MtG Commander: Omnath, Locus of the Roil

The problem with Omnath is that they want to be elemental tribal, +1/+1 counters, and landfall at the same time. I blame it on Risen Reef.

This deck wins sometimes, but usually becomes trigger hell without accomplishing very much. It also draws hate because it looks impressive while it’s not doing anything.

I’m taking this apart so I can build a pure lands deck. I chose Gretchen Titchwillow as the commander, and I’ll probably build it around land bouncing and card draw.

Omnath, Locus of the Roil

Commander (1)
Omnath, Locus of the Roil

Creatures (28)
Archetype of Imagination
Brighthearth Banneret
Cavalier of Thorns
Creeping Trailblazer
Embodiment of Spring
Evolution Sage
Flux Channeler
Forgotten Ancient
Frost Lynx
Grove Rumbler
Grumgully, the Generous
Ivy Elemental
Omnath, Locus of Rage
Overgrowth Elemental
Risen Reef
Rumbling Ruin
Scampering Scorcher
Soulbright Flamekin
Soul of the Harvest
Springbloom Druid
Tatyova, Benthic Druid
Thorn Elemental
Tilonalli’s Summoner
Walker of the Grove

Planeswalkers (1)
Chandra, Novice Pyromancer

Artifacts (5)
Crystal Shard
Door of Destinies
Rhonas’s Monument
The Great Henge
Urza’s Incubator

Enchantments (8)
Elemental Bond
Elemental Mastery
Fires of Yavimaya
Guardian Project
Kasmina’s Transformation
Rhythm of the Wild
The Mending of Dominaria

Spells (19)
Awakening of Vitu-Ghazi
Crush of Tentacles
Final Fortune
Harvest Season
Nature’s Lore
Nissa’s Pilgrimage
Purphoros’s Intervention
Rampant Growth
Return of the Wildspeaker
River’s Rebuke
Skyshroud Claim
Tempt with Vengeance
Temur Charm
Lands (38)
Cinder Glade
Evolving Wilds
11 Forest
Gateway Plaza
Gruul Guildgate
Gruul Turf
Izzet Guildgate
Mana Confluence
Rugged Highlands
Sanctum of Eternity
Simic Growth Chamber
Simic Guildgate
Spire Garden
Strip Mine
Temple of Mystery
Terramorphic Expanse
Thornwood Falls
Volcanic Island

MtG Commander: Meren of Clan Nel Toth

Here is my attempt at a Meren Modular deck. The deck uses Meren of Clan Nel Toth‘s ability to recur Modular creatures, collecting all the +1/+1 counters on fewer creatures. I haven’t had it happen yet, but the ultimate goal was to play Ashnod’s Transmogrant on Meren and drop all the counters on her in her new artifact form. Practical? Nope. Fun? Yeah, I liked it.

The deck did well with recurring ramp, but there aren’t enough Modular creatures for it to consistently function. I could probably increase my self-mill to compensate, but it’s also slow because I don’t have many ways to ramp my experience counters early on. It is fun to play, but I’d like to build a Modular deck with another commander.

Meren of the Machine cult

Commander (1)
Meren of Clan Nel Toth

Creatures (37)
Arcbound Bruiser
Arcbound Crusher
Arcbound Fiend
Arcbound Hybrid
Arcbound Lancer
Arcbound Overseer
Arcbound Reclaimer
Arcbound Slith
Arcbound Stinger
Arcbound Worker
Beast Whisperer
Corpsejack Menace
Crashing Drawbridge
Evolution Sage
Forgotten Ancient
Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
Jhoira’s Familiar
Meteor Golem
Myr Scrapling
Nyx Weaver
Reclamation Sage
Renata, Called to the hunt
Reyhan, Last of the Abzan
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Scrapyard recombiner
Shambling Shell
Shambling Suit
Springbloom Druid
Steel Overseer
Stonecoil Serpent
Winding Constrictor
Wood Elves
Yavimaya Granger

