Welcome back, friends! Commander Legends is finally here, and we can begin brewing up all kinds of crazy new decks and playing with our new toys like it’s Christmas morning. I can’t wait to see what everyone makes with all of these new commanders and all of the possible Partner pairings. It’s a very exciting time for our format.

I preordered a booster box of Commander Legends from my LGS and had a blast opening it up on stream a few days later. I got some really sweet reprint cards, including a Vampiric Tutor and a Scroll Rack, and some amazing new cards as well, like Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools and Port Razer. I got so many cool cards, I started thinking about whether or not I could build a whole deck out of my box. Well, dear reader, I’m happy to report that not only was I able to build a really cool deck, I actually built two.

All the Shiny Toys

I didn’t do a draft with my packs, although I’m hoping to revisit that next year when it’s safe to play in-person again. Each booster box comes with an insert that gives you some information about the set, including a list of the main strategy archetypes. After opening the whole box I found that my card pool was really strong in two of the strategies listed. The first strategy is auras and equipment. And the leader of that deck is Reyav, Master Smith.

Reyav is a 2/2 dwarf artificer that says whenever a creature you control that’s enchanted or equipped attacks, that creature gains Double Strike until end of turn. Alright, so we’re gonna suit up and go aggro. Here are some of the best cards I pulled that led me to this strategy.

  • Armored Skyhunter - This kitty gives us some of the best card advantage in the deck.
  • Rebbec, Architect of Ascension - Rebbec will give all of our weapons protection, but she’s also great for the few artifact creatures we have in the deck.
  • Open the Armory - A perfect tutor for this deck.
  • Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist - Wanna load all of your equipment and auras onto one big creature for a one-shot kill? You got it. Need to move Faith’s Fetters to a bigger threat? No problem.
  • Akroma’s Will - What a fantastic finisher! I sadly didn’t get Akroma, Vision of Ixidor in my box, but this spell is sure to close out some games on its own.
  • Port Razer - Extra combats? Heck yes I like extra combats. Since attacking is the name of the game here, this orc pirate makes perfect sense.

And last I want to point out that I pulled both the white and the red Courts in my box, (Court of Grace and Court of Ire), so red/white was definitely meant to be. With as aggressive as this deck is going to be, my opponents are going to have a really hard time keeping the crown of my head.

Here’s the full decklist:

1 Reyav, Master Smith
1 Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist
1 Armored Skyhunter
1 Bladegriff Prototype
1 Burnished Hart
1 Champion of the Flame
1 Fathom Fleet Swordjack
1 Foundry Inspector
1 Kangee's Lieutenant
1 Kediss, Emberclaw Familiar
1 Keleth, Sunmane Familiar
1 Kor Cartographer
1 Lumengrid Gargoyle
1 Maelstrom Colossus
1 Pilgrim's Eye
1 Port Razer
1 Rebbec, Architect of Ascension
1 Trusty Packbeast
1 Amorphous Axe
1 Ancestral Blade
1 Angelic Armaments
1 Armillary Sphere
1 Armory of Iroas
1 Commander's Sphere
1 Dispeller's Capsule
1 Dreamstone Hedron
1 Fire Diamond
1 Grafted Wargear
1 Haunted Cloak
1 Hero's Blade
1 Loreseeker's Stone
1 Marble Diamond
1 Meteoric Mace
1 Pennon Blade
1 Pirate's Cutlass
1 Scroll Rack
1 Seer's Lantern
1 Sisay's Ring
1 Spectral Searchlight
1 Sunset Pyramid
1 Angelic Gift
1 Benevolent Blessing
1 Burning Anger
1 Cage of Hands
1 Court of Grace
1 Court of Ire
1 Dragon Mantle
1 Faith's Fetters
1 Undying Rage
1 Vow of Lightning
1 Akroma's Will
1 Make a Stand
1 Return to Dust
1 Skywhaler's Shot
1 Soul's Fire
1 Stonefury
1 Welding Sparks
1 Blasphemous Act
1 Iona's Judgment
1 Jeska's Will
1 Open the Armory
1 Portent of Betrayal
1 Command Tower
1 Guildless Commons
16 Mountain
1 Opal Palace
1 Path of Ancestry
17 Plains
1 Terramorphic Expanse

As with any regular EDH deck, when building a deck from a box, you want to make sure to still include as many cards as possible for ramp, card draw or advantage, and removal. This Reyav deck includes 10 ramp cards, 11 removal cards including a Blasphemous Act, and 7 draw/advantage cards. This is pretty well in line with a normal deck, except we’re a little short in the draw/advantage category. Not surprising, since this is a Boros deck and the red/white color combo struggles with card draw.

A Real, Honest-To-Goodness, Elfball!

Preview season for this set was so fun. There are so many cool new cards in this set that had me grinning for hours after they were previewed. Abomination of Llanowar is one of those cards. I love everything about this card. Design and flavor all came together in a really sweet way. So when I looked back at the cards I opened in my box and realized I could make a great elf deck, I couldn’t say no to the elfball.

