Battlebond First Impressions

Two-headed Giant. I’ve played a lot of it actually. Mostly because of Duels of the Planeswalkers on the Playstation 2. The first couple of iterations of that game had very limited deckbuilding options. You choose a deck, maybe switched in some cards from a limited sideboard, but there wheren’t really great options to tweak the deck you where playing. By playing Two-headed Giant, at least there was the strategical option of mixing and matching decks, and soon it became appearant that it was the only true way to play that game.

I liked having access to a free-to-play way to play Magic. I wasn’t interested in MTGO and have a seperate, online collection of cards. I found a friend online to play Duels with online, and we became a great team, tweaking our decks to become a little overpowered when put together in Duels. We where unstopable and we generally had a good time listening to people shouting in frustration over the headset. Yeah, playing online does make it easier for people to be toxic, but it’s not like they could actually beat us.

After all the good times, things went a little south. Newer versions of Duels of the Planeswalkers came out, and they had really crappy netcode. It couldn’t really hande four-player games and we saw ‘connection lost’ more than we could actually launch games. Then, newer versions of Duels didn’t came out on PS2 anymore, and we where forced to play on PC. That wasn’t really my thing, and I couldn’t get used to the interface, which handled timing differently in multiplayer than in the offline, vs AI game. It became a frustration handling the interface, instead of just playing the game. I also gained some responsibilities over a new human wonder, which meant my entertainment needed things enjoyable in short bursts, and things that I could pauze or drop when I was needed elsewhere.

Still, I know 2HG can be great, but it’s also a logistical nightmare. You need another person, with a compatible deck, somehow get together on- or offline and find people who jumped through the same hoops. It’s far more easy to find some games where you’re on your own. So it won’t happen as much nowadays. Maybe Magic Arena will offer a good way to pick up 2HG. There is just so much more focus on execution, and talking through the options really helps finding and evaluating lines that I couldn’t really find on my own. Different perspectives and all.

So, it’s great to see a summer set to focus on this format, and so far also making sure the cards are useful in other formats – Commander, mosty although some cubes may also find interesting stuff. Oath of the Gatewatch also technically was a 2HG set, but it wasn’t executed that well.

I liked the Conspiracy sets for the things they do for multiplayer, and Battlebond also features some “political” cards: Cards that help forge temporary alliances that encourage players to work together. And even though the logistics generally make 2HG impractical, some options to play a tag team on your own with partner commanders. Just take a look at the first pair that was spoiled:

In Commander, having partner commanders is great. At the very least, you’ll have an extra card at your disposal from the beginning. Initially, these Pir & Toothy didn’t look very impressive, but they did look fun. But after some rereading, they’re actually great. Sure, Pir looks like an expensive Hardened Scales, but it’s one that’s right there in the command zone, so you will have access to the effect more often.

Toothy seemed okay, but initially I missed the ability to draw cards when he leaves the Battlefield and that part opens up a lot of trickery. It makes Toothy more than just a legendary Lorescale Coatl. There is some great synergy with Zameck Guildmage, Sage of Fables and Shapers of Nature, but the big splashy moves involve clone effects:

So, you have Toothy out and you decide to copy him. As a result, you have to choose one copy to stay. Sending the original to the command zone causes him to leave play and you’ll draw a card for each +1/+1 counter, powering up the copy and end up with extra cards. The copy won’t deal commander damage, but you can always repeat the process by replaying the original. With Pir in play you’ll get ever greater returns (and Kydele, Chosen of Kruphix can make a turn like that even bigger!)

Pir also works well with planeswalkers like Kiora, the Crashing Wave. Talking about planeswalkers, there is also a tag team of those showing up in Battlebond.


Now this is a flashy team. I know it’s going to be hard in commander to get this duo of planeswalkers in play; together they are a whopping 12 mana, so it’s going to be difficult to find a window of opportunity to get them going, but when it happens it going to be really cool.

Alternatively, they might be part of a Jeskai () or Temur () or even 5 colour superfriends deck. Even outside the command zone they can find each other due to the partner with… ability, and the extra colour allows for some extra protection in fog-like effects or wraths. Will can even make other Planeswalkers cheaper with his -2 abillity. And on their own they don’t have access to Oath of Teferi, which seems crazy with them on the table.

