel

1 Avacyn, Angel of Hope

1 Avacyn’s Pilgrim[/d]

[d]

Instants

1 Worldly Tutor

1 Swords to Plowshares

1 Path to Exile

1 Oblation

1 Crib Swap

1 Condemn

1 Beast Within

Sorceries

1 Wrath of God

1 Rampant Growth

1 Kodama’s Reach

1 Explore

1 Cultivate

1 Collective Voyage[/d]

[d]

Enchantments

1 Vassal’s Duty

1 Oblivion Ring

1 Day of Destiny

1 Banishing Light

Artifacts

1 Umezawa’s Jitte

1 Thran Dynamo

1 Quicksilver Amulet

1 Sol Ring

1 Sensei’s Divining Top

1 Konda’s Banner

1 Heroes’ Podium

1 Gilded Lotus

1 Darksteel Ingot

1 Commander’s Sphere

1 Akroma’s Memorial

[/d]

This deck is jam-packed with some of the best legendary creatures in green and white. There is a legendary creature that will suit your need for almost any situation. This type of versatility is what really gives this deck its power, as its able to adapt to almost any situation. If you need some way to deal with a massive army of tokens, [c]Brigid, Hero of Kinsbaile[/c] will get the job done. If you need some way to draw cards, [c] Selvala, Explorer Returned[/c], [c]Mikokoro, Center of the Sea[/c], and [c]Reki, the History of Kamigawa[/c] will keep your hand full. If the board gets to a stalemate and you need a trump, look no further than [c]Akroma’s Memorial[/c] which will let you just run over your opponent. 

You also gain access to a tutorable anthem effect in the form of [c]Day of Destiny[/c], which is another great way to end board stalls. This deck has it all. Its biggest downfall though is that it’s very mana hungry. Some of these spells cost upwards of eight mana, and without an effective way to cheat them in outside of Quicksilver Amulet, it may take some time for you to amass the army that you need. There are a lot of ways to ramp up though, so that should help ease things out for you.

[c]Captain Sisay[/c] is arguably the best commander in these colors. Her versatility gives pilots the edge against the field. Power aside, it’s always fun to play with a lot of sweet legendary creatures. That’s what this deck is about. It’s about having fun and playing with some of your favorite legends across Magic’s expansive history. It’s a straight-forward toolbox strategy that can be difficult for your opponents to overcome. There’s a pretty good reason why she’s the captain of this crew.

Thank you guys for checking out this weeks Commander Corner. If you have any suggestions, as always let me know in the comments below. Next week, we have fun in a bouncy house. See you soon, my friends.

– Steven Gulsby

Commander Corner: Eight-and-a-Half-Tails

Welcome back,

[c]Eight-and-a-Half-Tails[/c] is a powerful and wise kitsune cleric on the plane of Kamigawa. Unlike all other kitsune, instead of an all white tail, he was born with black streaks in his. These unusual streaks were seen as a great omen. He was destined to change the world. Throughout his life, [c]Eight-and-a-Half-Tails[/c] went on many spiritual journeys. Each successful journey earned him one of his nine distinct tails. He became the highest spiritual leader on the plane, and as such, he was entrusted by Konda to study the Kakuryio.

The Kakuryio is the spirit world, where the Kami dwell. The Kakuryio and the Utsushiyo, the world in which the mortals reside, create the plane of Kamigawa. Eight-and-a-Half-Tails agreed to help Konda, but soon discovered his true intentions. Konda intended to perform a sacrilegious ritual that had the potential to break open a portal between the Kakuryio and the Utsushiyo, unleashing the wrath of the Kami on the plane. [c]Eight-and-a-Half-Tails[/c] dismissed these thoughts as he did not believe Konda would do such things.

He was wrong though. As soon as Konda was given [c]Eight-and-a-Half-Tails[/c] research, he did exactly that, and tore open a portal between the worlds. This act became known as Konda’s Crime, as it started the Kami War.

[c]Eight-and-a-Half-Tails[/c] is an inexpensive and powerful commander. He can protect any permanent you control, including himself, while also allowing you to be able to push through damage. Having access to this early in the game can allow you to easily set up shop and help you bridge the gap to the late game by protecting your permanents from harm. Lets see what we can do with his wisdom and guidance.

eight-and-a-half tails

After Eight-and-a-Half-Tails realized what he had done, he decided that he no longer had the right to his nine tails. He then cut half of one off with his ceremonial knife, giving him his name.