Artifacts (12)
Ashnod’s Transmogrant
Blinkmoth Urn
Golgari Signet
Mana Vault
Nevinyrral’s Disk
Ring of Kalonia
Phyrexian Vault
Prowler’s Helm
Sol Ring
Strionic Resonator
Weapon Rack
Whispersilk Cloak

Enchantments (5)
Hydra’s Growth
Khalni Heart Expedition
Moldervine Reclamation
New Horizons
Path of Discovery

Spells (9)
Colossal Majesty
Finale of Eternity
Increasing Savagery
Life’s Legacy
Momentous Fall
Return of the Wildspeaker
Solidarity of Heroes
Lands (36)
Atzal, Cave of Eternity
Bojuka Bog
Command Tower
Emergence Zone
Golgari Guildgate
Golgari Rot Farm
Grim Backwoods
Jungle Hollow
Llanowar Reborn
Mishra’s Factory
Myriad Landscape
Opal Palace
Strip Mine
Tainted Wood
Urza’s Mine
Urza’s Power Plant
Urza’s Tower

MtG Commander: Teysa Karlov

We’re disassembling another deck. This Orzhov token sacrifice deck needed too many parts in play at the same time to really succeed. It was fun to play, but too slow and inconsistent to win much.

Oops! It also looks like I lost a card somewhere along the way.

Teysa Karlov Token Sacrifice

Commander (1)
Teysa Karlov

Creatures (30)
Burnished Hart
Ministrant of Obligation
Weaponcraft Enthusiast
Priest of Forgotten Gods
Orzhov Enforcer
doomed Dissenter
Teysa, Orzhov Scion
Sifter of Skulls
Piper of the Swarm
God-Eternal Bontu
Bontu the Glorified
Falkenrath Noble
Smothering Abomination
Sengir Autocrat
Ayara, First of Locthwain
Plagued Rusalka
Pitiless Plunderer
Sling-Gang Lieutenant
Nightmare Shepherd
Syr Konrad, the Grim
Butcher of Malakir
Whisper, Blood Liturgist
Cruel Celebrant
Vindictive Vampire
Reassembling Skeleton
Zulaport Cutthroat
Vampire Aristocrat
Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder
Lampad of Death’s Vigil
Requiem Angel

Planeswalkers (4)
Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
Sorin, Lord of Innistrad
Liliana, Death’s Majesty
Liliana, Dreadhorde General

Artifacts (15)
Bontu’s Monument
Orzhov Signet
Wishclaw Talisman
Darksteel Ingot
Orzhov locket
Talisman of Hierarchy
Sorcerer’s Broom
Sol Ring
Bolas’s Citadel
Fellwar Stone
Commander’s Sphere
Arcane Signet
Bankrupt in Blood
Ashnod’s Altar
Altar of Dementia

Enchantments (3)
Doom Foretold
Black Market

Spells (10)
Dusk // Dawn
Raise the Alarm
Spark Harvest
Fated Retribution
Altar’s Reap
Swords to Plowshares
Return to Dust
Blood Divination
Lands (36)
11 Swamp
10 Plains
Scoured Barrens
Fetid Heath
Witch’s Cottage
Forsaken Sanctuary
Howltooth Hollow
Kjeldoran Outpost
Orzhov Basilica
Godless Shrine
Temple of Silence
Tainted Field
Foundry of the Consuls
Command Tower
Temple of the False God
Orzhov Guildgate

MTG Commander: Chulane, Teller of Tales (Again)

The first time I played an earlier version of this deck, I won by feeding way too much mana into a Hydra Broodmaster to make 17 17/17 creatures and a 22/22 with haste on turn 4. In response I took out most of the good cards that allowed this: Concordant Crossroads, Guardian Project, Priest of Titania, Elvish Archdruid, and most of the rest of the permanent card draw other than Chulane. Now the deck just spins its wheels a lot instead of winning.

