Hello and welcome to another edition of A Seat at the Table where I pick a commander and discuss some inclusions to their 99. This week, another sweet legend from Dominaria United – Meria, Scholar of Antiquity.
This legendary 3/3 Elf Artificer for 1GR should give you a hint for what she’s all about. Let’s see that textbox:
“Tap an untapped nontoken artifact you control: Add G.
Tap two untapped nontoken artifacts you control: Exile the top card of your library. You may play it this turn.”
What a party. A Gruul artifact commander who says to hell with destroying artifacts, let’s make them our friends. With ramp and card advantage stapled to a commander, there are already cEDH implications here. Let’s talk about some inclusions:
Let’s start by talking about value. Pop Mycosynth Lattice into this deck and even your enchantments and creatures can impulse draw you into answers or ramp you. They do have to be nontoken, but definitely amazing. One Vandalblast though and you’re done. So Darksteel Forge is a solid lock piece for yourself and turns a Vandalblast from you into a full board wipe. Armageddon WISHES, honey!
That said, be weary of Merciless Eviction or heaven forbid a Farewell. You can get blown out pretty hard, but with something as fragile as this, I would recommend having a Krark-Clan Ironworks or a Street Urchin ready, or even Bosh, Iron Golem to punish the person making you sacrifice the Mycosynth Lattice.
Be careful! But hell yeah, get that value!
This one gets its own slot. It’s not going to be a long explanation because here it is: this card rules in this deck. If you’ve got a Flash enabler like Shimmer Myr, your Unwinding Clock is your Seedborn Muse. Oh, yeah this is an artifact deck in Green, so we get to straight up use Seedborn Muse. These cards let you turn your opponents’ turns into your own turn, keeps your mana up for reactions if you can exile cards you can play. That’s gravy the whole way home!
Exile Matters Cards
We quite literally just got a Commander precon deck called Exit from Exile with Faldorn, Dread Wolf Herald at the helm. I recommend a ton of cards in that deck. Jeska’s Will is a big “OF COURSE” fit in this deck. With Meria out, it’s likely you’ll cast more artifacts, and while Will is a big ritual, having the ability to either tap artifacts for mana or make more exiles makes this even more potent.
Cards like Passionate Archaeologist can be a finisher in Meria decks that aren’t focused on playing “eggs” (artifacts with 0 for their mana cost). Nalfeshnee allows you to double dip on some spells and permanents for a turn. Important to note that you can’t tap the tokens with Meria. That’s why cards like Inspiring Statuary also fit in the deck. Giving your non-artifact spells improvise allow you to make mana dorks of even your token artifacts so long as you’re casting non-artifact spells just like most in this section.
Wild-Magic Sorcerer, similar to Nalfeshnee, triggers off of casting things from exile. Delayed Blast Fireball is one of the best one-sided board wipes in a while and deserves a slot in your 99 for sure. A lot of these are already Prosper, Tome-Bound staples and if there’s any commander whose homework to copy, it’s the most popular Rakdos commander of all time who has only been around for a year.
Tormod’s Crypt / Trading Post / Mox / Lotus Petal / Shimmer Myr / Vedalken Orrery / Hellkite Igniter / Mystic Forge
You want good artifacts in your nontoken artifact matters deck. Mirage Mirror can double up effects or borrow from your opponents and tap itself to pay for the cost if you’ve got Meria and don’t need to copy something with a tap ability. Shimmer Myr and Vedalken Orrery ensure that you’re getting the most out of your turns and your opponents’ turns like when you’ve got Unwinding Clock and Seedborn Muse out.
Low cost utility like Tormod’s Crypt and Soul-Guide Lantern can threaten the graveyard players but then also can draw you cards or make mana when Meria is out and there aren’t any good reasons to pop graveyards yet.
Artifact lands are perfect inclusions for Meria. While they don’t gain much from the ability to tap for green mana, being able to tap two of your nontoken artifact lands to impulse draw a card feels really good. Here, to save you a Scryfall search, are all the artifact lands that work in the deck: Darksteel Citadel, Great Furnace, Power Depot, Slagwoods Bridge, Treasure Vault, and Tree of Tales. Pack a Ghirapur Orrery to let you play the lands as you exile them from Meria’s ability.
Mystic Forge lets you see what’s coming up next so you know whether or not to impulse draw, even allowing you to forego the ability altogether by letting you cast artifacts from the top anyway. Trading Post is your one stop shop to let you bring back artifacts that you’ve used or had removed. Artifacts have so much synergy together and looping a bunch is powerful. Just ask Scrap Trawler.
You need to end the game. Here’s how you win. Reckless Fireweaver and Ingenious Artillerist both ping your opponents for artifacts entering the battlefield. Having a ton of artifacts and untapping every turn with Unwinding Clock means that sometimes, you’ll have a lock on the game and just need to end it so Ghirapur Aether Grid lets you ping for one per two artifacts tapped.
Got a lot of artifacts? Hellkite Tyrant’s alt-win condition can come at your upkeep. Hellkite Igniter can swing in for the kill with its activated ability. Or, better yet, Nettlecyst can do it on its own or Meria can wear the equipment for a commander damage finish.
Honorary Mention – Static Orb / Winter Orb / Howling Mine / Trinisphere / Torpor Orb
Look. I know that not everybody likes Stax effects. I don’t like them, but in the right circumstances, they present an interesting puzzle to figure out. It’s also extremely viable in cEDH. Go nuts, have fun, and of course, ruin someone’s day/give them a real challenge.
Thanks for reading and come on back next time!