[d title=”Eight-and-a-Half-Tails” (EDH)]

Commander
1 Eight-and-a-Half-Tails
Lands
29 Snow-Covered Plains
1 Secluded Steppe
1 New Benalia
1 Myriad Landscape
1 Mikokoro, Center of the Sea
1 Karoo
1 Emeria, the Sky Ruin
1 Eiganjo Castle
1 Drifting Meadow[/d]
[d]
Creatures
1 Weathered Wayfarer
1 True Believer
1 Transcendent Master
1 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
1 Student of Warfare
1 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Stonecloaker
1 Spirit of the Labyrinth
1 Silverblade Paladin
1 Silent Arbiter
1 Serra Avenger
1 Rune-Tail, Kitsune Ascendant
1 Precinct Captain
1 Phyrexian Revoker
1 Peacekeeper
1 Mother of Runes
1 Mirror Entity
1 Mirran Crusader
1 Mentor of the Meek
1 Master of Pearls
1 Mangara of Corondor
1 Leonin Arbiter
1 Knight of the White orchid
1 Imposing Sovereign
1 Hero of Bladehold
1 Grand Abolisher
1 Glowrider
1 Flickerwisp
1 Fiend Hunter
1 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Eidolon of Rhetoric
1 Containment Priest
1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
1 Banisher Priest
1 Aven Mindcensor[/d]
[d]
Instants
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Path to Exile
1 Oblation
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Disenchant
1 Devouring Light
1 Condemn
1 Brave the Elements
Sorceries
1 Fell the Mighty
1 Council’s Judgment
Enchantments
1 Story Circle
1 Oblivion Ring
1 Karmic Justice
1 Journey to Nowhere
1 Banishing Light
Artifacts
1 Aether Vial
1 Umezawa’s Jitte
1 Sword of War and Peace
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Sol Ring
1 Sensei’s Divining Top
1 Gauntlet of Power
1 Extraplanar Lens
1 Caged Sun
1 Batterskull[/d]

I decided to model this deck after the popular Legacy deck, Death and Taxes. This deck wins by putting the opponent into a soft-lock of sorts and just beating down with tiny white creatures and equipment. The deck taxes the opponents mana, restricts them on when they can cast their spells, how many spells they can cast a turn, how many cards they can draw this turn, and how many creatures can attack, if any. For a deck made up of cheap white creatures, it can sure pack a huge punch.

This deck has many cards that attack your opponents from many different angles, whether it be restricting the amount of cards drawn to the amount of spells played, or whether your opponents’ spells can even target your permanents. These angles of attack really put the squeeze on your opponent, as they won’t know which way to counter your attack plan.

[c]Thalia, Guardian of Thraben[/c], [c]Glowrider[/c], [c]Eidolon of Rhetoric[/c], and [c]Ethersworn Canonist[/c] prevent your opponents from overloading you with spells. You are usually not going to be playing too many spells per turn, so cutting down the amount of spells your opponents play allows you to keep up with them or even pull ahead in some cases.

Since this deck is purely white, you’re not going to be drawing more than one card each turn for most of the game. Thanks to [c]Spirit of the Labyrinth[/c], your opponents won’t be either. This card can hinder any control strategy immensely and must be immediately dealt with in order for them to move on. Another angle of attack you can take up is with [c]Grand Abolisher[/c]. With this in play, your opponent won’t be able to counter your sorcery speed spells or deal with any of your creatures on your turn. They have to waste their mana on their turn to deal with your threats, preventing them from progressing their board state.

If all else fails and your opponent breaks out of your lock and sticks a few monstrous threats, you do have a safety valve of sorts in the form of [c]Fell the Mighty[/c]. Since your creatures are small, this card can really get some work done. Destroying your opponents’ big dumb idiots and effectively bringing your opponents down to “your level.”

The glue that holds this strategy together is of course, [c]Eight-and-a-Half-Tails[/c]. Being able to bring him out early allows you to set up your board by protecting your lock pieces and is what this deck needs to last in a multiplier game. With removal spells upon removal spells being slung across the table, you need to be able to protect your board at all times. You can also use his ability to consistently push your creatures through your opponents’ blockers. You have to know when to turn the tables and start the beatdown after you set up your shop. Since these creatures are relatively minuscule in size compared to the monoliths that rule the format, you’re gonna be on the defense for a while. Learn when it’s time to change up your stance, and you’re going to steamroll even the most seasoned of Commander players.

Thank you for checking out this week’s Commander Corner. If you have any suggestions for a Commander to feature in a future article, please let me know in the comments below. Next week, we will look at a lonely old man. See you soon, my friends.

-Steve Gulsby

Commander Corner: Teysa, Orzhov Scion

Welcome back,

The Orzhov Syndicate is known for their greed and business practices. They wear the facade of a church, but only worship the power of money. Those in debt to the guild often are worked to death and in many cases, even after death, they still must work to pay off their debt to the [c]Obzedat[/c].

