Tag: commander

Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - March 29, 2023

A Seat at the Table – Drana and Linvala!

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, another team-up card I think is cool as hell but will absolutely ruffle feathers at any table – Drana and Linvala!

For 1WWB, Drana and Linvala are a Legendary Creature – Vampire Angel 3/4 with flying and vigilance. Look at this textbox:

“Flying, vigilance  

Activated abilities of creatures your opponents control can’t be activated. Drana and Linvala has all activated abilities of all creatures your opponents control. You may spend mana as though it were mana of any color to activate those abilities.”  

It’s a fun mash-up! Linvala, Keeper of Silence is a Flying 3/4 Legendary Angel that says “Activated abilities of creatures your opponents control can’t be activated.” That’s most of the card! Drana brings the vigilance and the ability theft to the card. This can either do a lot or nothing at all, but ultimately, the commander screams stax.

So let’s talk stax. First, what is stax? Stax is a playstyle that derives its name from Smokestack. A card like that should tell you all you need to know. It’s about resource denial. It’s a permanent-based control deck. It’s a prison deck.

A few things to remember:

  1. D&L only shut down activated abilities. Of creatures. Your opponents control. Activated abilities have a cost and involve a colon (:). Take Llanowar Elves for example. That textbox is “T: Add G.” This would be stopped by D&L if your opponents controlled the Elves.
  2. D&L get all the activated abilities of creatures your opponents control. Drana and Linvala will be a mana dork a lot of the time!

Here are some cards I’d put together in a Drana and Linvala deck.

  1. Locking Down

There are ways to get your opponents to slow down. This is a big deal in stax. Stuff like Authority of the Consuls makes your opponents’ creatures enter tapped and boost your life to shoulder the brunt of whatever attacks you’ll be receiving. Blind Obedience does the same with creatures, but also your opponents’ artifacts. The Extort ability on Blind Obedience can make the difference in the long run. Make sure you keep using your mana to drain the table! Need a creature to have your back with this effect? Thalia, Heretic Cathar and Archon of Emeria are solid inclusions.

Deafening Silence can be backbreaking against spellslinger decks and be a boon for you if you’re going more for of a creature build. Same goes for Ethersworn Canonist if you’re more of an artifact build. Similarly, Eidolon of Rhetoric restricts everybody’s ability to cast multiple spells a turn, just like Rule of Law. Don’t want things to untap? Winter Orb is hated big time for a reason.

Spirit of the Labyrinth restricts card draw to just one a turn. Containment Priest stops pesky reanimate decks from doing their thing (or worse, like Winota). Phyrexia: All Will Be One gave us one of the craziest versions of a Praetor in Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines – shutting down ETB triggers and doubling yours.

Okay, this one is a little messed up: Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and Kormus Bell. Using this combo with your commander out means that your opponents can’t tap their lands for mana and you get to use any of the abilities from those lands with D&L. And if anybody plays a board wipe, that’s an Armageddon for everybody.

  1. Tax Season (Kambal, Sheoldred, Vito, Archivist of Oghma, Spelltithe Enforcer, Liesa, Shroud of Dusk, Mangara, the Diplomat, Rug of Smothering, Smothering Tithe)

Everything your opponents do against a stax deck costs a little extra. Smothering Tithe turns their card draw into a Treasure for you unless they pay two. It gets out of hand quickly and there’s a reason it’s one of the all-time best white cards.

Do your opponents want to crack a fetch land? Deep Gnome Terramancer, Archaeomancer’s Map, and Archivist of Oghma get you lands or cards.

Kambal, Consul of Allocation and Liesa, Shroud of Dusk makes spells cost life. Spelltithe Enforcer tells your opponents to pay up or sacrifice a permanent.

Sheoldred, the Apocalypse gives you life when you draw and your opponents drawing their cards costs two life now.

You want to attack me with two or more creatures? You want to cast two spells? Gotta pay the Mangara, the Diplomat toll and I’ll draw a card! One of my recent favourites is Aerial Extortionist – exile a non land permanent on ETB or combat damage to a player and when your opponents cast spells from anywhere but their hand, you get a card.

Damping Sphere and Rug of Smothering make storming off a lot harder to do and turn spellslinger decks into an expensive affair. Aura of Silence makes artifacts and enchantments cost two more and can be cashed in to get rid of a strong artifact or enchantment when it does land. God-Pharaoh’s Statue puts another clock on the game while making everything your opponents cast two more mana. Painful Quandary makes their spells cast an extra card or five life. It adds up!

  1. Board Control (Board Wipes, Sphere of Safety, Windborn Muse, Archangel of Tithes)

You need to control the board by diverting attention. Sphere of Safety, Ghostly Prison, Windborn Muse, and Archangel of Tithes make attacking you cost mana or impossible altogether. Deter them more with Cunning Rhetoric which lets you have one of their cards if they attack you.

You’ll need spot removal and board wipes. Cleansing Nova, Austere Command, Farewell, Damn, Swords to Plowshares – there is so much removal in the format. Pack a Shadowspear for your commander and use that activated ability to get rid of pesky cards making things difficult for you.

  1. Making Friends?

You don’t want to make everything a bad time. It’s time to make some friends.

Loran of the Third Path allows you to blow up an artifact or enchantment when she ETBs but can also tap to snap cards for you and an opponent you like. Cut a Deal is a draw three for three that gives your opponents a card too. Secret Rendezvous does the same but give the three cards to a single opponent. Maybe they’re going to die soon anyway! Forbidden Orchard can give a creature to an opponent. Hunted Horror does the same while adding a 7/7 to your board.