Chulane, Teller of Tales has gained a strong reputation for being super powerful, even by accident. Since I’m not interested in building a cEDH deck, I think I should limit its use to highly themed decks that need its ability to function at all, rather than trying to build around his abilities. Maybe I should’ve kept my thanksgiving deck together instead?

The point of this deck is: lots of mana ramp via dorks, and big fat X creatures. Having Haste makes this deck work much better; too much better, especially with Mobilize and Vitalize to untap all the dorks and use them again.

Chulane Tells Stories About Elves and Monsters

Commander (1)
Chulane, Teller of Tales

Creatures (41)
Avacyn’s Pilgrim
Beanstalk Giant
Birds of Paradise
Devoted Druid
Druid of the Cowl
Elvish Harbinger
Elvish Mystic
End-Raze Forerunners
Faeburrow Elder
Fyndhorn Elves
Giant Adephage
God-Eternal Rhonas
Gyre Engineer
Heart Warden
Heroes’ Bane
Hydra Broodmaster
Incubation Druid
Ivy Elemental
Leaf Gilder
Leafkin Druid
Llanowar Elves
Llanowar Tribe
Maraleaf Pixie
Momir Vig, Simic Visionary
Mother of Runes
Nimbus Swimmer
Nylea, God of the Hunt
Paradise Druid
Passwall Adept
Quirion Elves
Rampaging Baloths
Ramunap Excavator
Silhana Wayfinder
Steelbane Hydra
Taunting Elf
Tidespout Tyrant
Whisperer of the Wilds
Wildborn Preserver
Worldsoul Colossus
Yeva, Nature’s Herald

Enchantments (6)
Freed from the Real
Growing Rites of Itlimoc
Leyline of Anticipation
Oblivion Ring
Path of Discovery
Prison Realm

Sorcery (6)
Displacement Wave
Phyrexian Rebirth
Primal Surge
Winds of Abandon

Instant (8)
Dramatic Reversal
Eladamri’s Call
March of the Multitudes
Mercy Killing
Mystic Confluence
Return of the Wildspeaker
Settle the Wreckage

Arifacts (4)
Prowler’s Helm
Rhonas’s Monument
Ring of Kalonia
Stonecoil Serpent
Lands (34)
Azorius Chancery
Bant Panorama
Blossoming Sands
Bountiful Promenade
Canopy Vista
Evolving Wilds
Exotic Orchard
Fabled Passage
Flooded Grove
Hallowed Fountain
Krosan Verge
Myriad Landscape
Prairie Stream
Rogue’s Passage
Sea of Clouds
Selesnya Sanctuary
Simic Growth Chamber
Sungrass Prairie
Sunpetal Grove
Temple of Mystery
Thornwood Falls
Tranquil Cove
Tropical Island
Wirewood Lodge
Yavimaya Coast

MTG Commander: Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest

After taking apart my Elsha of the Infinite deck, I’ve built two versions of a Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest Voltron deck. Both aimed to suddenly deal lethal command damage to an opponent in a single attack: One-Punch Man style.

The first version tried to minimize board presence: other than land and mana rocks, the only permanent allowed was Shu Yun himself. The deck basically cast Shu Yun once you could protect him, and then built up a lethal hand. On the right turn, you cast enough buff and evasion spells so his activated double strike ability deals lethal command damage, and attack. He was vulnerable after either being attacked or attacking, so it was challenging to take on more than one opponent. The only hope the deck had was politicking itself into the final pair.

The main reason I rebuilt the deck is because it wasn’t very fun for me to play. Most of the time you did nothing other than cull your hand and try to think of new reasons people shouldn’t attack you. I prefer doing things instead of being patient.

The deck listed here is the last iteration of Shu Yun, One-Punch Man. It uses equipment and other permanents for better value, and to help with the longevity problem of the previous version. One-Punch Man With a Cane. It’s a lot more straightforward, and projects its danger through board presence a bit more obviously. It works better than the first version, and is more fun for me to play. However, we have so many Voltron-style decks that this has been pushed to the bottom of the pile. I have a very similar Okaun/Zndrsplt coin-flip deck that I’ll basically always play instead of this one, so… time to strip it for parts.