Every guild on Ravinca can in some way be tied to the Orzhov Syndicate. Many Orzhov cards exemplify this nature of wealth and death. I believe that no card shows this concept more than [c]Teysa, Orzhov Scion[/c]. Her power over the creatures that she commands is unlike most. Lets take a look at what she brings to the table.

ftl240_teysa

As the Grand Envoy for the Orzhov Syndicate, Teysa is the voice and ambassador for the Obzedat

[d title=”Teysa, Orzhov Scion (EDH)”]

Commander

1 Teysa, Orzhov Scion

Lands

1 Windbrisk Heights

1 Vault of the Archangel

1 Temple of Silence

8 Swamp

1 Springjack Pasture

1 Scoured Barrens

14 Plains

1 Orzhov Guildgate

1 Orzhov Basilica

1 Kjeldoran Outpost

1 Isolated Chapel

1 Godless Shrine

1 Fetid Heath

1 Evolving Wilds

1 Emeria, the Sky Ruin

1 Command Tower

1 Caves of Koilos [/d]

[d]
Creatures

1 Twilight Drover

1 Skirsdag High Priest

1 Scion of Vitu-Ghazi

1 Reaper from the Abyss

1 Precinct Captain

1 Overseer of the Damned

1 Hero of Bladehold

1 Herald fo Anafenza

1 Heliod, God of the Sun

1 Hallowed Spiritkeeper

1 Grave Titan

1 Ghoulcaller Gisa

1 Geist-Honored Monk

1 Flesh Carver

1 Evangel of Heliod

1 Emeria Angel

1 Doomed Traveler

1 Deathbringer Liege

1 Darian, King of Kjeldor

1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos

1 Benalish Commander [/d]

[d]

Instants

1 White Sun’s Zenith

1 Swords to Plowshares

1 Spoils of Blood

1 Raise the Alarm

1 Path to Exile

1 Midnight Haunting

1 Malicious Affliction

1 Hero’s Downfall

1 Go for the Throat

1 Vindicate

Sorceries

1 Triplicate Spirits

1 Terashi’s Grasp

1 Spectral Procession

1 Nomad’s Assembly

1 Martial Coup

1 March of Souls

1 Lingering Souls

1 Increasing Devotion

1 Entreat the Angels

1 Demonic Tutor

Enchantments

1 Sacred Mesa

1 Oblivion Ring

1 Mobilization

1 Grave Pact

1 Dictate of Erebos

1 Bitterblossom

1 Attrition [/d]

[d]

Artifacts

1 Worn Powerstone

1 Sol Ring

1 Sensei’s Divining Top

1 Orzhov Signet

1 Gilded Lotus

1 Eldrazi Monument

1 Darksteel Ingot

1 Coalition Relic

Planeswalkers

1 Sorin, Solemn Visitor

1 Sorin, Lord of Innistrad

1 Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath

1 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion

1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant

1 Elspeth Tirel

[/d]

This deck’s primary focus is to pump out as many tokens as possible and overwhelm the opponent. Many of these cards are geared to create these lopsided board states where you have all of the creatures and your opponent has none. This deck is very grindy though, so be prepared for the long haul because you’re going to be playing for quite a while.

[c]Teysa[/c] is a fantastic commander for this style of deck. Having a removal spell, token generator, and sacrifice outlet all in one is exactly what we are looking for.
Being cheap to cast is a nice thing as well. Being able to deal with indestructible creatures is a huge boost for this deck, as she exiles them. Staring down an [c]Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre[/c] or a [c]Blightsteel Colossus[/c] is no longer a death sentence with [c]Teysa[/c] in play, requiring you have enough white creatures of course.

 Image

Making a huge body at instant speed never has been so easy

[c]Spoils of Blood[/c] stood out to me when I was browsing the spoilers for Commander 2014. It seemed like it would have a home somewhere, and I think I found it. [c]Spoils of Blood[/c] works overtime in this deck. With the amount of creatures that will be dying, being able to make a large body out of thin air is pretty powerful. You do have to wait until the right moment to play it, but it really pulls its weight. When enough creatures die, it becomes more of a win condition. Making a 10/10 at the end of the turn will almost certainly be lights out for anybody.

[c]Teysa, Orzhov Scion[/c] lends herself to a very attrition-based deck. Being able to grind your opponents out of resources, while still being able to pump out creatures, is something some decks won’t be able to withstand. [c]Teysa[/c] can do it all in this deck, dealing with premium threats, triggering the handful of morbid triggers this deck has, and making tokens. She will keep your opponent in check, while providing something to do with the plethora of tokens besides attacking. This deck symbolizes what the Orzhov Syndicate stand for, making every creature work overtime, even after it dies. We all have to pay our debts some time. When that time comes, [c]Teysa[/c] will be there to collect payment. With interest.

Thanks for checking out this week’s Commander Corner. If you have any recommendations for commanders for me to check out and make a deck for, let me know in the comments below. Next week, robots will take over the Multiverse. See you soon, my friends.

-Steven Gulsby

Commander Corner: Melek, Izzet Paragon

Welcome,

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

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

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

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One of my favorite cards of all time

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

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

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

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

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

[d]
Enchantments
1 Treachery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Steven Gulsby