Hey friends! We’re back with another Commander article here on Cardsphere. Kaldheim has officially released and we’ve once again been given a smorgasbord of potential lead singers for our Commander decks. So today, rather than give you a deck tech for just one legendary creature, I’m going to look at 5 different legends and give you a springboard into building a deck for each of them. All right, enough preamble. Let’s brew.
What I like about
Svella, Ice Shaper is that it’s kind of a middle-ground commander. It’s not obviously broken or an overpowered value engine, but it’s also not a bad or uninteresting commander. Svella’s abilities are expensive to activate, but that doesn’t make it bad. Rather, it makes it challenging. And I love a good challenge.
We can't play
Mechanized Production since we're not in blue. So how can we win with a bunch of Icy Manalith tokens in red and green? How about
Hellkite Tyrant? Svella makes artifacts, so let’s go full artifact themed. We want to make a lot of tokens, so let’s double our token output with
Doubling Season, and
Illusionist’s Bracers. Or
Second Harvest for a one-time effect. We might also want to untap Svella for multiple uses with cards like
Staff of Domination,
Thousand-Year Elixir, and
Or maybe you wanna use those tokens for other purposes. How about
Destructive Digger to draw some cards? Or maybe
Embraal Gear-Smasher to do some damage. We've got
Goblin Engineer and
Goblin Welder for getting other artifact cards out of the graveyard.
Krark-Clan Ironworks lets us sacrifice those Icy Manaliths for some extra mana, or we can sac them to
Kuldotha Forgemaster to search up some other big threats.
Blightsteel Colossus, perhaps?
Let’s not forget about Svella’s second ability! It costs a whopping eight mana to activate, but if you’re making a ton of those Icy Manaliths, that shouldn’t be too hard to accomplish.
Orvar My Dead Body
Orvar, the All-Form is one of the most exciting commanders from Kaldheim. Where we'll want to focus with this build is its second (and best) ability, which lets us make copies of our permanents whenever we target them with instant and sorcery spells. So let’s take a look at some of the cards I’m excited about for Orvar’s 99.
Twiddle! My goodness. Did you ever think a day would come when
Twiddle would be one of the best cards in a Commander deck? We’re also going to include similar cards like
Jolt. We’ll even add
Unsummon as a way to save our creatures from destruction or to remove an opponent’s threat.
I’m a big fan of trying to cast spells multiple times here. So we’ll want to run
Isochron Scepter. Or cards with Cipher, like
Hidden Strings. Or maybe Rebound is where we want to be, with
Cast Through Time,
Distortion Strike, or
Taigam’s Strike. I like
God-Eternal Kefnet here as well, as it allows you to essentially cast your spells twice. You might also want to copy your instant and sorcery spells with
Primal Amulet, but keep in mind that copies won't trigger Orvar since they're not cast.
We’ll also want ways to get our spells back from the graveyard. Since we’re all about making copies of our stuff, let’s focus on permanents with ETB effects to bring our instant and sorcery cards back, like
Scholar of the Ages, and
All right, so how do we win? Well, one option is to overrun our opponents with tokens. Let’s play cards that make us tokens when we cast our instants and sorceries. I’m talking about cards like
Docent of Perfection (hey, Orvar is a wizard!),
Talrand, Sky Summoner, and
Metallurgic Summonings. We can also use our spells to tap stuff down with
Niblis of Frost, or hit things with damage from
Sphinx-Bone Wand. Or maybe you win by making a bunch of copies of
Or we can move into Magical Christmas Land and fantasize about resolving a Kicked
Rite of Replication targeting
Tidespout Tyrant. Hey, it could happen! Oh, also
Sakashima of a Thousand Faces would like to join in on this fun.
Jimmy Kardur. (That’s It, That’s the Title)
Kardur, Doomscourge has two fantastic abilities. It Goads all of your opponents' creatures on ETB, and it also says that whenever an attacking creature dies, each opponent loses a life and you gain a life.
If we want to take advantage of that first ability and Goad your opponents over and over, we’re going to run
Splinter Twin, and
Helm of the Host. We’ll also throw in
Sanctum of Eternity to bounce Kardur, and
Command Beacon and
Netherborn Altar to get it out of the Command Zone if our Commander Tax gets too high.