Shu Yun, One-Punch Man

Commander (1)
Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest

Instants (24)
Apostle’s Blessing
Arcane Denial
Brute Force
Chaos Warp
Deflecting Palm
Fists of Flame
Fists of the Anvil
Gods Willing
Hindering Light
Memory Lapse
Mystical Tutor
Restore the Peace
Run Amok
Rush of Blood
Shadow Rift
Swords to Plowshares
Titan’s Strength

Sorceries (14)
Aether Gale
Artful Dodge
Divine Reckoning
Gravitic Punch
Insult // Injury
Merchant Scroll
River’s Rebuke
Slip Through Space
Stealth Mission
Theft of Dreams
Wrath of God

Creatures (7)
Burnished Hart
Feather, the Redeemed
Jori En, Ruin Diver
Lu Xun, Scholar General
Mother of Runes
Nivix Guildmage
Talrand, Sky Summoner

Artifacts (16)
Azorius Signet
Bident of Thassa
Boros Signet
Commander’s Sphere
Darksteel Ingot
Fellwar Stone
Firemind Vessel
Inquisitor’s Flail
Izzet Signet
Jeskai Banner
Leering Emblem
Mana Vault
Runechanter’s Pike
Sol Ring
Wayfarer’s Bauble
Whispersilk Cloak

Enchantments (2)
Madcap Skills
Aqueous Form

Planeswalker (1)
Narset, Parter of Veils
Lands (35)
Cascade Bluffs
Command Tower
Evolving Wilds
Exotic Orchard
Fabled Passage
Faerie Conclave
Forge of Heroes
Highland Lake
Izzet Boilerworks
Myriad Landscape
Mystic Monastery
Mystic Sanctuary
Nivix, Aerie of the Firemind
Prairie Stream
Reflecting Pool
Rugged Prairie
Sejiri Refuge
Strip Mine
Swiftwater Cliffs
Temple of Triumph
Terramorphic Expanse
Tranquil Cove
Vivid Creek
Volcanic Island
Wind-Scarred Crag
Zhalfirin Void

MTG Commander: Mogis, God of Slaughter

This deck is a hateful creation. For some reason it feels horrible to play against in 1v1, but isn’t as annoying in multiplayer.

Where the deck falls short is in how fun it is to play. Since most of the deck consists of pain and taxes, playing the deck well is more about pestering your opponents to remember your cards’ triggers, than making interesting gameplay decisions.

Even with all that trigger policing, if the deck wins, it’s typically a bit more Voltron: commander damage from Mogis once you have a few damage multipliers on the board.

It looks like I built two decks into one, again.

This was built long before Theros: Beyond Death came out; there may be some new enchantments that would be worth including. Many of the cards are just weird old cards I’ve never had a chance to play.

Mogis, God of Laughter

Commander (1)
Mogis, God of Slaughter

Enchantments (19)
Aether Flash
Ancient Runes
Citadel of Pain
Dauthi Embrace
Death Pits of Rath
Dictate of the Twin Gods
Gratuitous Violence
Haunting Wind
Impulsive Maneuvers
Last Laugh
Leyline of Combustion
No Mercy
Kaya’s Ghostform
Revenge of Ravens
Sulfuric Vortex
Theater of Horrors

Creatures (13)
Fate Unraveler
Forgeborn Oreads
Grim Guardian
Harsh Mentor
Heartless Hidetsugu
Hissing Iguanar
Immolation Shaman
Mayhem Devil
Sorceress Queen
Syr Konrad, the Grim
Torbran, Thane of Red Fell
Tunneling Geopede
Viashino Heretic