The assist spells seem really cool; They’re tools to make deals accross the table and team up with people. How often does it come up that one player is so far ahead, and someone asks if anyone has a solution? Play of the Game is right there, you get to work together and create a sense of friendship (while it lasts.) Or you can help someone dig for an answer with Huddle Up. It reminds me a bit of Words of Wisdom, which I am running in Shu Yun. In theory it could be a cantrip for just , with the additional possibility of drawing someone out when I go off with Eye of the Storm. Maybe.

The Friend or Foe mechanic also looks nice. Extending the hand of friendship, and let people know where they stand. Pir’s Whim looks like a sort of Tempt with Discovery that doubles as removal. seems like a lot for a ramp spell, but it can find any land, not just basics and in some situations it can deal with a couple of troublesome enchantments or artifacts. Friends let friends not play pillowfort decks, so there goes a Propaganda, while you let other people ramp. They might get their Wasteland out, but if they use it on you, they are foes forever.

Battleborn also has some allied-colour lands that should often enter the battlefield untapped in 2HG and commander. All teams are enemy coloured, so in 2HG you’re encouraged to share your partner cards with your partner. Still, they are good in the decks that want them.

In additional to all the cool political cards, it seems Battleborn also has some spicy reprints, like Doubling Season, Land Tax, Greater Good, Seedborn Muse… All in all it seems like a great set, both for drafting and commander.


Posted under Commander / EDH

It’s Elementary, My Dear Valduk

One thing I haven’t done so far is to make a voltron-style deck. This means focussing on one creature, and suit it up with all kinds of auras and equipments, and try to win with that, typically through commander damage.  One option I had in mind is Hope of Ghirapur, transforming the little legendary ornithopter into a giant battleship. Another is to use Danitha Capashen, Paragon, who starts out as a decent body anyway, and suit her up as an ultimate warrior.  But I think that the one card that truly makes me happy is Valduk, Keeper of the Flame.

I mean, the art alone is fantastic and badass, and reminds me of classic fantasy art like that of Frank Frazetta. And then there is the promise of tokens, lots and lots of tokens. Something tells me that with Valduk at the helm, opponents are in for a Savage Beating! And then there is the dream:

How awesome would it be to have a couple of elementals, then use the Dragon Throne of Tarkir to make them even bigger than a fully suited up Valduk? Even more dreamy: Then use the Umbral Mantel to untap Valduk, and boost the elementals again with Throne. I also like how Umbral Mantel has an equip cost of so, in the case that Valduk dies, I can bring him back from the command zone and get at least one elemental out of him for free. Because the downside of a Voltron-style deck is that it’s putting all the eggs in one basket, and sometimes it’s hard to get back into the game once your commander gets shut down.

Part of living the dream is making sure I find the Throne often enough. Godo, Bandit Warlord is the goto man to find a specific equipment. As a bonus, there is the extra combat step he provides. Sure, any elemental token stays tapped unless I somehow give them vigilance or turn them into samurai, but the extra combat ensures Valduk makes new tokens, so that’s covered as well. Angel’s Trumpet and Akroma’s Memorial do fit the bill in making sure my elementals stay ready to attack a second time though.

There are many cards that give extra combat phases, and they should be nothing less than great here. Mono doesn’t get to deal with some of the problems, so promising opponents a swift and fiery death seems like the best way to succeed. I think Valduk does have it in him to make that happen.

Posted under Commander / EDH

Slimefoot Improvements

I finally had a test run of my Slimefoot deck. I didn’t quite win, but it was a fun learning experience. One of the most important lessons: Always have Slimefoot on the table.

This means I should probably look for a Journey to Eternity for this deck. It should be easy enough to flip it into Atzal, Cave of Eternity with all the sacrifice effect I’m running (Lesson number two is always have sacrifice effects on the table) so it can even replace a land and work as a sort of ramp effect. Even a one shot effect like Memorial to Folly worked well for me, so why not a more permanent reanimation effect?

Since I also get to exile things from the graveyard (with cards like Fungal Plots) I shouldn’t be too afraid to let Slimefoot go to the graveyard every once in a while to get extra value, then get him to the command zone from there. With Cave of Eternity up, I get to skimp on commander tax often, and keep Slimefoot affordable.

On that note, the Thallid plan is a bit slow, and even though there is value to be had, Blood Artist and Zulaport Cutthroat seem to be neccesary backups/additions to the drain plan. One of those doubles the effect of Slimefoot. Even a few poison options will help close out games quickly with Slimefoot. Grafted Exoskeleton is a relative persistent way, Tainted Strike is an instant version for the oops I win scenario and Triumph of the Hordes also works with Saproling armies. Typically, you’ll want to use these options in one explosive turn which brings us to the next thing.