Turn an artifact an opponent controls into a creature with Karn, the Great Creator so you can use artifact activated abilities with your commander.

If you really want to make friends, give them your commander! Assault Suit on your commander means that they’ll be able to use everybody else’s creatures activated abilities and their opponents won’t be able to during their turn. Goad D&L with Parasitic and Martial Impetus. This should put a solid clock on the game.

  1. Winning

We talked about Extort with Blind Obedience but it’s worth mentioning with Crypt Ghast and Pontiff of Blight. Life Insurance does double duty as it turns aristocrat decks into further fuel for your decks.

Exsanguinate, Debt to the Deathless, and Torment of Hailfire are X spells that are perfect for all the mana you’ll have saved up to end the game. Gray Merchant of Asphodel is a massive drain on legs with its ETB draining for black devotion. If that’s not enough to kill your opponent, you should have enough life for Aetherflux Reservoir to finish the job. Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose and Sanguine Bond turn all your life gain into life loss for your opponents. Exquisite Blood paired with either of these turns either of those last two cards into an infinite combo win.

That does it. Let me know if there’s a commander you’d like covered! @mikecarrozza on Twitter and Instagram!

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Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - March 22, 2023

A Seat at the Table – Heliod, the Radiant Dawn // Heliod, the Wa...

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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Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - March 16, 2023

A Seat at the Table – Tom Bombadil!

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 previewed for the upcoming The Lord of the Rings set coming out this summer – Tom Bombadil!

Disclaimer – I suspect with Jin-Gitaxias being spoiled, as well as Tom’s existence altogether, we’re going to be getting a whole lot more Sagas than we have now at the time of writing. So know that I’m going with the information I have at hand.

Let’s party.

For WUBRG, Tom Bombadil is a five-colour 4/4 Legendary Creature – God Bard with a textbox that has a lot of Saga lovers salivating. Here comes the textbox:

“As long as there are four or more lore counters among Sagas you control, Tom Bombadil has hexproof and indestructible.  

Whenever the final chapter ability of a Saga you control resolves, reveal cards from the top of  your library until you reveal a Saga card. Put that onto the battlefield and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order. This ability triggers only once each turn.”  

Now you get why I’m talking about Sagas so much.

Here are things to remember:

  1. Tom will have Hexproof and Indestructible as long as you have four lore counters across your Sagas. If you have four Sagas, Tom will have Hexproof and Indestructible unless somehow there are none on it.
  2. Tom’s second ability triggers only once each turn and as the final chapter ability resolves. That means that if the final chapter ability triggers, even if you bounce the Saga to your hand, you will get Tom’s trigger.
  3. Sagas are weird. You only get the chapter ability from adding the corresponding lore counter. If you remove a counter, you don’t get that chapter’s ability (if I take a counter off and go from 2 to 1 I don’t get the 1’s ability).
  4. Sagas are weeeeird. Adding the counter happens in your draw step. The sacrifice of the Sagas is a state-based action, but if there’s an ability that goes on the stack, you can respond to it. If you have an instant speed way to respond to the final chapter and remove a counter,  you get to keep the Saga around to retrigger the final chapter.  

Let’s get into some cards.

  1. Hex Parasite and other instant counter removal tricks Power Conduit / Glissa Sunslayer

Taking counters off of your Sagas to stagger them from going off on different turns to maximize Tom Bombadil’s second ability is going to be a pretty popular way to approach this.

Glissa Sunslayer upon combat damage can restart some Sagas all the way. Power Conduit taps and removes a counter from anything you have to put counters elsewhere at instant speed. Thrull Parasite removes counters for tap and two life, but lets you extort every time you cast a spell. Not bad for one mana. Chisei, Heart of Oceans asks you to remove a counter from a permanent you control at your upkeep, which is before your draw step, which means that you get to retrigger a Saga chapter you like every turn while also including a card with the funkiest art in the game. Vampire Hexmage targets a single permanent to remove all counters, resetting any Saga you control or being able to neuter a +1/+1 counter heavy creature. Thief of Blood does the same but all at once. Got a huge board of Sagas? Reset them all.

My favourite is Hex Parasite. For XpB, you can remove X counters on target permanent. There’s no tap symbol. It’s not gated that way. You can pay two life instead of a black mana. It can be done at instant speed. It can be used to mess with your opponents. Hex Parasite is going to be a fun one to see.

  1. Instant Proliferate

How do you trigger your Sagas abilities? Get counters on them. Get to the final chapter and Tom triggers. How so you do that?

Proliferate. We’ve talked about Proliferate a lot lately, so I’ll make this section quick. Here’s a bunch of cards to keep an eye on for this deck!

Inexorable Tide, Atraxa Praetor’s Voice, Brokers Confluence, Cankerbloom, Contagion Clasp, Contagion Engine, Experimental Augury, Whisper of the Dross, Flux Channeler, Karn’s Bastion, Staff of Compleation, Tezzeret’s Gambit, Throne of Geth, Viral Drake, Volt Charge, Yawgmoth, Thran Physician.

Ichormoon Gauntlet technically does not proliferate but it can get another lore counter on a Saga you control when you cast a noncreature spell.

  1. Good Sagas

As of writing this, there are 85 Sagas in Magic and I assume this includes Jin-Gitaxias as well. That’s a lot. We can afford to not run all the Sagas in the game, in fact, we shouldn’t run all of them.

Elspeth Conquers Death is a fantastic removal spell, stax piece, and it can reanimate something useful for you as it ends.

Binding the Old Gods is a fantastic removal spell and ramp.

