Howl’s it going, everybody? Welcome back to Cardsphere! Autumn is upon us and it’s time to celebrate the harvest and all things spooky. So hang your coat on the meat hook and pull up a chair, as we continue to chew the fat about all the Commander potential from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt.
Last time we talked about my picks for the best cards from the set. Today we’re going to look at 5 potential commanders and how I’d brew them. Tuck in!
Our first course for the evening is a green and white legendary human.
Katilda, Dawnhart Prime has protection from werewolves, an ability that won’t often be relevant in a game of Commander. But her second ability makes her almost like a
Cryptolith Rite in the command zone if we’re playing a humans deck. You can also tap her, plus six more mana, to put a +1/+1 counter each creature you control. Let’s be honest, we probably won’t be activating that terribly often. So let’s focus on the mana ability, as that seems to be the best one to build around.
We know we want to go wide with humans. Both cards and tokens, most likely. But aside from combat, what’s our win condition? I’m liking
Shaman of Forgotten Ways, which is
Biorhythm on a creature. If we’re going wide, we know we’ll have the power needed to activate the shaman, and if we play right, we’ll almost always come out ahead. From there it’s just a matter of getting through for those last few points of damage. But all our little humans aren’t going to cause much damage, so they’ll need to be pumped up. For that we’re enlisting the help from another legend, this one from the Midnight Hunt Commander product,
Kyler, Sigardian Emissary. With all the humans we’ll be dropping, Kyler is going to make our army very swole indeed.
But let’s not put the cart before the horse. How are we getting there? We’ve gotta make the most of our human army, so we’re bringing in an outsider.
Nyxbloom Ancient is an elemental, so doesn’t exactly fit in with the human theme. But it does mean that our humans will tap for three mana instead of just one. Definitely a worthy inclusion.
We’re going to be tapping our creatures a lot, so let’s use that.
Throne of the God-Pharaoh will make our opponents lose life equal to the number of tapped creatures we control at the end of each of our turns.
Harvest Season will fetch out a basic land for each tapped creature we control. And if you’re worried about opponents swinging in through all of your tapped humans, just drop a
Masako the Humorless at instant speed.
Still not enough mana? Let’s untap them all for more!
Gideon, Martial Paragon untaps our creatures and buffs them. Great for making mana and then swinging in, assuming we’re not looking to just make more mana by tapping them again. We’ve also got
To Arms!, and
Haste will also be crucial to this deck, as we’ll want to tap creatures for mana as soon as they drop. So let’s throw in a
Concordant Crossroads, and
To have the biggest army of mana dorks possible, we’ll play
Gather the Townsfolk,
Join the Dance,
Maja, Bretagard Protector,
Call the Coppercoats, and
Visions of Glory. Then we’ll want to double those tokens with
Parallel Lives, and
Our next dish is best served cold.
Ludevic, Necrogenius is a human wizard who Mills a card whenever he enters or attacks. Then we can pay X, 2 blue, and 2 black, and exile X creature cards from our graveyard, to transform Ludevic into Olag, Ludevic’s Hubris. Olag then becomes a copy of a creature exiled this way, except it’s a 4/4 and keeps its name, and gets +1/+1 counters for each creature exiled.
All right, well that was a lot of text. The goal of the deck is to find fun creatures to turn Ludevic into, and then swing. Basically, we’re building a voltron deck. So what are some cool creatures to turn him into?
Invisible Stalker is perfect, as we’ll then have a Hexproof and unblockable commander. Or how about
Phage the Untouchable? We don’t have to worry about that enters the battlefield trigger since it won’t be entering the battlefield. We can one-shot our opponents with help from cards like
Rogue’s Passage or
Or how about some Eldrazi?
It That Betrays and
Pathrazer of Ulamog are some of my favorites for this deck. You can also pick
Mindleech Mass to swing in and get some free goodies from your opponents’ hands. Or a
Scion of Draco would be great, since Olag will stay blue and black he’ll get Hexproof, Lifelink, and Flying.
We’ll need several methods for getting creatures into the yard. For self-mill, we’ll use
Gyruda, Doom of Depths,
Doom Whisperer. For tutors we’ve got
Oriq Loremage. And for discard we have
Merfolk Looter, and
As with any voltron deck, we’ll need plenty of ways to protect ourselves. But with this deck we’ll not only need to protect our commander, we’ll also have to protect our graveyard from cards like
Bojuka Bog and
Scavenger Grounds. For that we’ll need to counter triggered and activated abilities, so we’ll throw in
Sublime Epiphany. To keep Ludevic in the game, we’ve got
Mirror Shield, and
If getting our opponents to 21 damage is too time-consuming, then we can speed up the process by adding in some Infect, with
Tainted Strike, and
Phyresis. We can also find ways to make him even bigger, with
Blackblade Reforged and
Strata Scythe among the best cards for the job.
Slogurk, the Overslime is a 3/3 ooze with trample that gets a +1/+1 counter whenever a land card is put into our graveyard from anywhere. We can remove three +1/+1 counters from Slogurk to bounce it to our hand, and whenever it leaves the battlefield we can grab 3 land cards from the yard and put them in our hand.
