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 new card from the March of the Machine preview coming to us in April – Yargle and Multani.
This might be a difficult one to brew for me because it goes against what I enjoy in my creatures, but I think it’s time to give it ago. For 3BBG, Yargle and Multani are a Legendary Creature – Frog Spirit Elemental combining some of the game’s most popular beaters for a whopping 18/6, a stat line we have never seen.
Let’s see that textbox.
And that’s it. Y&M are a VANILLA 18/6! How do we work that to our advantage? Let’s find out.
Luckily for us, there’s a lot in green that care about a creature’s power. For card draw, for example, you’ve got amazing burst draw that wants you to have big creatures. Something like Hunter’s Insight and Soul’s Majesty are pretty straightforward. Rishkar’s Expertise and Return of the Wildspeaker are the same, but offer a little bit more.
Are Yargle and Multani okay with death and the cycle it provokes with life? Mask of Griselbrand gives them evasion and lifelink so you can pay 18 life and draw 18 cards should your commander head to the graveyard. Doom Weaver while Soulbonded with Y&M can net you 18 cards should they die. Greater Good means you need 15 cards on a sacrifice outlet. Disciple of Bolas, Shadowheart, Dark Justiciar, and Momentous Fall follow suit, sacrificing your big boys for more cards.
Removal Fight (Bite Down / Band Together / Corpse Lunge / Dead Reckoning / Halana, Kessig Ranger / Infectious Bite / Nature’s Way / Ram Through / Rabid Bite / Mandate of Abaddon / Ulvenwald Tracker)
Where else does green want you to have big creatures? Overrun effects like Pathbreaker Ibex, of course, but what about some removal?
Bite and Fight spells are great for this deck to take down problem creatures. Of course in black you have more straightforward responses, like Infernal Grasp or Go For The Throat, but where’s the theme in that? You want Yargle and Multani to Band Together against creatures.
Halana, Kessig Ranger turns every ETB into a bite for two mana. Infectious Bite gets the poison counter party started. Nature’s Way grants vigilance and trample before a bite. Corpse Lunge makes use of your commander hitting the graveyard – maybe after sacrificing it to Disciple of Bolas. Or you can recur your commander and take out a threat with Dead Reckoning. How about a board wipe? Mandate of Abaddon kills all creatures with power less than Y&M which means that everything else is going away most likely. Ulvenwald Tracker is one of the earlier repeatable fight spells and can do its thing every turn if you’ve got a Seedborn Muse out, too.
No creatures are safe. What about life totals?
Rite of Consumption / Essence Harvest (plus recursion and Undying Evil, Supernatural Stamina, Feign Death, Malakir Rebirth, Undying Malice)
The closest thing that black and green have to a Fling are Rite of Consumption and Essence Harvest. Rite requires a sacrifice, but Essence Harvest is just clean, target a play and dome them for 18. Golgari burn, anyone?
You have many ways to recur cards in green like Regrowth, Gaea’s Will, Eternal Witness, and Timeless Witness and Black has ways to play things out of the graveyard like Yawgmoth’s Agenda, Magus of the Will as well as a myriad of reanimation spells. I want to turn your attention in this case to Sins of the Past, a card I never see, but now that I’ve found it, I am all about it.
Another thing to consider if you want to reuse Rite of Consumption or have so many things tied to your commander’s power is to make sure they stick around. Reanimation spells like Necromancy and so on are great, but how about Undying Evil, Malakir Rebirth, Feign Death, and many other cards of the like?
We don’t just want to protect the big boys, we want them to get through…
Mask of Griselbrand is already mentioned in the article, but how about some other equipment that can help get the beef through. Shadowspear grants trample and lifelink in the most absurd powercreep over Loxodon Warhammer. Commander’s Plate grants protection against the colours your commander is not. Vorrac Battlehorns gives reverse-menace, requiring a single blocker be declared, rendering multi-blocking impossible. Prowler’s Helm, Trailblazer’s Boots, and Whispersilk Cloak grant unblockabilty either outright or in a niche way.
Creatures like Thunderfoot Baloth grant a boost to the team and trample. Nylea, God of the Hunt pushes trample to the team with a repeatable pump effect to threaten commander damage.
Rancor is a classic that keeps coming back. Tyvar’s Stand is a new classic that pumps and protects. Charge Through replaces itself. All in all, there are a lot of ways to end a game when your commander has so much power.
Maybe there’s another way to get through…
Ruxa, Patient Professor is full of surprises. Creatures with no abilities, aka vanilla creatures, get an anthem of +1/+1 and can assign combat damage as though they weren’t blocked, essentially telling – nay DARING – your opponents to block only if they’re okay with losing some stuff. And when your commander goes away, Ruxa can pick it back up and put them back in your hand by entering the battlefield or just attacking. A sweet bear like this has a lot to offer.
Muraganda Petroglyphs gets an obligatory mention because this is a green deck with a vanilla commander. It anthems vanilla creatures for +2/+2. It’s not amazing, but it makes Y&M a 20/8.
Bonus: Ramp (Ruthless Technomancer / Selvala, Heart of the Wilds / Traverse the Outlands / The Great Henge)
You’ve got all the ramp in the world in green, but here are some absolute bangers that get better in this deck: Selvala, Heart of the Wilds, Traverse the Outlands, The Great Henge, and my personal favourite of the bunch, Ruthless Technomancer.
That does it for this edition of A Seat at the Table. Let me know which commander you’d like covered in the series @mikecarrozza on Instagram and Twitter!