Hello and welcome to another A Seat at the Table! Continuing with our Street Fighter character select screen, this edition is all about Blanka, Ferocious Friend!
First of all, I love that Dan is getting completely shocked to the core in the art. Secondly, let’s look at the text box on this 5/5 for 3RG Human Beast Warrior:
Rolling Attack — Blanka, Ferocious Friend has trample as long as you’ve cast three or more spells this turn.
Electric Thunder — Whenever Blanka becomes the target of a spell, he gets +2/+2 until end of turn and deals 2 damage to each opponent.”
Okay, so we have a Red/Green Heroic commander and he can get really, really big while shocking each of your opponents. Three spells in a turn feels like a lot, but with green’s big mana and red’s low costed spells, you’ll get trample pretty easily.
Blanka’s Electric Thunder ability does not specify the type of spell so we can be talking aura’s or spellslinger. Either way, it’s time to see what to include in our Blanka, Ferocious Friend decks.
These are enchantments that allow you to double dip on them. There isn’t an elegant way to keep sacrificing enchantments in these colours except like Claws of Gix, but that means that if you have 6 mana up, Claws of Gix out and a Rancor, you can target Blanka three times, meaning you’ve got an 11/11 trampling commander that just did 6 damage to your opponents. Or with that same six mana, you can use it on Whip Silk and/or Crown of Flames without needing them to hit the graveyard.
All in all, these are just fine enchantments that come back to hand so when you deploy Blanka again, you’ve got a full grip of spells to target him with. Not to mention Unquenchable Fury is just really cool. We just got Chishiro, the Shattered Blade, and if you lean in heavy into auras, I recommend including the snake samurai himself.
Notice how I didn’t include Return of the Wildspeaker. Blanka is human!
Hunter’s Insight and Hunter’s Prowess allow you to target your rolling ball of thunder, pump him for extra, and fill your hand with even more ways to target your green fiend. You mean to tell me you spent three mana to draw a full new grip and have enough to Mana Geyser your way into a Crown of Flames kill? Or into a Crimson Wisps and Reiterate chain? Huge.
Soul’s Majesty targets before it resolves of course so when you target Blanka, you’re drawing an extra two cards. How nice is that with a Double Vision out?
Rishkar’s Expertise will draw you a ton of cards and maybe that’ll be how you cast that Mana Geyser to pop off.
Here are two great pieces that reward you FOR targeting your furry boy.
Livewire Lash was just reprinted in Double Masters 2022 and gives Blanka an extra Shock to throw around whenever you target him. You can hit a player again or get rid of some blockers or planeswalkers!
Season of Growth is a great piece that let’s almost all your cards cantrip when you’ve got Blanka out. Just an A+ inclusion if you ask me. It’s impossible to read this card in the context of this deck and not just know it’s an all-star.
You need repeatable ways to target your commander and cheap ways to do it, too. The Wisps and Charge Through are cheap targeted spells that draw you a card. Simple as that. They are great whenever, they pump Blanka, and slap each opponent for two.
What about repeatable? Buyback! Get a lot of mana and just machine gun the same spell, taking down the table and using your newly gigantic Blanka to smack the Oloro player with commander damage after looping Elvish Fury or Seething Anger.
But why Reiterate? Blanka reads “Whenever Blanka BECOMES THE TARGET OF A SPELL” which means that the spell does not need to be cast! You can reiterate a spell a ton of times. And target Blanka. Once again, Mana Geyser comes to mind. Jeska’s Will, perhaps. Make lots of mana, Reiterate, Blanka combo kill!
Blanka gets bigger when you target him so your creature removal, especially thanks to green, should target your green meanie. Chandra’s Ignition turns into a board wipe hitting for 7, but if you’ve spent some more spells on your commander, that can easily become a Blasphemous Act that keeps your commander around to attack!
Bothersome Quasit is one of my favourite new creatures in Magic. You’ve got a ton of noncreature spells in this deck and this not only goads a creature for each noncreature spell you cast, but it also clears the way for Blanka to attack directly. I promise you’ll love it.
Battle Mammoth lets you draw a card when your commander gets targeted. You won’t always have Heroic Intervention or Sheltering Word or Veil of Summer, but you will at least get to draw a card, so that’s something.
Honorary mention: Lots of big mana
I’m talking Nyxbloom Ancient and Mana Reflection. I’m talking Nature’s Lore into Kodama’s Reach into Traverse the Outlands. Pack in the mana spells in but find spots for stuff like Enter the Unknown that can allow you to ramp later but also target Blanka for cheap.
And there you have it. Next time, I might have some Dominaria United tech for you, but until then, which Street Fighter should I cover next?