Fable of the Mirror-Breaker is amazing ramp, card selection, and then gives you a cool Kiki-Jiki-esque creature when it flips over.

Looping any of Kiora Bests the Sea God’s abilities can be backbreaking. The Kami War turns into a beefy beater after disrupting the board and your opponents’ hands. The Phasing of Zhalfir is a board wipe that can protect whatever you need. When you’ve got your engine set up without needing lands anymore, you can loop Fall of the Thran to Armageddon every time.

  1. Saga Support

Sagas are historic spells that can be cast at instant speed thanks to Raff Capashen, Ship’s Mage. Historian’s Boon gives you tokens for Sagas entering and final chapters going off.

Like a specific trigger? Weaver of Harmony can copy an enchantment’s trigger for cheap. The previous de facto Sagas commander Satsuki, the Living Lore is a must include in the deck. Being able to mass trigger Sagas from one activation and then getting value from her dying all for two mana is pretty amazing.

  1. Enchantress stuff

Let’s be real, Go-Shintai of Life’s Origin gave us the best Shrine commander and players have been playing it like an enchantress build with a Shrine sub theme. Go check out cards for GSoLO on EDHREC but to save you a look here are some good ones.

I really like Estrid’s Invocation for this deck specifically. You can use the upkeep to flicker Invocation and choose another Saga or if it’s about to get cashed in, save it.

Mass reanimate with Open the Vaults, Replenish, Calix, Destiny’s Hand, and Estrid, the Masked. Single target reanimate with Ghen, Arcanum Weaver.

Sanctum Weaver and Serra’s Sanctum for mana acceleration and Cloud Key or Jukai Naturalist for mana reduction.

Enchantress card draw has a ton of options – Sythis, Harvest’s Hand, Setessan Champion, Eidolon of Blossoms, Satyr Enchanter, Argothian Enchantress, and Mesa Enchantress.

That does it for another edition of A Seat at the Table! With more spoilers coming please keep coming back to The Bag of Loot for more Commander goodies. If you have a commander you’d like covered, message me @mikecarrozza on Twitter or Instagram!

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Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - March 3, 2023

A Seat at the Table – Katilda and Lier!

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 and coming to us in April. Another mythic pairing from Innistrad, Katilda and Lier.

Katilda’s previous Selesnya iteration cared about Humans. Lier made spells uncounterable and gave instants and sorceries in your graveyard flashback. Now, combined, you see their history represented. For Bant (Green/White/Blue), Katilda and Lier are a 3/3 Legendary Creature – Human with quite a transformative ability. Let’s check out the textbox!

Whenever you cast a Human spell, target instant or sorcery card in your graveyard gains flashback until end of turn. The flashback cost is equal to its mana cost. (You may cast that card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)”  

Yowza! While K&L don’t turn your Humans into Snapcaster Mages outright (Snappy is an “enters the battlefield” ability), they give you a snappy trigger on cast. And there’s also some cool stuff to do with that.

Here are things to remember:

  1. You need cards in your graveyard to give flashback, so you’ll need a balance of Humans and instants/sorceries to get this deck humming.
  2. These colours are unconventional for both humans and spellslinging strategies, so there’s going to be some discoveries made over time. Keep your eyes peeled for more things to support this commander.
  3. Any noncreature with Changeling or the creature subtype can trigger Katilda and Lier.
  4. Giving a sorcery flashback on an opponent’s turn won’t give it Flash.
  5. Humans are everywhere in Magic and they are very flexible. You’ll be doing a lot of balancing in this deck.

Here are some cards I would include in my Katilda and Lier deck. I have to admit, this is one of the trickiest commanders I’ve had to build around!

  1. Magecraft – Archmage Emeritus / Quandrix Apprentice / Deekah, Fractal Theorist / Jadzi, Oracle of Arcavios

I think with all the spellslinging of instants and sorceries, I wanted to find humans that specifically care about those card types, and found that we have a few Magecraft cards that will work very nicely in this deck.

Magecraft is an ability from Strixhaven that triggers whenever you cast or copy an instant or sorcery spell. Meaning that if you cast Archmage Emeritus, giving Sevinne’s Reclamation in your graveyard flashback (equal to its mana cost, I know it’s already got flashback), you’ll have spent seven mana for a great creature, two cards, and then two copies of Sevinne’s Reclamation to resolve. Pop Swarm Intelligence into the deck and Twinning Staff and your hand will never be empty.

Jadzi lets you ramp or play a card from the top for a single mana, which is super easy to pay when you’ve got Katilda, Dawnhart Prime out with humans hanging around. Deekah gives you Fractals and a way to get them through for damage. Leonin Lightscribe is the temporary pump anthem that can make for a huge turn of damage. Quandrix Apprentice makes sure you don’t miss your land drop while also costing two for cheap flashback with the commander out!

  1. Humans

There are 1848 Human creatures currently printed in these colours for Commander. Additionally, there are 35 Changeling creatures that can be played in this deck too.

It is up to you to decide what you’d like to play, but I have a few cards I like a lot.

Cathar Commando is great utility and with flash, it’s one of the easiest inclusions for me. I think Chulane, Teller of Tales was a mistake, but there’s no mistaking that power. Cast a Human, give a card flashback, draw a card, then put a land into play. To top it off, you can bounce a creature you control to your hand again. Chulane is stupid busted for this deck.

Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy is a great looter (a type I recommend you use, like Lore Broker, Magus of the Bazaar, Thought Courier, etc.) who also flips to enable flashback.