So, the one thing that happened during testing was that someone was playing Muldrotha. At some point I got Necrogenesis in and I wanted to use it to at least remove all creatures from the graveyatd of the Muldrotha player.

This is where another player played Dictate of Karametra, to boost my mana and get all the creatures out. I was impressed with the card. Sure, it could help other players as well, but I already run some summetrical effect like Fecundity and Saproling Cluster. Timed well, and it’s just one explosive turn that’s all I really need. The deck is very, very mana hungry, so I always can make good use of all the extra mana I can get.

All in all the deck worked pretty well, even in the face of infinite Nevinyrral’s Disks coming of Muldrotha. The deck may only need some tiny changes to help turn the tide in overwhelming odds. I do like the Thallids and other fungi in the deck, but it’s really more important to always have enough Saprolings, and there are quicker ways to do that than to count on some of my Fungi to make them. At the very least, Overgrown Armasaur is on the bubble, as it makes only any real sense with Pestilence. Verdant Embrace is probably a much better option anyway.

Posted under Commander / EDH

Fungus Among Us

I nearly completed my Slimefoot deck, and there is another gameplay loop that is interesting to use. Since the deck is all about eating Saprolings, and other ways to kill them, there are a couple of cards that can use this to our advantage, even buying us some time when we’re not ready to go infinite. So, step one is to send opponents creatures to the graveyard.

This being a Golgari deck, killing things is just the beginning. Now we’ll have some compost to grow our Saprolings from. There are a couple of cards that help with our gardening efforts:

As long as opponents have creatures, and we have a sacrifice outlet (preferably Ashnod’s Altar, since it makes the cycle completely free) we can repeat this and keep clearing the board of creatures. As for getting rid of other permanents, there is one card I’m eager about trying, that should work relatively well with the token strategy.

I like how she is a toughness 4 blocker, and she needs just a few Saprolings to get rid of an artifact or enchantment. Even better, she lacks the in the activation cost, so the ability isn’t held back by summoning sickness. Having repeatable, instant-speed removal is yet another way for the deck to grind for cardadvantage. And tapping Saprolings I was going to sacrifice anyway makes it a free effect most of the time. And the Thallids can keep doing their thing while tapped, too.

I don’t own a Spontaneous Generation, but it looks really interesting. Concidering I have quite some card draw, this could potentially outshine Saproling Migration. The latter is better in topdecking mode, and a good way to get started early on, but Spontaneous Generation could be a finisher once I set up. Even so, playing a land a turn in the beginning, then going turn 3 Slimefoot, turn 4 Generation is already great, and that’s without token doubling.

All in all I’m close to having what I think is the ideal deck. I hope it checks out in testing, because it looks really fun.

Posted under Commander / EDH

Putting The Fun In Fungi

Of all the colour combinations I think I enjoy Golgari () the most. Mostly because it can create tokens, and use sacrifice effects so I can set up some kind of ecosystem and grind out value. So, when I got a promo Slimefoot at the prerelease I was quite pleased. It does everything: Make tokens, and offer a way to win the game by sacrificing these tokens. It’s a cheap commander at and it finally pushed me to make a Saproling commander deck, something that Thelon almost, but not quite, succeded doing. (But Thelon will be likely part of the 99.) Given the nature of the deck, it’s also (mostly) budget friendly, with only Doubling Season being an expensive card, but even that one has some options for budget replacement. Even the commander itself is a mere uncommon!

While the deck is good at creating an army of Saprolings and sending them sideways, Slimefoot also lends himself well to various combos. Even an opposing Wrath effect usually results in some positive gain, but left alone it can prepare for some big turn, killing everyone at once.

The beauty is that many combo components will fill multiple roles within the different combo options. Most of them involve ways to make mana, turn these into Saprolings and sacrifice the Saprolings for more mana for more Saprolings, al the while Slimefoot gains you life and drains everyone else. These are some basic setups:

The first combo is easy: Having a token doubler like Doubling Season (Parallel Lives or Primal Vigor will do as well.) For you create 2 Saprolings, and you can sack them to the Altar for , setting up an infinite loop. While this is effective, it’s not the coolest option. But there is more:

Again, being able to sacrifice Saprolings for mana fuels a loop, where Fecundity draws you cards, and the draws can be turned into Saprolings, this time using Saproling Cluster. Again, we’re not looking to create a large army, but just a way to steal away life with Slimefoot. Even when going “infinite” or at least large, the lifegain component of these combos is not entirely irrelevant.

