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.

xlz3ht2cck_joupwg_kgos

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

 

Legacy on Mondays: Spoiler Alert

Welcome Back!

Like many people this holiday season, I have become a hermit from our beloved Magic. The family wants to get together, there is enough food to have a hundred diabetics pass out just from the sight… Basically, I was living under a “muggle” rock. And thanks to Frank Lepore, I got a good solid look at the WOTC Holiday Gift for this year; it’s a sneak preview card from Fate Reforged:

Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

Think this is just a fake? Think again.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, there is a new colorless planeswalker on the block! I know everyone is busy corralling the kids, cleaning, and/or watching someone else do these things, so this discussion will be pretty short. If you want to see more in-depth analysis, post a comment below and I can augment this article.

Well, the power level certainly isn’t lacking for an 8-mana walker. He reminds me of [c]Karn Liberated[/c] in that it seems a bit more likely that his -X ability is to be used the turn he is cast to protect the player and himself that turn. Even so, both Planeswalker’s plus abilities are impactful in their own ways. Both Ultimate abilities are game-winning (at least Ugin’s seems to be), so both are or appear to be significant threats to the opponent. But who is going to use this card? It’s not cheap mana-wise, so who is bold enough to try?

Let’s go format by format:

Standard

Ehh… Maybe (BIG maybe) the land-heaviest of control decks might play this guy as a 1-of. A [c]Lightning Bolt[/c] every turn is not bad, and the fact that it can also do a very nice [c]All is Dust[/c] impersonation should not be ignored. But it does have cmc 8, which is fairly hefty even by control’s standards. I wouldn’t count on it seeing Standard play, but I’m no Standard expert so who knows.

Modern

Your brain: “Oh! That card looks like it’s perfect to play in Tron! I can’t wait to run two instead of two [c]Karn Liberated[/c]!”

My brain: This should not be played in Tron. The difference between 7 and eight mana is huge in a deck that hits 7 mana turn 3. A turn 3 Karn is clearly superior to a turn 4 Ugin, as an 8-mana [c]Lightning Bolt[/c] is unlikely to be as potent as a 7-mana [c]Vindicate[/c] that early in the game. I just prefer Karn in the Tron decks, but maybe you crazy brewers will find a home for Mr. Spirit Dragon.

Legacy

This is where I see Ugin potentially finding a home. Take a look at this deck list:

[d title=”MUD by Peyton (Legacy)”]
Creatures
4 Lodestone Golem
4 Wurmcoil Engine
3 Steel Hellkite
3 Phyrexian Revoker
3 Metalworker
2 Platinum Emperion
Sorceries
2 All Is Dust
Artifacts
4 Grim Monolith
4 Chalice of the Void
4 Thran Dynamo
3 Voltaic Key
Planeswalkers
2 Karn Liberated
Land
4 City of Traitors
4 Wasteland
4 Rishadan Port
4 Cavern of Souls
4 Ancient Tomb
2 Buried Ruin
Sideboard
4 Trinisphere
4 Cursed Totem
4 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 All Is Dust
1 Karn Liberated
[/d]

It’s everyone’s favorite, MUD. I see a lot of mana, and 2 [c]All is Dust[/c] main-deck. I would be willing to cut an AiD main-deck for an Ugin, as most of the time the nuke is killing only their permanents of about CMC 4 or less. Most decks that we would want to nuke are playing those smaller creatures. While Ugin cannot immediately deal with [c]Griselbrand[/c] or [c]Progenitus[/c], we do have the other AiD in the board. This is a switch I would totally be willing to make, as we are basically not changing a spot for the wrath effect, and adding a powerful threat to the list. I like it!

EDH

I’ll save this discussion for Steve in case he wants to do it, but decks like [c]Karn, Silver Golem[/c] and [c]Kozilek, Butcher of Truth[/c] already play [c]Karn Liberated[/c]. It’s not a stretch to make room for another planeswalker in the long-game grind that is the typical EDH game. I mean, [c]Lightning Bolt[/c] every turn is a 14 turn clock right? That’s not bad :)

That’s all I have for you this week. I hope the holidays are going well for y’all. Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

/Peyton