Eternal Witness is a Human despite me (and I know I’m not the only one) thinking it’s an Elf. Cast it, flashback on a spell, but return a creature to hand – that’s some value! Wizards of Thay allow you to cast sorceries at instant speed and give you a discount, especially when they’re attacking. The OG, Snapcaster Mage, might be worth an inclusion here. And ultimately, one of the best cards for a deck like this is something powerful and efficient: Esper Sentinel is a Human. A card that will net you some cards, but also is a snappy for one mana in this deck. Hopeful Initiate, Mother of Runes, and Benevolent Bodyguard are one-drop Humans that add a lot of value to your game. Speaking of one drop Humans…

  1. Dorks and Ramp

Noble Hierarch and Avacyn’s Pilgrim are mana dorks that come down for one mana and will help you pay for more while in the late game and maintain utility in their synergy with Katilda and Lier. I’d even include Magus of the Candelabra if you’re running lands like Gaea’s Cradle or Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. Mikaeus, the Lunarch can be an anthem or a flexible creature to play, but he can even come down for one mana just to give a spell flashback and in this deck. That can be powerful.

Weathered Wayfarer used to be one of the best cards white has to offer. I’m still of that thought! While you are in green and likely will be pulling ahead on lands, there’s still a chance that your opponents will be neck and neck with you. And if not, you still get to use it for flashback.

Speaking of Katilda, Katilda, Dawnhart Prime is perfect for this deck. Are you going all in on Humans? Here’s a Human Cryptolith Rite with Gavony Township stapled onto it.

Of course, the spells worth casting from the graveyard are ones that will pull you ahead, and what better way to do that than to amass a ton of mana. Green’s ramp package is astounding: Rampant Growth, Nature’s Lore, Three Visits, Farseek, Kodama’s Reach, Cultivate, and many more.

  1. Spells

According to Scryfall, there are 2999 instants and sorceries in Bant colours. I find that number oddly low considering there are 24,431 legal cards in Commander.

That said, here are a few stand outs. Rite of Harmony nets you a card draw when creatures or enchantments enter the battlefield under your control. Particularly amazing if you run the token creation route here.

Got a board full of humans? Double it with Kindred Summons. It’s expensive, but it’s an instant and the next time you cast a Human, you can play it again, doubling your double. Is this all the Humans in your deck? Could be!

Repel the Abominable is a nice little fog that will allow you to block well and surprise your opponents who block arrogantly. Of course, there are a lot of Humans in Magic, so sometimes this won’t work out amazing, but it’s on theme!

Beast Within and Generous Gift are A+ removal, as are Swords to Plowshares and Path to Exile. Cards like Genesis Wave, Ancestral Memories, Commune with the Gods, and Fact or Fiction let you draw into your Humans while binning the spells you need to cast from the graveyard. Don’t forget your Secrets of the Dead to keep your hand fuelled while you cast your spells from the graveyard.

  1. Changeling creatures and instants

Crib Swap does double duty in this deck, being a Human spell and an instant. The same can be said for Ego Erasure, Shields of Velis Vel, and Wings of Velis Vel.

There are some great changelings in this colour that are worth a second look. Unsettled Mariner gives your permanents Ward 1 for cheap. Realmwalker lets you cast Humans from the top of your deck. Moritte of the Frost is a great clone card that came out in recent years. But most importantly, Mirror Entity is a game closer. Amassing your Human army and just swinging knowing you can turn them into 7/7s or something can be a big deal.

That does it for this edition of A Seat at the Table. If there’s a commander you’d like covered, please let me know @mikecarrozza on Twitter and Instagram!

Get all your board game news from The Bag of Loot! www.thebagofloot.com
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Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - February 28, 2023

A Seat at the Table – Thalia and The Gitrog Monster!

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 and coming to us in April. A mythic team-up card featuring two beloved characters from Innistrad. This week, it’s time to brew Thalia and The Gitrog Monster. Let’s see what they can do.

Thalia and The Gitrog Monster combine their colour identities and become an Abzan 4/4 legendary creature Human Frog Horror for 1WBG. Their textbox is very enticing.

“First strike, deathtouch  

You may play an additional land on each of your turns.  

Creatures and nonbasic lands your opponents control enter the battlefield tapped.  

Whenever Thalia and The Gitrog Monster attacks, sacrifice a creature or land, then draw a card.”  

Hot damn, now that’s a textbox! Here are things to remember:

  1. First strike and deathtouch means that you’ll likely be able to attack into anything without worrying about it. The combination of these two abilities might as well mean unblockable except by indestructible or first/double strike creatures.
  2. There’s an Exploration on this commander! Make sure to pack your deck full of lands, so you can keep playing more and more.
  3. Your opponents’ creatures and nonbasic lands come into play tapped, which means that your commander remains difficult to block. It also means land bases using few basic lands will have a hard time with the tempo set back. All their nonbasics are taplands!
  4. Whenever Tee and The Frog go swinging, you must sacrifice a creature or a land then draw a card. This is not optional.

Let’s get into some cards.

1) Crucibles / Explorations

Crucible of Worlds is the first instance of a static ability that allows you to play lands from your graveyard. A three mana artifact that says, cleanly, “You may play lands from your graveyard.” What an incredible line of text. Simple. Having these effects while your commander allows you to play additional lands means that you can keep a fetch land parade running.

Since its printing, we have seen more iterations on this idea. Ramunap Excavator is often called Crucible on legs. Conduit of Worlds is a green four-mana version of Crucible with some added upside in the event you want to replay a nonland permanent from your graveyard as your one spell on your turn. Ancient Greenwarden is a big beefy Crucible that doubles your Landfall triggers. Perennial Behemoth is a five mana Crucible with Unearth GG in case you need a Crucible for a single turn – although I think Behemoth is better suited as a second to Crucible of Worlds in five colour decks. Zask, Skittering Swarmlord is a new Insect lord legend who also lets you play lands (and Insects) from your graveyard.