Cadaverous Bloom is part of an early combodeck, the infamous Pros Bloom deck. Bloom has fallen out of favour in the years, being too slow for the legacy and vintage formats, but Commander is a good place to give the card another go. Turning cards into mana allows for explosive turns. And using Lich’s Mastery probably requires an explosive turn, because of the danger involved in using it. Exiling one card with Cadaverous Bloom is already half a Saproling with Slimefoot, and Slimefoot’s build-in life gain already gives an extra card with Lich’s Mastery. With a token doubler out, that’s enough to go large, but other options are extra life gain with Blood Artist or a sacrifice outlet and Fecundity to close the loop. Just to show how reduntant some of the components are. Then there are some strong synergies to be found:

Again, Bloom can generate lots of mana, and Verdeloth likes to use lots of mana. Extra cards (and maybe sacrificing a few creatures to Ashnod’s Altar) can go a long way into creating a large for Verdeloth, leaving a lot of 2/2’s behind. A natural fit here is Song of Freyalise, to provide additional mana and eventually making the Saprolings even larger.

Another combo card of old is Saproling Burst. This was part of the Fires of Yavimaya deck, capable of suddenly bringing 12 power to the table out of nowhere. Sadly, we don’t have access to so neither Fires of Yavimaya nor Pandemonium are options, but at least we can emulate the haste granting of Fires by using Vitaspore Thallid. Burst also is 7 Slimefoot triggers right there and is simply ridiculous with Doubling Season.

All in all there are some pretty cool things to do with a simple, uncommon fungus commander.


I forgot to mention Smothering Abomination and Fungal Plots as important potential combo pieces, as well as being means to dig for your combos. Even together they turn 2 Saprolings into 3 cards. Mazirek can be another payoff for eating Saprolings en masse, and thus potentially interesting, even though it’s not directly part of an engine. At least it offers an alternative to the drain kill.

Posted under Commander / EDH

The Case For Arcane Denial in Commander

I’ve made a Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca Commander deck, and it has met with some success. He can be very explosive and steal some games quickly. However, I wanted to make the deck be able to grind a little bit more and take advantage of the consistant card draw and become less of a glass cannon. I looked at some articles about Merfolk and their playstyle and it turns out they’re less of an aggro style tribe, but work their best in a control shell.

I wanted to be able to counter things and flash merfolk in, keeping my options open. I’m not going full counter control, but at least be able to stop combos and board wipes. Counters are difficult to play because you really need to know when to stop things, and when to keep counters up. Also, having a 100 card deck means I need a lot of counters to consistantly have at least one.

Counterspells do work well with Lullmage Mentor and he does create some kind of endgame where you can counter most of the things, while building up the board. Outside of him, there are other counters to concider:

Counterspell – The original. It will stop most things.

Negate – While it doesn’t hit creatures, it’ll stop most things we’re worried about, like board wipes, or some non-creature permanents we need to take care off, like nasty equipments or enchantments, and it’ll break up at least some of the combos.

Deprive – Also a cheap counter, and almost as good as Counterspell. Sometimes it gets to reset a land that is accidentally turned into an Island, or a land with an enter the battlefield trigger.

Forbid – With the extra draw from Kumena, and other card draw effects, the buyback is less problematic, so it’s like having a counterspell forever.

Swan Song – Another conditional counter. The great thing is that you only need to keep open to stop people from wrathing or comboing out.

Muddle the Mixture – While the countering is limited to instants and sorceries, these are the most common sources of boardwipes. It is nice to have the option to exchange it for one of the merfolk lords, or a Merrow Commerce though. It even can fetch a Biomass Mutation, but since transmuting can only be done as a sorcery, and costs this might be the most telegraphed combat trick ever.

Now, let’s talk about Arcane Denial. This is often concidered a bad Counterspell because of the inherent card disatvantage. This is generally true in 1v1 games, but less so in multiplayer games.

In multiplayer games most Counterspells are card disadvantage. You play a card to stop a card, which is a one-for-one trade with one player, but you’ll get behind on the other players. Arcane Denial is different, in that it replaces itself. Sure, the player you countered the spell off will gain an extra card, but in a 3 player game, it’s the same as any other counter, card advantage wise. With 4 or more players, it’s actually better.

