Hello and welcome to A Seat at the Table, the column where I pick a commander and talk about what I’d include in the 99. This week, a card that has been on my mind since it has been spoiled – Heliod, the Radiant Dawn // Heliod, the Warped Eclipse.

Heliod, the bad guy god from Theros, has been compleated! What does that look like on a card? Heliod, the Radiant Dawn is a 4/4 Legendary Enchantment Creature – God for 2WW. Let’s see that first textbox:

“When Heliod, the Radiant Dawn enters the battlefield, return target enchantment card that isn’t a God from your graveyard to your hand.  

{3}{U/P}: Transform Heliod, the Radiant Dawn. Activate only as a sorcery. ({U/P} can be paid with either {U} or 2 life.)”  

Activating Heliod is what makes him so interesting because he becomes Heliod, the Warped Eclipse which is a 4/6 Legendary Enchantment Creature – Phyrexian God with a crazy textbox:

You may cast spells as though they had flash.  

Spells you cast cost {1} less to cast for each card your opponents have drawn this turn.” 

What a fascinating card!

Things to remember:

  1. Unlike his previous iterations, Heliod is not indestructible.
  2. Unlike his previous iterations, Heliod’s colour identity is white and blue.
  3. Heliod, the Radiant Dawn’s enters the battlefield ability is not optional, so if you have a non-God enchantment in your graveyard, you have to return it to your hand.
  4. You’re going to want to transform Heliod because the back side is the most interesting, so depending on your build, consider that Heliod is like a seven mana and 2 life costing commander.
  5. Transforming is only at sorcery speed.
  6. The cost reduction only reduces colourless mana and is the total amount of cards drawn by opponents that turn. So make use of that flash speed wisely!

Here’s what I’d put in a Heliod, the Radiant Dawn list.

  1. Everybody Gets a Piece

Having Heliod, the Warped Eclipse in play means that you’ll want your opponents to draw a ton of cards so you can cast things for cheap. Of course, you’ll want symmetrical draw effects like Dictate of Kruphix, Howling Mine, Font of Mythos, Well of Ideas, and Kami of the Crescent Moon for extra draws per turn.

You can activate some cards to draw cards and give some away. Loran of the Third Path is a Reclamation Sage that can draw you and an opponent cards. One mana discount is still a discount! Kwain, Itinerant Meddler gives your opponents the option to draw cards while Temple Bell doesn’t give them that choice. Lore Broker gives the table a loot. Otherworld Atlas can build for a continuous burst like an overcharged Bell.

My favourites for this deck are Folio of Fancies, which doubles as a discount machine as well as a potential wincon. Forced Fruition tacks a draw seven to each of your opponents’ spells meaning that while, yes, you’re filling their hands up, you’re also getting a discount and pushing the decking wincon plan. Want to benefit from that card draw? Psychic Possession one of your opponents and get cards when they do. All this will trigger stuff like Minn, Wily Illusionist and The Council of Four. And obviously Smothering Tithe.

  1. Colourless – Solemn Simulacrum jk Eldrazi

Let’s say an opponent draws three cards, you get three mana off of all the spells you cast this turn. That’s a Commander’s Sphere. But that’s not all: you can cast your The Celestus, Arcane Signet, Chromatic Lantern off of that alone.

A free Solemn Simulacrum is fun no matter what. Of course, when anybody talks about colourless cost reduction, people think Eldrazi. Ask Rakdos, Lord of Riots and Belbe, Corrupted Observer. But Heliod doesn’t just reduce creatures. Keep an eye on stuff like Portal to Phyrexia, Meteor Golem, and Spine of Ish Sah. I think Ingenuity Engine in a deck that can get opponents to draw seven mana can be so much value.

  1. X Spells (Prosperity / Fascination / Skyscribing / Blue Sun’s Zenith / Stroke of Genius / Secure the Wastes)

Not just colourless spells, but X spells! Specifically X spells that can win you the game or keep the discounts coming. If you’ve got enough mana or reduction, Secure the Wastes can get the right amount of creatures into play to make a huge swing. Pair that with Altar of the Brood in this deck and it’s a mill, baby!

Classics Blue Sun’s Zenith and Stroke of Genius kill players outright when they’re big enough. Prosperity, Fascination, and Skyscribing keeps everybody’s hands filled.

  1. Wheels

They have so many cards, it’s time to churn them out. Windfall can end a game if you’ve gotten opponents’ hands stacked. What’s better than Windfall? Repeatable Windfall in the form of Jace’s Archivist. Teferi’s Puzzle Box makes sure you start every turn with a big discount.

But… what now?

  1. Wincons

Psychosis Crawler damages your opponents every time you draw. Psychic Corrosion mills for each draw, just like Teferi’s Tutelage and Sphinx’s Tutelage. Your mana reduction can make a huge Walking Ballista for you to shoot your opponents with.

Alandra, Sky Dreamer can put a bunch of Drakes into play and with how many cards you’ll be drawing, you’ll be able to smack opponents for plenty in the air. Chasm Skulker gets big as hell and makes islandwalkers when it dies. Toothy, Imaginary Friend gets huge and draws you so many cards when he goes away. Body of Knowledge is as big as your hand is and hurts big time.

Diviner’s Wand can make a creature equipped with it huge and evasive. Shabraz, the Skyshark does it without the wand. Drawing gets Teferi, Temporal Pilgrim up to an easy 12 without trying and threatens to Cyclonic Rift a player every turn.

Loot away your Omniscience and Mind’s Dilation, get them back with Heliod’s ETB, and make sure you cast them for cheap.

Alternate wincons your thing? Jace, Wielder of Mysteries and Laboratory Maniac win you the game when you draw after you’ve run out of cards in your deck.

Thanks for reading. If there’s a commander you’d like me to write about, message me at @mikecarrozza on Twitter and Instagram!

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