Spells (4)
Extinguish All Hope
Hour of Devastation
In Garruk’s Wake

Artifacts (26)
Ankh of Mishra
Bag of Holding
Charcoal Diamond
Commander’s Sphere
Darksteel Ingot
Dingus Staff
Endless Atlas
Fellwar Stone
Fire Diamond
Firemind Vessel
God-Pharaoh’s Statue
Grafted Exoskeleton
Iron Maiden
Mana Vault
Prowler’s Helm
Rakdos Cluestone
Rakdos Locket
Rakdos Signet
Sol Ring
Staff of Nin
Swiftfoot Boots
Tapestry of the Ages
Well of Knowledge
Wishclaw Talisman

Planeswalkers (3)
Jaya, Venerated Firemage
Ob Nixilis, the Hate-Twisted
Tibalt, Rakish Instigator
Lands (36)
Akoum Refuge
Bloodfell Caves
Cinder Marsh
Luxury Suite
14 Mountain
Rakdos Guildgate
Rogue’s Passage
Spawning Pool
Sulfurous Springs
12 Swamp
Tainted Peak
Urborg Volcano

MTG Commander: Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain

What happens when Skyship Weatherlight returns to home port after years of sailing the multiverse? This deck demonstrates by unloading artifacts all over the place until you run out of playmat to put them on.

The basic idea of the deck is to get out Jhoira and keep her alive long enough to play the rest of your deck in one turn. Every time you cast an artifact, you draw a card. Most of the artifacts are mana stones or mana discounts for other artifacts. Eventually you’re playing mana stones for less mana than they cost, and the only thing left to stop you is running out of artifacts in hand. To avoid this, the deck includes X draw spells and plenty of artifacts that draw additional cards. There are a few protection spells for Jhoira, but the biggest protection is the massive amount of mana available to recast her.

After playing Elsha of the Infinite as a spellslinger deck, I intended to build it into an artifact storm deck. When I read Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain, I decided she’d make a much better commander for this deck. The main problem I had with Elsha was getting stuck when I couldn’t play the top card. After playing this deck I can say that drawing a card after playing an artifact is more effective than just being able to play the top card of the deck.

I think I should start adding a standard evaluation section with my impressions of the deck. Something like this:

  • Power level: 8
  • Fun to play: Yes
  • Fun to play against: once, maybe?
  • Optimal number of opponents: 0

This is a pretty fast deck that’s very fun to play and has a variety of win conditions, but don’t expect your opponents to have much fun watching you play every card in your deck. There’s interaction, but it’s mostly in the form of preventing other people from interacting with you, or recovering when they do.

I like how this deck provides a place where horrible cards can have their day in the spotlight. I don’t think I’ve ever actually used a Barbed Sextant before, but once your engine is running, drawing 2 cards for 0 mana is great.

The deck originally had a primary win condition of self mill with Jace, Wielder of Mysteries, though it also won with creatures or Psychosis Crawler as well, usually more quickly. Tuning up the deck with additions like Aetherflux Reservoir mostly reduced the length of the last turn rather than decreasing the turn count before it won.

This deck was originally built with cards I had on hand, and then upgraded with 5-10 singles. As I tuned it, I noticed several things about exactly which janky artifacts and support cards work best:

  • Card draw is better than land tutoring in this deck, so I dropped cards like Wanderer’s Twig. Tutors also slow down an already slow deck, so removing them is best. The deck doesn’t need any of its slow fetch lands either.
  • Artifact casting cost is eventually discounted to 0, but activation costs aren’t. You’ll rarely want to spend mana on an activated ability, but color fixers like Terrarion are useful since they don’t actually use the mana, and they help you fix your colors to cast Braingeyser.
  • Mana discounts really speed up the deck. I added the Mages before I had enough discount cards, but now they may not be needed.
  • Clock of Omens is awesome, don’t forget to use it!
  • Mind Over Matter can be a great sink for all the lands your hand is bound to fill up with.
  • I really have no clue why I have 8 mountains and 7 islands. There aren’t any red cards, don’t do that.