One of the most interesting and flexible effects of this sort is Serra Paragon. Sure, you’ll lose the cards to exile if they leave the battlefield again, but it’s a small price to pay for the flexibility on this Angel.

There are a bunch of cards that let you play additional lands per turn. The sneakiest one is Kodama of the East Tree. If you play a land from your hand, you can put another into play. If you play a Sakura-Tribe Elder, you can put a land into play. This card is monster busted!

Here are some of my favourite Exploration style effects: Azusa, Lost but Seeking, Dryad of the Ilysian Grove, Oracle of Mul Daya, Exploration, Wayward Swordtooth, and…

2) The Gitrog Monster

Why am I only highlighting one of the team-up’s original cards? Because The Gitrog Monster is one of the most busted legends out there.

Every time a land goes to your graveyard – whether they were milled, sacrificed, tutored to your graveyard, discarded, destroyed – you draw a card.

If you control The Gitrog Monster and your commander, sacrificing a land to their attack trigger nets you two cards and you have three lands to play for the turn. Pair this land density with Braids, Arisen Nightmare and you’ll likely be drawing even more cards because opponents won’t want to sacrifice lands!

There is a reason The Gitrog Monster was a boogie man of the format in its heyday and remains a second tier cEDH commander. You’ll want to pair The Gitrog Monster with…

3) Flagstones of Trokair / Krosan Verge

Fetch lands of all types. Fetch lands like Windswept Heath are a staple of Landfall decks because it’s essentially double dipping on triggers. However, cards like Krosan Verge and Myriad Landscape will leave you up on lands.

One land in particular makes me excited to brew around it: Flagstones of Trokair. By sacrificing Flagstones of Trokair, you then get to tutor up a Plains to the battlefield. Not a basic Plains, any Plains. Go get your Triome, your shock lands, your Kaldheim common snow duals, your Battle lands, your DMU common lands, Mistveil Plains, and Idyllic Grange. You can also still just go get your basics. Either way, when you think you’re down a land, you’re up a land!

4) Landfall / Augur of Autumn / Courser of Kruphix

Landfall is an extremely popular strategy. Just by searching Landfall on EDHREC in these colours, you’ll find insane cards like Lotus Cobra, which gives you a mana when a land enters, or Tireless Provisioner which gives you your choice of Treasure, Clue, or Food to create when a land comes into play (you’ll mostly make Treasures, if I had to guess). You’ll also find Retreat to Hagra, a three mana modal black enchantment that will likely mostly be used to drain your opponents when you have lands enter. Emeria’s Shepherd and Trove Warden are great recursion pieces while Admonition Angel clears the way and Ob Nixilis, the Fallen chips away at your opponents’ life totals.

I highly recommend Courser of Kruphix, Augur of Autumn, and Oracle of Mul Daya to effectively extend your hand size by one. Playing stuff from your library and getting a peek at what’s next can really set you up for your game plan.

There’s one last facet of the Landfall strategy I want to cover and that’s…

5) Tokens

Making Tokens with your lands! Felidar Retreat, Scute Swarm, Maja, Bretagard Protector, Zendikar’s Roil, and Emeria Angel all focus on making smaller tokens when your lands hit the field while Rampaging Baloths, Titania, Nature’s Force, and Greensleeves, Maro-Sorcerer make bigger ones. Titania, Protector of Argoth makes big creatures when your lands go to the  graveyard instead while Avenger of Zendikar makes Plants equal to how many lands you have while pumping those Plants when more lands come under your control.

Having a token doubler like Doubling Season or Parallel Lives is great in this kind of deck, especially if they double as ramp thanks to Cryptolith Rite or if they’re straight up Forests because of Awaken the Woods or Staff of Titania. Throw in Teysa Karlov to gain a ton of life and keep your tokens on defence too, and you’ve got a very scary game position.

That’ll do it for this edition of A Seat at the Table! Let me know who else you’d like covered @mikecarrozza on Twitter and Instagram!

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Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - February 27, 2023

A Seat at the Table – Slimefoot and Squee!

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 and coming to us as a Commander exclusive, likely available in set boosters if I had to speculate.

That said, we have a slew of incredible new cards that are team ups of legends from the same plane, and this week’s edition of A Seat at the Table is going to be about the cutest pairing – Slimefoot and Squee.

For Jund colours (BRG), Slimefoot and Squee are a 3/3 Legendary Creature – Fungus Goblin that has a textbox that is after my own heart:

Whenever Slimefoot and Squee enters the battlefield or attacks, create a 1/1 green Saproling creature token.  

1BRG, Sacrifice a Saproling: Return Slimefoot and Squee and up to one other target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield. Activate only as a sorcery.” 

Wowee! This is a new twist on a Jund reanimation commander. There are a few things to remember, so let’s mark ‘em up.

  1. S&S create a Saproling upon entering the battlefield and when they attack. Giving them haste can result in two Saprolings. Even stuff that creates token copies of them and sends them attacking can make the necessary Saprolings.
  2. S&S’s second ability requires them to be in the graveyard. Getting your commander from the command zone to the graveyard directly isn’t possible to my knowledge, so you’ll need to get the boys killed or sacrificed.
  3. S&S’s second ability is mana intensive and requires a Saproling to sacrifice. You’ll need ways to make lots of mana and coloured mana at that. Saprolings are also part of the equation, so don’t forget to make them.
  4. It’s a reanimating deck, you need targets to bring back to show everybody that the boys are back in town.

