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 Phyrexia: All Will Be One Commander precon backup leader that has been officially revealed by MTG Muddstah: Otharri, Suns’ Glory.
Playing on the Rebels theme of the decks face commander, Neyali, Suns’ Vanguard, Otharri is the Phoenix I finally want to jam in my decks. A lot of people have had their fingers crossed for a Phoenix commander and personally I think Syrix, Carrier of the Flame should have whet that appetite and quelled that request, but here we are with another Phoenix in the command zone. Maybe a Mardu Phoenix is on the way!
For 3RW, Otharri is a treat at 3/3 with flying, lifelink, and haste. Let’s see that textbox!
“Flying, lifelink, haste
Whenever Otharri, Suns’ Glory attacks, you get an experience counter. Then create a 2/2 red Rebel creature token that’s tapped and attacking for each experience counter you have.
2RW, tap an untapped Rebel you control: Return Otharri from your graveyard to the battlefield tapped.”
I have always loved experience counters and am a sucker for a commander that dances in and out of the graveyard. While we’re hoping Otharri doesn’t get removed too much, keeping a Rebel around to resurrect it isn’t much of an ask.
Here are a few things to remember about Otharri:
- Those keywords are spicy! Don’t forget about them.
- You get an experience counter when Otharri attacks and experience counters are very difficult to remove. Going for gold is the right call.
- The tokens enter the battlefield tapped and attacking, so if you have any cards that trigger on attack, these tokens will not trigger them.
- While you’re creating Rebels, sometimes Otharri will be in the graveyard and you won’t have a way to bring it back. Plan for some fail safes.
Without further ado, let’s get into some cards to add to Otharri’s 99.
Proliferating the experience counters incidentally can be quite good in this deck, sometimes being the different between one new experience counter and a lot more. From the other precon deck of this set, Norn’s Choirmaster and Glistening Sphere are solid inclusions to pick up from the new set. Choirmaster proliferates on your commander’s ETB and attack, which means if you’ve already got one experience counter and you cast Otharri, you’ll be swinging with four experience counters. Not to mention if you blink Otharri with Teleportation Circle or Conjurer’s Closet or even return it from the graveyard with that second ability. The Sphere is a fine target for Sun Titan and a candidate to sacrifice to Throne of Geth.
Suit up Otharri with Sword of Truth and Justice, activate Karn’s Bastion or Contagion Engine, sacrifice Martyr for the Cause, swing with Grateful Apparition, exile something with Wanderer’s Strike, and cast Unbounded Potential. You’ll have an army in no time.
That first one was long, but this one is going to be quick. For each opponent you hit during combat, you get a Treasure token and if you have an abundance of Treasures, you can trade them in for some impulse draw. This is such a good spot for PFB, especially if you’re running two of the cards in section 7.
Remember what I mentioned about having a game plan in case Otharri is stuck in the graveyard? Exile all the graveyards with Scavenger Grounds and you’ll get it back to the command zone while disrupting some strategies. Or you can turn all your creatures into Rebels with Maskwood Nexus. Changelings are also a fine inclusion as fail safe here.
Throne of the God-Pharaoh takes life from each opponent for each tapped creature you control at your end step, which means that even if you took out one player with combat, that pillowfort player isn’t much safer.
Goblin Bombardment turns all of your Rebels into cannon fodder to toss at opponents’ faces and to get rid of blockers, probably flying blockers to keep Otharri safe.
You’ve got great keywords on your commander and you’ll likely have a board of tokens. Odric, Lunarch Marshal will send your army skyward and gain you a ton of life at the very least. That’s not even accounting for other keywords you might have.
Your commander triggers on attack, so how do we take advantage of that? Extra combat.
Hey, it’s the aforementioned section 7! Token doublers Anointed Procession and Mondrak, Glory Dominus double your tokens, meaning double the beatdown. Mondrak can even make itself indestructible and share that with everybody thanks to Odric. Or Nesting Grounds can be a sneaky bit of tech.
If you stack your triggers with Rabble Rousing, well, you won’t have to wait long for that Hideaway card, then it’s just gravy!
Protect. Your. Commander.
Otharri is important to this deck. You need it safe. Not to mention Odric can help give the whole team hexproof!
It works the way you think it does. This will kill opponents outright with commander damage!
Honourable Mention: Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas
Yes, it’s been a long one but let’s just honourable mention the only eligible other creature with an experience counter capability. Kalemne can be huge and gives double strike and vigilance to the keyword soup chef Odric. You’ll already have at least one five mana creature to cast in Otharri, but let’s not act like you won’t have Sun Titan or Etali, Primal Storm in the mix too. Any of the extra combat creatures qualify for more experience counters courtesy of the Iroas’ Disciple. Give her a chance.
That does it for this edition of A Seat at the Table! Tell me which commander you’d like covered for the next one and I’ll get to it. @mikecarrozza on Twitter and Instagram!