Stevedore's Nightmare: Unlading Skyship Weatherlight

Commander: (1)
Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain

Artifacts: (42)
Aetherflux Reservoir
Aether Spellbomb
Arcane Signet
Barbed Sextant
Basalt Monolith
Blinkmoth Urn
Chromatic Sphere
Clock of Omens
Fellwar Stone
Ghoulcaller’s Bell
Golden Egg
Golem Foundry
Guild Globe
Hedron Archive
Howling Mine
Ivory Tower
Izzet Cluestone
Izzet Locket
Izzet Signet
Lotus Petal
Mana Vault
Manifold Key
Mask of Avacyn
Mind Stone
Panic Spellbomb
Perpetual Timepiece
Pit Trap
Pyrite Spellbomb
Seer’s Sundial
Semblance Anvil
Sisay’s Ring
Sol Ring
Thought Vessel
Tormod’s Crypt
Unstable Obelisk
Ur-Golem’s Eye
Voyager Staff
Wand of Vertebrae
Welding Jar
Witching Well
Worn Powerstone

Creatures: (12)
Etherium Sculptor
Foundry Inspector
Herald of Kozilek
Jhoira’s Familiar
Myr Battlesphere
Psychosis Crawler
Shambling Suit
Stonecoil Serpent
Tribute Mage
Trophy Mage
Walking Atlas

Other Stuff: (15)
Diplomatic Immunity
Drawn from Dreams
Hurkyl’s Recall
Jace, Wielder of Mysteries
Mind Over Matter
Paradoxical Outcome
Rapid Hybridization
Reality Shift
Taigam’s Scheming
Ugin, the Ineffable
Lands: (30)
Buried Ruin
Evolving Wilds
Fabled Passage
Geier Reach Sanitarium
Highland Lake
Izzet Guildgate
Reliquary Tower
Rogue’s Passage
Scorched Ruins
Stalking Stones
Strip Mine
Swiftwater Cliffs
Temple of the False God
Terramorphic Expanse
Warped Landscape

MTG Commander: Yarok, the Desecrated

Another blog, another early deck I built that it’s time to take apart.

This deck has a lot of Yarok ETB synergy, but not much focus. It’s a toolbox without a single strong path to victory. There are infinite mana combos with Peregrine Drake and Shrieking Drake or other bouncers, and bouncing Gray Merchant of Asphodel is good for lethal damage, and Phyrexian Ingester can get huge when its ETB trigger is doubled. When the deck succeeds, it’s when it happens to draw the cards required to slow the game down long enough to eventually win on its own terms.

Yarok, the Dessicated

Commander (1)
Yarok, the Desecrated

Creatures (51)
Acidic Slime
Aether Adept
Agent of Treachery
Avatar of Growth
Blood Seeker
Boneclad necromancer
Cavalier of Night
Cloudkin Seer
Coiling Oracle
District Guide
Dream Stalker
Eidolon of Blossoms
Elvish Rejuvenator
Elvish Visionary
Fleshbag Marauder
Gatecreeper Vine
Golgari Findbroker
Gray Merchant of Asphodel
Grim Guardian
Healer of the Glade
Highway Robber
Horizon Chimera
Howling Giant
Identity Thief
Jace’s Mindseeker
Massacre Girl
Pelakka Wurm
Peregrine Drake
Phyrexian Ingester
Pharika’s Mender
Ravenous Chupacabra
Reclamation Sage
Risen Reef
Salvager of Secrets
Satyr Wayfinder
Sea Gate Oracle
Shrieking Drake
Sower of Temptation
Storm Sculptor
Sylvan Ranger
Tatyova, Benthic Druid
Whirler Rogue
Wood Elves
Yarok’s Fenlurker
Yavimaya Granger
Zulaport Cutthroat

Sorceries (3)
Blood for Bones
Bone Splinters
Gruesome Fate

Enchantments (1)
Trespasser’s Curse

Instants (6)
Ghostly Flicker
Rescue from the Underworld
Teferi’s Time Twist
Worldly Tutor

Artifacts (2)
Bag of Holding
Swiftfoot Boots
Lands (36)
Evolving Wilds
Golgari guildgate
Halimar Depths
Pine Barrens
Simic Guildgate
Survivors’ Encampment
Tainted Isle
Tainted Wood
Temple of Mystery
Thornwood Falls
Underground Sea

MTG Commander: Karametra, God of Harvests

This deck is an Elf Bomb: accelerate mana through mana elves and Karametra’s land drops, and win with large X creatures or hordes of elves.