I really love this card! It combines Slimefoot’s Saproling theme with Squee’s inability to die! Let’s make a deck.

  1. Saproling Support

It’s time to make Saprolings for you to sacrifice to Slimefoot and Squee. You can go the easy way and run Conspiracy or Maskwood Nexus to turn your creatures into all creature types. Just be careful to not run Conspiracy if you’re running creature type exclusionary cards such as Junji, the Midnight Sky.

Your commander will give you Saprolings on their own, but there are ways to enhance this. Panharmonicon allows you to create a second Saproling upon the boys’ arrival to town. You can also run Wulfgar of Icewind Dale to double your attack triggers, which would also double up Vaevictis Asmadi, the Dire, Grand Warlord Radha, World Shaper, and Balor if you’re running them.

Utopia Mycon gives you a Saproling a turn and a Phyrexian Altar for Saprolings all in one mana. Undercellar Myconid makes a Saproling on the way in and the way out. Nemata, Primeval Warden turns your opponents’ creatures dying into Saprolings while preventing their death triggers.

Tendershoot Dryad buffs your Saprolings while giving you one every upkeep. Korozda Guildmage can send your commander to the graveyard and give you three Saprolings, and hey look who’s in the graveyard to activate now? Speaking or three Saprolings, kill your Sprouting Thrinax for a clean three Saps.

Slimefoot, the Stowaway gives you an activated ability to create a Saproling for 4 and is a drain on your opponents when your Saps die.

Here are some other ones if you wan to lean harder into Saprolings: Fungal Plots, Night Soil, Necrogenesis, Golgari Germination, Fungal Sprouting, Tukatongue Thallid, Tana, the Bloodsower, and Sporemound.

  1. Sacrifice Outlets

We’ve already talked about Utopia Mycon for sacrificing your Saprolings. How are you going to sacrifice your commander or reanimation targets to play them again? Korozda Guildmage isn’t bad place to start. Jaxis, the Troublemaker can make a copy of S&S, you can sacrifice the real copy, swing with the token copy, get a Saproling and then post combat, you can activate for the real S&S plus whatever beater you discarded to Jaxis. As the boys enter, you can choose to throw them back to the bin or sacrifice the token to draw a card from the “Blitz”.

Yawgmoth, Thran Physician is one of the best sacrifice outlets in the game, allowing you to diminish another creature and draw a card. Greater Good allows you to draw equal to power and discard three to fuel the reanimation plan. Attrition lets you snipe down nonblack creatures.

Of course we have the Altars you’re tired of me talking about (Phyrexian Altar, Ashnod’s Altar, Altar of Dementia) as well as Woe Strider and Viscera Seer.

  1. Ramp

I neglected to mention this card in section two, but Perilous Forays is an excellent green ramp card that needs a spot in all Jund lists.

Solemn Simulacrum, Rampant Rejuvenator, and Sakura-Tribe Elder are ramp all-stars along with Three Visits, Nature’s Lore, Kodama’s Reach, and Cultivate.

I’ve also included World Shaper, Ramunap Excavator, and Zask, Skittering Swarmlord to play lands from your graveyard.

A sneaky card I’ve seen do great in my The Ever-Changing ‘Dane list by doing very similar things is The Celestus. It not only fixes your colours, it can loot for cheap and sometimes for free – this sends creatures you want in the bin to the yard and lets you sculpt a hand. If you find yourself with a lot of four or more mana value creatures in your deck, Henzie “Toolbox” Torre is a solid include from New Capenna commander decks. I also really love Curse of Opulence as a sneaky mana fixer and Mana Echoes from the Saproling-heavy builds netting a ton of mana at once.

Seedguide Ash is likely the most bang for your buck, fetching you three Forests when it dies. Not basic Forests. And into play. Tapped.

  1. Reanimation

We can Entomb and Buried Alive a bunch of creatures to the graveyard, that’s for sure, but don’t forget Vile Entomber who can come back with Slimefoot and Squee, then pop a creature into your graveyard. But what to bring back from the graveyard?

Korvold, Fae-Cursed King seems like an easy inclusion in the deck without making your opponents target you from seeing him in the command zone. Vazi, Keen Negotiator is a solid source of card draw in our Treasure-dominated Commander days. Syrix, Carrier of the Flame gets to Bolt anything you want at the end step, and Tormod, the Desecrator makes for some great tech.

Who can go wrong bringing back a Massacre Wurm or Kokusho, the Evening Star? Chaos Defiler adds a little bit of RNG to the game while Druid of Purification takes your opponents artifacts and enchantments from them.

A card I’m excited to bring in and out of my graveyard in this deck is Life of the Party. It’s the closest thing to Rite of the Raging Storm we have in creature form and I think that’s fun as hell.

That does it for this quick brew brainstorm for Slimefoot and Squee. Don’t forget to get your singles at Three Kings Loot!

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Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - February 22, 2023

An Early Look at Commander Masters and Lord of the Rings!

Hot off the heels of March of the Machine previews, we have gotten more announcements regarding products that are making Commander players squee with joy. Wizards of the Coast has announced two more sets that are coming down the pipeline: The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth on June 23rd and Commander Masters on August 4th.

Despite it coming sooner, we know less about the Lord of the Rings set, but here’s everything we’ve got so far.

     1. The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth

The cards from this Lord of the Rings set is a straight-to-Modern set that will be legal in Modern, Legacy, Vintage, and Commander. It will be a draftable set with a Prerelease (!!!) and of course Set/Collector boosters as well.