As an added bonus, it’s less feel-bad than just countering a spell for the opponent, because they will get something in return, which also makes them more threatening in the long run. So, it’s politically advantagious as well.

Also, Arcane Denial allows you to counter your own spell, technically cycling it and going up a card. For the two cards spend, you get to draw three and while you won’t often go for this line of play, but it’s nice to have the option.

All in all, don’t dismiss Arcane Denial as a counterspell in multiplayer. Sometimes things have to be stopped now, and having a splash-friendly hard counter is always a welcome sight in such situations.

Posted under Commander / EDH

Rebuilding artifacts with Jhoira

As we’re getting closer to the Dominaria release, I’m getting stoked about rebuilding my Pia and Kiran Nalaar artifact deck, and having Jhoira at the head instead. The idea of the deck is to create a rube goldberg machine of mechanical mayhem and monstrosities, creating combos or setting up a factory that churn out huge golems and constructs and win that way. Oh, and there was that thing where I try to lock down the board with Kill Switch for laughs.

The trick of the deck was to use cards like Goblin Welder to get back important artifacts from the graveyard, and that’s where Pia and Kiran’s thopter tokens came in. Also, the saccing of artifacts for damage comes in handy, especially since having artifacts in the graveyard isn’t a problem for the deck. But I figure that I have enough scrap material anyway, and Jhoira’s card draw is more important to the deck. Also, having access to doesn’t hurt my options either. The deck already is packed, but with the extra colour I might be able to add some more flexible / more efficient cards here and there, saving some space.

My ideal artificer commander would be Goblin Welder and Master Transmuter mashed together as a legendary creature, but at least now we have a relevant artifact commander in these colours.

What’s also nice is that Jhoira doesn’t stand on her own in Dominaria, and there are plenty of new artifacts to try out.

The Guardians help get things back from the graveyard and can help to make use of all the welder effects in the deck. However, I also ran cards like Junk Diver but ultimately it didn’t feel like it is worth the deck slot. Still, you know, options.

This card doesn’t look like much, but considering that each copy also triggers, these could add up fast. And while 2/2’s aren’t that impressive, there are ways to combo out and make a lot of them, and at worst they can function as scrap fodder when dumpster diving with Daretti, Scrap Savant and the other welding/recycle effects. Also notable it’s a Assembly-Worker, and while that’s not a deep tribe, these can be fetched with Self-Assembler for value.

Since Commander is a singleton format, this is easy to overlook. doesn’t have many ramp options, and generally Darksteel Ingot ranks as about the top of the rate for mana fixing and ramp for . This only makes colourless mana, but that isn’t a problem when most of the cards are colourless anyways. Where it shines is that the deck is able to make copies of artifacts. Sculpting Steel makes it so the shard is already producing a good rate of mane, as is Mirrorworks. Using it as a template for an assembly line with Prototype Portal should make things spiral out of control quickly.

This is a beater on it’s own in an artifact-heavy deck, with enough cards that can untap artifacts already (Voltaic Key and Clock of Omens are cogs in the machine I try to build) and the self-untap is just slightly harder to activate than the one on Battered Golem.

Now that I have access to ánd having Jhoira’s card draw there are options to use this and Battered Golem with Retraction Helix/Banishing Knack to combo out completely. You can use Helix/Knack on Traxos or Golem, return a free artifact to hand with them, replay the artifact, repeat. If you find a Sol Ring this way, you can tap it and get one mana each iteration, and just play all the artifacts in your deck (Just look out as Jhoira’s draw isn’t optional though! Check yourself before you deck yourself!)

So, now all my artifacts cost and can be warped in at instant speed? Even things like Darksteel Colossus or Darksteel Forge? Sure, why not? There is not much to say about this card except that it’ll probably become a Commander staple. Even if you don’t run much artifacts, flashing in a Kozilek, Butcher of Truth is always a juicy option.

Even though the deck slots are limited, and I like to focus on artifacts, this could be interesting. Tutoring 5 cards deep is ok, doing it twice is nice, but turning all the random scrap and servos, clues and treasures into an army could well finish games there and then. People would see it coming turns in advance though. Thranning it in at the end of the last opponent’s turn, possibly hitting a Myr Battlesphere in the process just gives them one turn to deal with a crazy army though. Do I want this as a finisher instead of the numerous other combos? Maybe only if I can make enough space in the deck somehow.

