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 mythic pair up Commander from March of the Machine, which is finally out!
Kroxa and Kunoros are bonkers and there’s already chatter about how powerful they are. While Kroxa is well represented on this card, Kunoros’ original card would be ashamed to see so many creatures coming out of the graveyard. I tried my hand at brewing Kroxa and Kunoros and I’m hoping to share some ideas and thoughts from this process.
Let’s start with the card!
Kroxa and Kunoros cost 3RWB for a Mardu 6/6 with a textbox that has great keywords and an ability that makes brewers excited.
“Vigilance, menace, lifelink
Whenever Kroxa and Kunoros enters the battlefield or attacks, you may exile five cards from your graveyard. When you do, return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield.”
A few things to note:
- Kroxa and Kunoros cost a lot of mana and are a big piece of your combo/engine. Make sure to pack a crazy amount of mana ramp in this deck. Lots and lots and lots of mana rocks. This also means some early game control like Bedevil or Path to Exile.
- K&K trigger on ETB and on attack which means Panharmonicon/Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines can double the trigger and so can Isshin, Two Heavens as One. It also means that if you give them haste, you can reanimate two things if you have enough in your graveyard.
- The ability triggers and allows you to exile cards from your graveyard, but you do not have to because it is a “may” ability. You may exile five cards .
- You can only get creatures back from your own graveyard.
- Kroxa and Kunoros have a sweet of really good keyword abilities. Don’t forget to use them to your advantage.
Let’s get into the 99.
To be able to reanimate a creature from your graveyard, you need six cards in there in the first place. That’s five to exile and one creature to bring back. That’s why I think Fabled Passage, Terramorphic Expanse, and Evolving Wilds all deserve a slot alongside the dual fetch lands.
That said, there’s a few ways to fill your graveyard and having had experience with Araumi of the Dead Tide, I have a few cards that pummel your library into your graveyard. Mesmeric Orb is the big one that mills each player for every card they untap. Your untap step could mill you ten cards pretty easily.
Perpetual Timepiece can tap to mill two but also shuffle a few key pieces back into your library. Cemetery Tampering mills three per your upkeep and likely gives you an extra free card. Millikin taps for a generic mana and mills you a card when it does.
Stitcher’s Supplier is the perfect self-mill card that mills three on the way in and on the way out. Flickering or doubling this ETB in this deck sets you up incredibly.
However, the most important mill piece is Altar of Dementia. Altar of Dementia allows you to sacrifice Kroxa and Kunoros in response to their trigger to mill six cards, then you can exile five cards to bring them back. Eventually, you’ll have more cards in your graveyard and you’ll be sculpting the perfect graveyard for reanimating.
Value Creatures and Worthwhile Targets
Having targets to bring back means having expensive creatures that you want to cheat out. I’m talking Etali, Primal Storm. I’m talking Archon of Cruelty. I’m talking Ashen Rider. I’m talking Avacyn, Angel of Hope. Being able to loop Dockside Extortionist over and over is a solid move, too. Obviously. How about the Kamigawa Dragons of old and new? Atsushi, the Blazing Sky, Ao, the Dawn Sky, and Junji, the Midnight Sky perform very well along side Kokusho, the Evening Star and Yosei, the Morning Star. Vilis, Broker of Blood can get you a full grip that you later get to discard so you can reanimate more creatures!
You’ve got your value, but what about your game-ending beatings? With the amount of creatures going into and out of your graveyard, Syr Konrad, the Grim and Dreadhound are perfect for pinging your opponents. Tormod, the Desecrator can make a couple of Zombies whenever K&K trigger their ability. Those guys add up!
Flayer of the Hatebound combine with Kroxa and Kunoros, Mikaeus, the Unhallowed, or any way to reanimate beefy bad boys and you’ve got a cannon. Pair this with Warstorm Surge and Stalking Vengeance and damn, it’s probably game over.
This is a classic category here on A Seat at the Table. Phyrexian Altar, Ashnod’s Altar, Phyrexian Tower, Altar of Dementia, all are great for this deck, but I would recommend more creature based sacrifice outlets. Viscera Seer, Carrion Feeder, Ayara, Widow of the Realm // Ayara, Furnace Queen, Sadistic Hypnotist, and Undercity Informer (which also can mill you, by the way). Gotta double dip!
You need to have a backup plan. If Kroxa and Kunoros get shut down too many times, play Breach the Multiverse and Incarnation Technique which mill you and bring creatures back. Chainer, Nightmare Adept is a discard outlet and reanimator in one. Jaxis, the Troublemaker can put in some work as a discard outlet and value engine when targeting even just your commander. Body Launderer, my favourite card of 2022, connives when nontoken creatures you control die and then reanimates based on power. Junji, the Midnight Sky, Karmic Guide, and Sister Hospitaller just get your creatures out of the grave and into play already!
Ramp, Ramp, Ramp
I recommend the obvious inclusions, but I think it’s worth noting them here. Smothering Tithe and Dockside Extortionist are heavy hitters for a reason. Black Market Connections is one of the best cards in recent years. You’ve got to use all your rocks: Arcane Signet, Boros/Orzhov/Rakdos Signet, all the Talismans you can grab. Gilded Lotus? Why not! Wayfarer’s Bauble, yes! Solemn Simulacrum, yes! Get this deck packed with some basics. I know it’s not ramp exactly, but get yourself a copy of Sneak Attack, you know, as a little treat!
That’ll do it for this edition of A Seat at the Table! Let me know which commander you’d like covered next time. Check me out on Instagram and Twitter @mikecarrozza!