Coming with this set is four Commander decks that will include twenty (20) new cards PER DECK! This isn’t Warhammer 40k Commander decks level, but it is still an impressive amount of new Commander cards on top of likely cool Lord of the Ring themed versions of Commander staples. That’s 80 new Commander-focused cards coming to the legal card pool and that’s not  counting the draft set.

Maybe this is what will get me to watch these movies. Universes Beyond doing its thing!

      2. Commander Masters

This one is juicy! Commander Masters is largely a reprint set, but also promises to have new cards in a draft format, likely reminiscent of Commander Legends.

We’ve already gotten a few reprints teased: Jeweled Lotus, The Ur-Dragon, and Capture of Jingzhou as three mythics in the set.

All three have a foil-etched treatment and the Lotus and Dragon have new borderless art they’re describing as Frame Break and Profile Borderless respectively. This set also comes with four Commander decks but this time with ten (10) new cards per deck. The good news is that we know more about these decks and it’s very exciting. The four decks are:

  • Enduring Enchantments – An Abzan deck that we can only assume is all about enchantments. Likely Auras given the face commander is speculated online to possibly be Anthousa from Anthousa, Setessan Hero, who was a monogreen legend with Heroic, an ability that triggers when you cast a spell targeting your creature with Heroic. This is also the first Enchantment focused Commander for this colour combination!
  • Sliver Swarm – A five-colour Sliver deck that feels pretty self-explanatory. If you haven’t heard of Slivers, they are a particularly popular creature type that gives Slivers a ton of abilities, creating increasingly powerful creatures. Sliver Queen, First Sliver, Sliver Legion, Sliver Hivelord, and Sliver Overlord are the original five legendary Slivers that have a ton of decks under their belts. I would hope that all those eligible for reprint get reprinted, as they are very expensive. I’m eager to welcome a new five-colour Sliver legend to the pantheon. They’re not my playstyle but I’ve always considered trying them out. As someone who loves to buy all the precons to play them against each other, I’m looking forward to this!
  • Eldrazi Unbound – Speaking of creature types I’ve never built but am eager to try out in a precon setting, Eldrazi make an appearance in the Commander precon decks, bringing us not just our first printed-for-Commander Eldrazi, but our very first COLOURLESS PRECON DECK! The amount of amazing colourless utility lands that will hopefully be reprinted in this deck makes me excited on top of all the new Eldrazi and existing ones. It That Betrays? Don’t mind if I do! Ulamog is on the box art, so we’ll see what they bring to the table, but given how devastating each iteration of theirs is, I have no doubt we’re about to see some shenanigans.
  • Planeswalker Party – Finally, I get to say these words out loud and in written-form: COMMODORE GUFF IS GETTING A CARD! One of my favourite planeswalkers from the Magic stories in the Invasion storyline is going to be leading the Jeskai Planeswalker Party deck and I cannot wait to see what they do with him. Guff is an ancient planeswalker who lived in a library that had every book – even books that told the future. I can’t wait to see how they handle this flavour in the design. The name Planeswalker Party seems to hint at super friends strategy, but given the word Party taking on new meaning since Zendikar Rising, there’s no telling what it could be. Maybe Guff conjures a party for the stories he’s reading? Maybe it’s just planeswalkers having a good time? Guff is one of my most anticipated legends and it’s not even close. Since we got Gix and Ashnod (two Ashnods) and they were cool but not commanders I want to build, I really hope Guff is cool as hell and people discover this character that I think is hilarious.

Get ready for pre-orders, guys. These sets are going to be hot, hot, hot. March of the Machine, Lord of the Rings, and Commander Masters? Get ready for a crazy Spring and Summer.

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Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - February 16, 2023

A Seat at the Table – Venser, Corpse Puppet!

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 legend that is pretty innocuous, but can threaten players with an early loss.

I’m talking about Venser, Corpse Puppet. First of all, NOOOOO, VENSER!!!!! We knew he was dead, but not like this!

Secondly, I expected a much cooler card considering his return and the art. That said, I want to take a positive spin and put together a deck that will shine around our returned sweet boy.

For UB, Venser is a legendary Phyrexian Zombie Wizard 1/3 with lifelink and Toxic 1. Let’s see the rest of that textbox:

Whenever you proliferate, choose one –  

If you don’t control a creature named The Hollow Sentinel, create The Hollow Sentinel, a  legendary 3/3 colorless Phyrexian Golem artifact creature token.  

Target artifact creature you control gains flying and lifelink until end of turn.”  

My first thoughts were “what am I supposed to do with this?!” and “Venser, NOOOOO!” Here are things to remember:

  • Venser costs two mana, so he hits the board fast and furious looking like Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal. This means you’ll likely be hitting someone turn three (or even two somehow) and getting the poison counters rolling.
  • Proliferate has gotten so much support and this counts each instance of Proliferate for the triggers. The thing is it’s redundant to give a creature flying and lifelink again. Does this mean we go wide or we focus on making The Hollow Sentinel?
  • You can’t make The Hollow Sentinel when you already control The Hollow Sentinel. Let’s find ways to abuse the creation of The Hollow Sentinel and sacrificing him whenever we want.
  • You don’t need anything to Proliferate for the Proliferate to count for Venser. Even if there are no counters on players or permanents, it will work.
  1. Proliferators.

Let’s start with the enablers, the cards that’ll be triggering Venser, Corpse Puppet. As far as I’m concerned, the top end of the Proliferators are Inexorable Tide and Flux Channeler – they effectively turn every spell or noncreature spell respectively into whatever the Proliferate version of a cantrip is. You’ll be off to the races with Inexorable Tide or FC out.