This is a reprint I might concider. I run Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer to protects things and get stuff in the yard, for a big Scrap Mastery or otherwise being able to repeat enter/leave the battlefield effects. Card draw is nice, and the deck as a whole could have enough synergy to run Ichor Wellspring and Mycosynth Wellspring for value, I don’t know if this is enough carddraw next to Jhoira herself. I think, with all the possible untapping effects, I’m more likely to run Quicksmith Spy as a possible value engine. In the Pia & Kiran version I use Quicksmith Genius to smooth out my draws, so the deck space might be better served adding Riddlesmith instead.

All in all Dominaria has enough spicy things that might replace things in the currect deck, or that give me ways to consolidate the deck. And the full set will be revealed tomorrow, maybe giving me a couple of must-haves in addition to what is shown so far.

Posted under Commander / EDH

Dominaria Leaks

So, some information about the upcoming Dominaria set got leaked about 2 weeks early. As it turns out, the set is very Legendary focused, and that’s a good sign for Commander players. Here are some cards that jumped out to me:

Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain
Legendary Creature — Human Artificer
Whenever you cast a historic spell, draw a card. (Artifacts, legendaries, and Sagas are historic.)

So, finally we get a blue/red commander that cares about artifacts. She also cares about some other things, which is great because she also triggers off, say, Pia Nalaar, Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer and some other legendary artificers you might want to include.

Her ability is a bit boring, but very practical. Do a thing, draw a card is a fine way to enable all sorts of combo’s. I have a Pia and Kiran Nalaar artifact deck and while the thopters are nice to have, having access to an extra colour and a lot of extra card draw seems what the decks could really use. The deck is really stuffed, though, so wish me luck with cutting stuff to make place for blue cards. Maybe I don’t have to change much besides adding to the manabase, and finding a place for Storm the Vault. Which reminds me: I should go find a Golden Guardian for that deck.

Mox Amber
Legendary Artifact
: Add one mana of any color among legendary creatures and planeswalkers you control.

The thing with the traditional Moxes is that they don’t count as a landdrop, which means it’s mostly useful when you plan to use a landdrop. The other thing is that you can tap them from mana, then play the next one, but this isn’t an issue in Commander. Given that Mox Amber needs a commander to work (and sadly one other than Hope of Ghirapur, since that one is colourless.)

Still, I can see this one being a roleplayer in my Shu Yun deck, because it can help trigger prowess. So, I hope it doesn’t become too popular, so I can get a foil for cheap, even though chances are it only makes most of the time.

Slimefoot, the Stowaway
Legendary Creature — Fungus
Whenever a Saproling you control dies, Slimefoot, the Stowaway deals 1 damage to each opponent and you gain 1 life.
: Create a 1/1 green Saproling creature token.

One of the things Wizards mentioned of the set is that every pack will contain one of something Legendary. So, we’re also getting uncommon Legendary creatures, and appearantly Slimefoot is one of them. Since I started playing the game, I’ve always been intrigued by Saprolings. I even have some cards at the ready for a Thelon of Havenwood but the deck didn’t really ever come of the ground, for some reason. Maybe because there aren’t enough interesting Thallids to use.

Slimefoot makes it worth a shot, though. It’s the perfect commander to use Tendershoot Dryad with. And I have always been a fan of Saproling Burst too, even though it’s a lot less effective without haste enablers like Fires of Yavimaya. Concordant Crossroads is an option. Akroma’s Memorial also gives haste.

And saprolings get an extra lord with:

Sporecrown Thallid
Creature — Fungus
Each other creature you control that’s a Fungus or Saproling gets +1/+1.

That puts the “Fun” in Fungal. Why not?

Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar – 4GG
Legendary Creature — Elemental Avatar

Reach, trample
Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar gets +1/+1 for each land you control and each land card in your graveyard.
, Return two lands you control to their owner’s hand: Return Multani from your graveyard to your hand.

What’s there to say? Multani fits Omnath, the Enraged like a glove. It shares the land matters theme, he is an elemental that can die over and overand also helps triggering landfall. Add “big” and “trample” into the mix – and reach, which matters because Omnath can’t deal very well with flyers – and we have a creature that will probably replace something in the deck.

Valduk, Keeper of the Flame
Legendary Creature — Human Shaman

At the beginning of combat on your turn, for each Aura and Equipment attached to Valduk, Keeper of the Flame, create a 3/1 red Elemental creature token with trample and haste. Exile those tokens at the beginning of the next end step.