Abomination has x/x power and toughness, where x is equal to the number of elves we have in play and in the graveyard. It also has Vigilance and Menace. This is going to be another deck where we’re focused on getting creatures into our opponents’ faces, but unlike Reyav where we want to suit up a creature or two, here we’re looking for strength in numbers. There were also some solid picks for +1/+1 counters that really synergized with the elves, so I included some of those as well. Now let’s look at some of the best cards I pulled that led me into building this deck.

  • Immaculate Magistrate and Numa, Joraga Chieftain - The elves are really gelling with the +1/+1 counters in this set. So we’re leaning into that.
  • Miara, Thorn of the Glade - With Abomination, we’re not going to be terribly sad about our elves going to the graveyard, and Miara makes it hurt even less by giving us some card draw when they go.
  • Elvish Dreadlord - Mass removal in limited is hard to come by, so I couldn’t pass this up. When you resolve the Dreadlord’s Encore ability, you’re going to wipe the board at the end of the turn, because the tokens will die, causing all non-elf creatures to get -9/-9. There’s not much out there that won’t die to this, except for our elves, of course.
  • Pride of the Perfect, Imperious Perfect, and Brass Herald - these three all act as pump anthems for all of the elves. Brass Herald doesn’t count itself as an elf, but maybe we can change that with an Amorphous Axe.
  • Eyeblight Massacre - This won’t clear out the big threats, but could potentially take care of anyone filling the field with tokens, which is another strong strategy in this set.
  • Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools - Tevesh Szat is especially good, because we’re going to have a lot of little elves running around and I won’t mind sacrificing some of them for card draw.

And the full list!

1 Abomination of Llanowar
1 Annoyed Altisaur
1 Armorcraft Judge
1 Brass Herald
1 Briarblade Adept
1 Elvish Doomsayer
1 Elvish Dreadlord
1 Elvish Visionary
1 Entourage of Trest
1 Exquisite Huntmaster
1 Eyeblight Cullers
1 Farhaven Elf
1 Fertilid
1 Fin-Clade Fugitives
1 Fyndhorn Elves
1 Gilanra, Caller of Wirewood
1 Gilt-Leaf Winnower
1 Immaculate Magistrate
1 Imperious Perfect
1 Ivy Lane Denizen
1 Lumengrid Gargoyle
1 Lys Alana Bowmaster
1 Miara, Thorn of the Glade
1 Nadier's Nightblade
1 Nadier, Agent of the Duskenel
1 Nightshade Harvester
1 Noxious Dragon
1 Numa, Joraga Chieftain
1 Rakshasa Debaser
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Rootweaver Druid
1 Sentinel Spider
1 Slurrk, All-Ingesting
1 Thorn of the Black Rose
1 Wildheart Invoker
1 Amorphous Axe
1 Armillary Sphere
1 Armory of Iroas
1 Charcoal Diamond
1 Commander's Sphere
1 Haunted Cloak
1 Moss Diamond
1 Universal Solvent
1 Ordeal of Nylea
1 Pride of the Perfect
1 Vow of Torment
1 Vow of Wildness
1 Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools
1 Ancient Animus
1 Cast Down
1 Crushing Vines
1 Hunter's Insight
1 Lifecrafter's Gift
1 Murder
1 Natural Reclamation
1 Supernatural Stamina
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Wildsize
1 Bitter Revelation
1 Eyeblight Massacre
1 Strength of the Pack
1 Three Visits
1 Victimize
1 Command Tower
16 Forest
1 Opal Palace
1 Path of Ancestry
16 Swamp
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Undergrowth Stadium

With this deck we’ve got 10 ramp cards, 11 removal cards, and 10 draw/advantage cards. So we did well with our EDH foundation on this one. The deck should hum along like any normal constructed EDH deck, and even has a decent mana curve.

A Word on Boxing Leagues

Recently there have been a lot of people playing in “boxing leagues,” including people in the Commander Rules Committee. To play in one of these leagues, you open a booster box and build a Commander deck out of it, like I did here. And then you play that deck against other people in the league. And it doesn’t have to be Commander Legends, you can do this with any set. Although I’m sure Commander Legends is the most perfectly suited set for this. Then for the next round you open more packs, possibly of a different set, and you can update your deck using cards from those new packs. Different leagues have different rules and lengths, so if something like this interests you, you can ask around on Twitter or various EDH Discord groups. Or just start a group with your friends! I personally don’t have time to dedicate to a league because of my day job and content creation, but I’ve heard that people have been having a lot of fun with it.

That’s all I got for you today, my friends! I hope you enjoyed seeing what kind of decks I was able to put together from just one booster box of Commander Legends. If you open a box yourself, definitely give it a try and see what you can come up with. This is a fantastic set, with so many possibilities for paths to deck-building, you shouldn't have any trouble making something fun.

I’m not done talking about this set, so make sure to check back in two weeks for my next article to see what I put together. Don’t forget to catch me streaming with Scrap Trawlers at twitch.tv/scraptrawlers. We’re doing a special charity event for our December episode where you can win raffle prizes by donating to No Kid Hungry, an organization dedicated to getting rid of childhood hunger in the U.S. For full details, find the pinned tweet on my Twitter at @AndyZupke.

Until next time, take care of yourselves. And play lots of games!