Activating Contagion Engine, Contagion Clasp, Viral Drake, or Karn’s Bastion will require a lot of mana, but will pay you off well while you’re holding up your mana to be responsive in this deck. The Drake can even swing in for some poison on top of the ability.

Thrummingbird and Blightbelly Rat are triggered proliferators that you’ll find yourself appreciating, and while Vraska, Betrayal’s Sting falls into the same category, you’re getting more value out of her.

You can go overkill with Tekuthal, Inquiry Dominus, doubling your proliferating. Staff of Compleation allows you to have more flexibility, and because of Venser’s lifelink-granting ability, the cost of life might not be a big deal. Throne of Geth gets the thumbs up for not only being a proliferator but also being a sacrifice outlet. Surprise! The Hollow Sentinel was tapped, sacrifice it to the Throne, boom proliferate! Now, the Sentinel is on blocks!

  1. Payoffs

The question to ask is how you’d like to build this deck. Do you want extra turns like with Magistrate’s Scepter or Magosi, the Waterveil? Do you want Darksteel Reactor alt wincon? Scheming Aspirant drains your opponents for two each proliferate, maybe turbo Aspirant is fun.

You can also Ichormoon Gauntlet and build a band of Planeswalkers like Tezzeret, Jace, Vraska, Tamiyo, Ashiok, Kaito, Karn, Liliana, Tevesh Szat, Will Kenrith, Ugin, and of course Teferi. Don’t forget your Sivitri, Dragon Master if you go this route.

More specifically, I like As Foretold in this deck since a lot of cards are instants or you can play Vedalken Orrery or Leyline of Anticipation to give your hand Flash.

Serum Sovereign is a great way to keep your hand sculpted. Crystalline Crawler and Mindless Automaton can swing in the red zone with Venser’s lifelink and flying blessing while also keeping your ramp up and your hand stacked. Vat of Rebirth can keep bringing back important creatures from your graveyard.

I really like Geth’s Summons, Phyrexian Atlas, Anoint with Affliction, Distorted Curiosity, and Glistening Sphere as the Corrupted payoffs.

Finally, a fun brew I can foresee some folks brewing around is Sagas! Proliferate through your Sagas so you get payoffs when you want them, on your own time. Satsuki, the Living Lore has an enemy parallel in Venser!

  1. Getting the Poison Party Started

This section is self-explanatory. Let’s find ways to give poison counters that isn’t just Venser. Ichor Rats enters and gives everybody a poison counter. Prologue to Phyresis and Vraska’s Fall do the same for your opponents but with some more upside for you. Reaper of Sheoldred is an excellent rattlesnake defender. Mirrex can crank out little Mites to Toxic at your foes.

Flensermite, Blighted Agent, Plague Myr, and Phyrexian Crusader are all lost cost Infect creatures who can get in early.

Give Venser Necrogen Communion or Prosthetic Injector Toxic to up his count. Slap Glistening Oil or Grafted Exoskeleton onto The Hollowed Sentiel, send it flying and end some opponents’ games. Can’t forget classics like Inkmoth Nexus and Tainted Strike. I know there’s a big one missing, but he’s coming later.

  1. Sacrifice Outlets

You want ways to sacrifice The Hollowed Sentinel so that when you Proliferate you make a new one? Here comes the fun.

Classic Aristocrat staples Ashnod’s Altar, Phyrexian Altar, Altar of Dementia, and Viscera Seer all get that job done. Throw in a Carrion Feeder for good measure. Hurt your opponents with Vraan, Executioner Thane, Zulaport Cutthroat, and Agent of the Iron Throne. Attrition to take out nonblack creatures. Grave Pact and Dictate of Erebos if you’re nasty! Take advantage of The Hollow Sentinel being an artifact with Krark-Clan Ironworks, Clan Crafter, Chronomancer, and Throne of Geth. Master Transmuter can “bounce” The Hollow Sentinel to your hand and surprise the table with a huge artifact from your hand. Costly Plunder and Deadly Dispute your Sentinel in response to a Proliferate for extra value. Ruthless Technomancer can eat the Sentinel and grant you three Treasures. Academy Manufactor loves that!

Take advantage of both types on The Hollow Sentinel with Fain, the Broker giving you much modality along the way.

Yawgmoth, Thran Physician is double duty as a proliferator and a sacrifice outlet and Braids, Arisen Nightmare guaranteeing that your opponents will sacrifice something on their board unless their greediness gets the best of them.

  1. Artifact Creatures

You want something to get flying and lifelink, it’s time to make some artifact creatures. Big daddy Blightsteel Colossus can end games quick. Solemn Simulacrum gains utility as a flying blocker. Myr Battlesphere needs you lots of life. Noxious Gearhulk and Duplicant are great removal and can pack a punch.

Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge loves when you’ve got artifacts, not only for discounts but also for draining your opponents.

Mycosynth Lattice, Encroaching Mycosynth, and Darksteel Forge help make your board indestructible while Silas Renn, Seeker Adept picks up the pieces when they fall. More utility comes from Cryptek, Foundry Inspector, Baleful Strix, and Liberator, Urza’s Battlethopter (remember I talked about Flash?).

Some of my favourite artifact creatures for the deck are Kappa Cannoneer, Canoptek Scarab Swarm, and The Omenkeel. If you want to be pretty mean, toss in Memnarch and start swinging at opponents in the air with their own beaters while you gain that life back.

I am absolutely shocked at how much I like Venser!

I can’t wait to put him together and see you at Commander night at Three Kings Loot. If you have a suggestion for a commander, please let me know @mikecarrozza on socials. Take care!

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