Karametra, God of Harvests helps a lot with ramp, but she also requires a lot of tutoring and shuffling, so it can slow down the game considerably if you also want to time your plays correctly. The main reason I’m taking the deck apart is because I’m going to rebuild it around Chulane, Teller of Tales, who helps with both ramp and card draw, and avoids the delay of constant land tutoring.

This deck is reasonably good, maybe a 6/10 for power. Its fun comes from making giant creatures and/or a lot of creatures. It tends to win more when it goes wide than when it goes tall, due to lack of evasion or trample.

Now that I think about it, this deck has a problem I’ve had before in decks I build: it is basically two decks mashed together. It’s trying to do both Elf Tribal and Big Mana Stompy, but it should just choose one. I built a worse Elf deck with a poor commander, but it needs some of the cards from this deck to work well enough to bother with. I expect I’ll eventually end up with both a Chulane Big Mana deck and another Elf Tribal.

Karametra, God of Ramp

Commander (1)
Karametra, God of Harvests

Creatures (37)
Beast Whisperer
Birds of Paradise
Drove of Elves
Elvish Archdruid
Elvish Branchbender
Elvish Champion
Elvish Harbinger
Elvish Piper
Elvish Spirit Guide
Fyndhorn Elves
Heart Warden
Heedless One
Heroes’ Bane
Hydra Broodmaster
Imperious Perfect
Ironroot Warlord
Jaddi Offshoot
Llanowar Druid
Llanowar Elves
Lys Alana Bowmaster
Lys Alana Huntmaster
Quirion Elves
Priest of Titania
Sigil Captain
Stonecoil Serpent
Sylvan Messenger
Timberwatch Elf
Voice of Resurgence
Voice of the Woods
Wirewood Herald
Wirewood Symbiote
Wolf-Skull Shaman
Wood Elves
Worldsoul Colossus

Enchantments (10)
Dictate of Heliod
Elephant Grass
Elvish Guidance
Gaea’s Touch
Guardian Project
Midsummer Revel
Oblivion Ring
Titania’s Song
Vernal Bloom

Sorceries (6)
Hunt the Weak
New Frontiers
Rabid Bite
Wrath of God

Instants (9)
Nature’s Chant
Swords to Plowshares
Mercy Killing
Solidarity of Heroes
Dromoka’s Command
Hunter’s Insight
Ancient Animus
Warriors’ Lesson

Artifacts (2)
Prowler’s Helm
Slate of Ancestry
Lands (35)
20 Forest
Selesnya Guildgate
Sunpetal Grove
Tranquil Expanse
Tranquil Thicket
Wirewood Lodge

MtG Commander: A Thanksgiving Story

“You should make a Thanksgiving deck with a bunch of Food cards in it,” Erik said.

“Ok.” So I did.

Finding cards to fit the theme is the easy part. I also wanted the deck to have a way to win, while still allowing for a bunch of janky theme cards. This deck isn’t competitive or consistent, but it has won games. It’s fun to play only because of the theme. I’d call it a 4-5/10 on the power scale, and fun enough to play once a year.

The Thanksgiving theme covers two very different perspectives on Thanksgiving: a progressive critique of the traditional story of pilgrims arriving in the bountiful new world on three ships, and a modern progressive stuck at a stereotypical dysfunctional family Thanksgiving dinner. I built this deck as a parody specifically because I don’t like Thanksgiving and what it stands for. Nothing here should be interpreted as endorsement of the holiday or the concepts traditionally associated with it.