Speaking of elementals, even though Omnath doesn’t do aura’s or equipments much, it doesn’t mean that Valduk can’t have his own deck, launching one elemental token after another. The deck may be a little one-note, but he seems very aggressive.

Moving on to dragons, there are two (or three, when kicked) that seem cool:

Verix Bladewing
Legendary Creature — Dragon
Kicker 3 (You may pay an additional as you cast this spell.)
When Verix Bladewing enters the battlefield, if it was kicked, create Karox Bladewing, a legendary 4/4 red Dragon creature token with flying.

Dragon tribal is alsways looking for some relatively cheap inclusions. isn’t bad, and getting a hasty Broodmate Dragon later in the game is a good deal. This is definately an option for my Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund deck. Speaking of which:

Darigaaz Reincarnated
Legendary Creature — Dragon
Flying, trample, haste
If Darigaaz Reincarnated would die, instead exile it with three egg counters on it.
At the beginning of your upkeep, if Darigaaz is exiled with an egg counter on it, remove an egg counter from it. Then if Darigaaz has no egg counters on it, return it to the battlefield.

Dragon tribal also needs big, top-end dragons. This reborn version of the Elder Dragon Darigaaz is often the biggest thing in the skies, and even though he doesn’t have the ability of the original Darigaaz, the Igniter he’s bigger,has haste (so you don’t have to wait a whole turn) and trample, making blocker irrelevant. Also, sometimes he comes back from the dead.

Dominaria looks pretty cool so far, and there are lots more cards leaked, but these strike me as the most interesting so far.

Posted under Commander / EDH,Spoilers

Mary O’Kill Unmander


The legends in Unstable didn’t seem that great at first for Commander. But now I’ve come around and think Mary O’Kill may be a fun thing to try anyway. Sure, she doesn’t have much direct support. There are only 4 different Killbots available, and with different I mean different names. They all have the same art and stats. Curious Killbot, Delighted Killbot, Despondent Killbot and Enraged Killbot.


Still, it’s fun to see a deck around (reverse?) Ninjitsu. In fact, adding some ninjas to the deck might be fun, and make combat full of wicked surprises. It helps that the ability on Mary is so cheap, so it’s not impossible for her to be replaced by a Killbot, and then hop over to another Killbot.

So, what makes her better? More Killbots! Beyond the four in the set, there are ofcourse the changelings. And those fit thematically as well. You thought you where fighting Mary O’Kill? No, it was just some shapeshifter pretending to be her!

Things get really crazy with Conspiracy in play. Now all your creatures are killbots! This means that it’s possible to switch her out for Phage the Untouchable or Master of Cruelties mid-combat. Yikes. And that for the cheap cost of . Note that her ability doesn’t trigger any enter- or leave the battlefield triggers, so you won’t die to your own Phage. A similar trick would be switching to Rakdos the Defiler after attacking, so you don’t have to sacrifice anything, but your opponent still does when they get hit.

The downside is that Mary can’t switch from the command zone, so you’ll probably have to fork up the initial to get her into play and start to get tricky. That makes it fair right?

All in all she is a promising commander, and potentially a very lethal one at that. When building the deck you’d probably will need some tutor effects, because the cardpool isn’t that deep when it comes to Killbot related stuff, and that makes her a little more linear, but at least once things get going, combat is going to be very intersting to say the least.

Posted under Commander / EDH

Carpet of Flowers

So, I’ve made a huge pile of Merfolk-related cards, so I can start picking things I want to include in my Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca deck, and while most Merfolk for the deck are historically in blue, I’ve been looking at green things to do. One of the cards I want to use is a card I have for almost decades. It always intrigued me, and I think it’s actually good in Commander, where there is a decent chance someone is using islands, and especially in Merfolk, where I want to change lands into Islands.


I want to do plenty of terraforming to take advantage of the Islandwalk ability that comes with many of my Merfolk, so Spreading Seas and Aquitect’s Will are autoincludes in all their cantripping glory. Reef Shaman, Tidal Warrior, Tideshaper Mystic and Streambed Aquitects become mana-elves with the carpet out but best of all, there is Quicksilver Fountain which is especially messy. Stormtide Leviathan tops everything off.

I do hope that Kumena’s card draw works as well as I hope it does. Carpet of Flowers may give me the mana-push to just keep spamming Merfolk.

Posted under Commander / EDH
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