The quickest way to drop some counters on Slogurk will be fetch lands. Anything you can sacrifice to go find more lands.
Flooded Strand, and
Wooded Foothills are all great, but definitely have a price tag on them. We can use cheap ones, like
Evolving Wilds and
Myriad Landscape, and
Blighted Woodland. You can also use lands that sacrifice for abilities. Land killers like
Field of Ruin, and
Strip Mine are perfect.
Lotus Field and
Lotus Vale are also stellar. And if you’re looking to get around the slowness of lands coming in tapped,
Amulet of Vigor is here to help you out.
We’ll need other ways to sacrifice lands, so we’ll add
Walk the Aeons,
Edge of Autumn,
Soldevi Sage, and the biggest of them all, a must-have for this deck,
Scapeshift. We can also discard lands with cards like
Ayula’s Influence and
If we want ways to get those lands back, aside from using our commander’s ability, we can toss in
Life From the Loam,
The Mending of Dominaria,
Ramunap Excavator, and
Crucible of Worlds. I’d also highly recommend ways to play extra lands, like
Azusa, Lost but Seeking,
Wrenn and Seven, and
If we’re looking to win with commander damage, we’ll want some Proliferate effects. We’ll use
Sword of Truth and Justice,
Contagion Engine, and
Contagion Clasp. Let’s also throw in
The Ozolith to save our counters if Slogurk bites it, and
Tanazir Quandrix to double its counters.
For win-cons outside of commander damage, we’ll add
Simic Ascendancy, which is sure to get up to 20 counters in no time, and
Titania, Protector of Argoth to flood the board with elemental tokens.
For our main course, we’re serving up a vampire noble that digs through your library. The more you drain your opponents’ life points, the further you get to dig.
Florian, Voldaren Scion is a very nuanced commander for a couple of reasons. First, its ability will get weaker as the game goes on, because your opponents will have less life to drain. As their life totals get lower, they're going to guard those precious life points more violently and the less life there is to lose, the less you get to dig. Second, you not only have to find creative ways to drain your opponents for massive amounts of life so you can see as many cards as possible, you have to do it cheaply. Because that card you get to exile with Florian’s ability can only be cast on that turn, so you’ll need the mana left to be able to cast it. Unless you want to just play a land, of course. In which case, I highly recommend you run the
Cabal Coffers and
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth pair. You’ll need the extra mana, but you’ll also have a really good way to dig for them, so why not?
Some of my favorite ways to drain large amounts of life are
Torgaar, Famine Incarnate,
Tree of Perdition,
Repay in Kind (one of my pet cards), and
Choice of Damnations.
For some extra life loss, we’ll also play
Wound Reflection, which won’t add to Florian’s ability but is good nonetheless,
Xantcha, Sleeper Agent,
Angrath, the Flame-Chained,
Spitfire Lagac, and
Vial Smasher the Fierce. You can also run a ton of
Dragon’s Approach, as Josh Lee Kwai showed off on Game Knights.
Prosper, Tome-Bound is perfect for this deck, since we’ll be playing a lot of cards from exile and we’ll need the extra mana that Prosper will provide us through treasures.
Jeska’s Will is also a must-have for almost any red deck, including this one.
For some extra card draw potential, we’ll use
Pain’s Reward, and
And since we’re already benefiting off our opponents’ suffering, we might as well make the most of it with an
For dessert, we’re taking
Goblin Electromancer to the next level.
Vadrik, Astral Archmage makes your instants and sorceries cost X less to cast, where X is his power. You get to put a +1/+1 counter on him whenever Day and Night switch as well. So if you’re looking to cast huge spells for a discount, Vadrik’s your guy.
We’re not going to just rely on Night and Day switching to boost him. Let’s power him up with cards like
Wizard Class, and
Adeliz, the Cinder Wind. You can also throw a
Commander’s Plate on him to pump him for 3 and give him protection from green, white, and black.
What kind of big spells are we looking to cast?
Dig Through Time,
Sea Gate Restoration // Sea Gate, Reborn,
Mnemonic Deluge, and
Apex of Power are all huge spells that will be a lot more fun when they’re easier on the old mana wallet.
We’ll also want some X spells for our big finishers. Cards like
Crackle with Power,
Jaya’s Immolating Inferno come to mind. Other great X spells are
Commander’s Insight for card draw,
Finale of Promise for spell recursion, and
Mass Manipulation so you can gather all your opponents’ creatures in your arms like you just won a huge poker pot.
We’re gonna want big payoffs for our big spells, so let’s add in
Zaffai, Thunder Conductor,
Volcanic Vision, and
And we’ll want to keep Vadrik safe, so we’ll throw in
Esior, Wardwing Familiar,
Winged Boots, and
Swiftfoot Boots. Then to protect our big spells, we’ll add
Thryx, the Sudden Storm and
These are all really fun commanders, and I can’t wait to see what kind of decks people are going to brew with them. I’m hoping to build one or two of them myself! Hit me up on Twitter at @AndyZupke and let me know which legendary creature from Midnight Hunt got you howling the most for a new deck. You can also catch me streaming Sundays at 7:30 Central at twitch.tv/scraptrawlers for some budget EDH fun.
Until next time, take care. And play lots of games!