Now how do we make sure there are a lot of attackers that we know will die? Red is great at making tokens for exactly this task.
Rite of the Raging Storm is going to be great here, because the opponent has a choice of taking 5 from the elemental, or blocking and potentially losing a creature and losing 1 life in the process.
Elemental Mastery will give us a bunch of attackers each turn. We can also activate
Chandra, Acolyte of Flame, or
Chandra, Flamecaller to make some quick attackers that are likely to die in combat.
Purphoros’s Intervention gives us a big token attacker. Or we can give everybody a bunch of attackers, if they choose, with
Tempt with Vengeance.
And for redundancy we’ll throw in
Disrupt Decorum. Then cast
Starstorm during a big attack. And let’s throw in
Wound Reflection so our opponents lose twice as much life each turn.
When I Wear Stripper Pants, They Get Toralf
Here we have
Toralf, God of Fury // Toralf's Hammer. Yeah, this one’s pretty cut and dried, we’re just casting a bunch of spells to do a ton of damage. But who says that isn’t fun? First things first, if we cast big spells like
Blasphemous Act and
Star of Extinction, poor Toralf’s not gonna survive. Since we’d like him to stick around, let’s throw in some protection. We’ve got
Darksteel Plate and
Hammer of Nazahn for equipment to give him Indestructible, as well as the new land
Tyrite Sanctum. And since all of our spells will be red, we can throw in the various swords that give him protection from red, like
Sword of Fire and Ice.
With that out of the way, let’s cast some damage spells!
Searing Wind are great and all, but what if we beef them up with cards like
Torbran, Thane of Red Fell or
Fiery Emancipation? The extra damage adds up really fast. Or how about we copy the spells? Let’s throw in
Lithoform Engine, and
For some extra added fun, we’ll throw in
Birgi, God of Storytelling // Harnfel, Horn of Bounty. Both sides will be just peachy here. Also, have you heard of this lovely card called
Lou Vega Finally Gives Us Mambo Number 6
The last commander we’re going to look at for Kaldheim is
Vega, the Watcher. I like this one because it’s a bit of a contradiction. Vega wants us to cast stuff from places other than our hands, but then it rewards us by putting cards in our hands. Like, make up your mind you silly bird!
For real though, this card is a really cool card draw engine. It works great with several mechanics, like Rebound, Suspend, Retrace, Flashback, and the new Kaldheim mechanic Foretell.
I’m a big fan of casting other people’s spells, and Vega gives us a bonus for doing that. So we’re gonna throw in cards like
Stolen Goods, and
Talent of the Telepath. And there’s one card that, frankly, I’m a bit hesitant to mention. But if chaos is your thing, this one is for you. It’s called
Shared Fate. With it, everyone stops drawing cards. Instead, we’ll now exile cards from opponents’ libraries in place of drawing and we can play those cards. We suffer from the drawback of not getting to play our own deck anymore, but where we come out ahead is that Vega will trigger for each of those spells we cast from exile, exiling even more cards for us to play. This one’s definitely not for everyone, and certainly not webcam-friendly. But it could be a lot of fun if your pod is up for it.
Or maybe we cast stuff from the top of our own library? We’ll use
Precognition Field, and
Magus of the Future for that.
Aminatou’s Augury is also going to be fantastic here, as well as
Djinn of Wishes.
That's a Wrap on Kaldheim
I didn’t expect to enjoy Kaldheim much. Especially coming after Commander Legends, which was just overflowing with amazing commander cards. But I gotta tell you, I’m really digging this set. There are a ton of funky cards in here that I can’t wait to get my hands on. Cards like
Mystic Reflection and
Draugr Necromancer are calling to me! I hope you’re liking this set as well. Hit me up on Twitter at @AndyZupke and tell me what you thought of my suggestions for these commanders, or your thoughts on Kaldheim in general. You can also catch me streaming budget EDH at Twitch.tv/scraptrawlers.
Check back in two weeks, where I’ll be continuing my series on deck building. Until then, take care, my friends. And play lots of games!