(Update: I have learned, and changed my mind. If this article is accurate when it says that the national holiday of Thanksgiving was created by president Lincoln to help win the war against slaveholders, then I’m all for it. I just don’t like celebrating colonialism.

The theme cards are almost all green and white, and I wanted the deck to work, so Chulane, Teller of Tales seemed like a good choice for commander. A combo win condition could be added with only a few cards, and Chulane’s card draw and ramp make it that much easier to get the combo in hand.

I settled on an easy combo I am not likely to use in decks I play more often: Palinchron and Panharmonicon, for infinite mana. I added a handful of X spells for win (or just epic game end) conditions, but if I revise the deck I’d like to remove most of them. Playtesting revealed the other now-obvious benefit Chulane provides: with infinite Palinchron castings, you can draw as much of your deck as you need to find a win card, and then Chulane bounces himself back into your hand so you avoid milling yourself to death.

I didn’t add High Tide as a backup plan because of the low Island count. I did choose green enchantment ramp and multi-mana lands, to provide an alternative to Panharmonicon: If I can get 12 mana out of 7 lands, that’s enough for Palinchron to generate infinite mana.

The theme portion of the deck is used primarily as blocking fodder and ways to trigger Chulane, but there are also several theme cards that are more useful.

As for the budget… I didn’t actually buy the expensive cards for this deck, I had them on hand. I’m not that crazy… if I were, I’d add artifact tutor cards such as Enlightened Tutor.

Come on, tell me Palinchron doesn’t look like a roasted turkey?

A Thanksgiving Story

Storyteller (commander) (1)
Chulane, Teller of Tales

The Pilgrims (5)
Avacyn’s Pilgrim
Guardian of Pilgrims
Heliod’s Pilgrim
Nearheath Pilgrim
Samite Pilgrim

The NiƱa, Pinta, and Santa Maria (3)
Fell Flagship
Shadowed Caravel
Dusk Legion Dreadnought

Disembark: The Spirit of Thanksgiving (2)
Settle the Wreckage

Bounty of the New World (8)
Dawn’s Reflection
Fertile Ground
Gift of Paradise
Market Festival
Sheltered Aerie
Verdant Haven
Wild Growth

Wildlife and the Natives (5)
Fierce Witchstalker
Wicked Wolf
Wolf’s Quarry
Maraleaf Rider
Oko, Thief of Crowns

Settling the Wilds (12)
Dowsing Dagger
Defense of the Heart
Swords to Plowshares
Giant Opportunity
Dive Down
Biomass Mutation
Pull From Tomorrow
Dawnglow Infusion

Taming the Natives (9)
Wrath of God
Worldly Tutor
Mystic Tutor
Sylvan Library
Growing Rites of Itlimoc
Mass Manipulation
Prison Realm

The Feast (11)
Insatiable Appetite
Fell the Pheasent
Gilded Goose
Bartered Cow
Witch’s Oven
Fortifying Provisions
Sanguine Sacrament
Trail of Crumbs
Turn Into a Pumpkin

The Roasting Pan (1)

The Turkey (1)

That Tired Feeling After Dinner… (1)
Ixalan’s Binding

Starring: Father-In-Law (1)
Feasting Troll King

Mother-In-Law (1)
Mother of Runes

Grandpa (1)
Impassioned Orator

Racist Uncle (1)
Bishop’s Soldier

Your Cousin Who Has To Go Outside To Smoke (1)
Martyr of Dusk

The Kids (1)
Curious Pair

The New Land (35)
Azorius Chancery
Bant Panorama
Blossoming Sands
Bountiful Promenade
Canopy Vista
Esper Panorama
Evolving Wilds
Flooded Grove
Hallowed Fountain
Idyllic Grange
Lotus Field
Naya Panorama
Prairie Stream
Scorched Ruins
Sea of Clouds
Selesnya Sanctuary
Simic Growth Chamber
Sungrass Prairie
Temple of Mystery
Thornwood Falls
Tranquil Cove
Tropical Island