Kodama of the Dollar Tree - A Commander Deck Tech

Andy Zupke • March 8, 2022

Hello friends! Welcome back to Cardsphere. A few weeks ago I wrote an article that talked about the reasons why now is the best time there has ever been for playing Commander on a budget. So to follow up on that, I thought I’d bring you a deck tech today for a Neon Dynasty commander that gets the job done for just pocket change. It’s a commander so good you’ll never wanna leave (yes, they pay me for this.) It’s Kodama of the West Tree.

Kodama’s latest direction shows off the new keyword Modified, by giving all of your Modified creatures Trample. And not only that, it’s also a huge ramp engine that fetches a ridiculous amount of basic lands out of your deck when your Modified creatures hit an opponent. It’s a green commander through and through. And we’re going to use our vast resources to punch people in their faces.

I considered focusing specifically on just one facet of Modified, and using creatures with +1/+1 counters. But then we’re not really doing a Modified deck, are we? That’s just a counters deck, and that’s kinda boring. Been there, done that. I want to use all the different types of modifications in this deck to show how they can all work together. So let’s look at how they’re all represented.

Suit Up

We’ll start with the equipment. Since the abilities of equipment are so varied, they’ll serve several purposes here. For protection we’ve got Swiftfoot Boots and Mirror Shield. For ramp there’s Prying Blade, Goldvein Pick, and Explorer’s Scope. There’s some card advantage with Infiltration Lens. And then there’s good old-fashioned beat-down equipment with Skyclave Pick-Axe, Colossus Hammer, and Bronze Cudgels. And since our creatures will have Trample, we’ll want to throw in some Deathtouch with Gorgon’s Head.

The least represented of the three components of Modified in this deck is auras. I went with more equipment since they’re more resilient, as they stick around when the attached creature dies. But I still snuck in a few good ones, like Alpha Authority for protection and Keen Sense for card draw, as well as Ordeal of Nylea and Blanchwood Armor for pumping effects.

Then the last component of the Modified mechanic is counters, and it applies to any type of counter. Aside from the creatures that come with their own - we’ll get to those later - we’ve got enchantments to pump our creatures with Roaring Earth, Grafted Growth, New Horizons, and Retreat to Kazandu. And there's even some lands too, with Tyrite Sanctum, Llanowar Reborn, and Oran-Rief, the Vastwood.

Stay Hydrated

Hydras are perfect for this deck, since most of them naturally come in with +1/+1 counters. Capricopian is a really fun, and underappreciated, addition to the deck, as it gives your opponents the chance to play “hot potato” to keep away a growing threat. Hungering Hydra is great for getting around pesky token decks because of its blocking ability. Managorger Hydra just keeps growing all the time, unless your opponents stop playing the game. Oran-Rief Hydra gets bigger whenever you drop a land, which goes, unsurprisingly, very well with Kodama’s abilities. And Phyrexian Hydra can be a real killer with the Trample Kodama gives it. Especially with all the ways the deck provides for putting extra +1/+1 counters on it to offset the -1/-1 counters it puts on itself.

Other members of our army include Loyal Guardian, which gives love to all of our friends when Kodama is out. Renata, Called to the Hunt drops counters on your creatures when they enter. The new Myojin of Towering Might comes with an Indestructible counter, and therefore, is an 8/8 with Trample right out the gate. Then you can remove that counter to make your monsters grow. Scavenging Ooze eats dead things, super helpful against graveyard decks. Thundering Mightmare enjoys sharing the love with its Soulbond ability. Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig, however, only cares about himself. But that’s nobility for you.

Then, of course, we’ve got a few utility creatures. The new Kosei, Penitent Warlord from Neon Dynasty’s Commander product just loves to have all kinds of modifications, and will thank you for it with extra cards and damage. Acidic Slime and Reclamation Sage, all-star budget legends, take out single targets. Regal Force can fill your hand back up, which is always crucial in a stompy deck. And Timeless Witness can bring you back something precious. And then we’ve got some creatures that help you get more mana, with Beanstalk Giant, Fyndhorn Elves, Karametra’s Acolyte, Llanowar Elves, and Tireless Provisioner.

Win-ter Clearance Sale

Now you may think that giving all your creatures Trample, attacking with them, and dropping excessive amounts of lands on the field so you can play more stuff is a good enough way to win games. And you’re not wrong, Kodama is a perfectly good win condition all by itself. But I hope you won’t begrudge me just a smidge of extra protection for our victory. Strength of Cedars only pumps one creature, yes. But when you use it to pump an already large creature that has Trample, with the bounteous amount of land that you’ll have on the field, Strength can easily take a single player out of the game. Which is often enough to help seal the win.

What’s better than giving all of your creatures Trample? Making them all unblockable, of course! Champion of Lambholt is here to fit that bill. We’re going to be dropping creatures on the field left and right, so the Champ will be big in no time. And let’s not forget all the other ways we have of making Champion bigger.

And last is a card that I use in my Damia, Sage of Stone deck to help me cast gigantic X spells. But we’re not using it for that in this deck. Rude Awakening can both untap all of our lands and make them all 2/2s. See where I’m going with this? You’ve spent the entire game using Kodama’s ability to make it rain Forests onto the field. So what better way to close out the game than to turn all those lands into an army? When you suddenly have 15 or more 2/2s, you’re likely to be able to close out the game.

Angry Orchard

Here’s the full decklist as well as a link to Archidekt where you can take the deck for a spin in playtest mode.

1 Acidic Slime
1 Alpha Authority
1 Arch of Orazca
1 Barrier Breach
1 Beanstalk Giant // Fertile Footsteps
1 Blanchwood Armor
1 Blighted Woodland
1 Boon Satyr
1 Bronze Cudgels
1 Capricopian
1 Champion of Lambholt
1 Colossus Hammer
1 Creeping Renaissance
1 Explorer's Scope
30 Forest
1 Fyndhorn Elves
1 Goldvein Pick
1 Gorgon's Head
1 Grafted Growth
1 Hungering Hydra
1 Infiltration Lens
1 Kamahl's Will
1 Karametra's Acolyte
1 Keen Sense
1 Kenrith's Transformation
1 Kodama of the West Tree
1 Kosei, Penitent Warlord
1 Krosan Grip
1 Lifecrafter's Bestiary
1 Llanowar Elves
1 Llanowar Reborn
1 Loyal Guardian
1 Managorger Hydra
1 Mirror Shield
1 Myojin of Towering Might
1 Myriad Landscape
1 New Horizons
1 Nissa, Who Shakes the World
1 Oran-Rief Hydra
1 Oran-Rief, the Vastwood
1 Ordeal of Nylea
1 Phyrexian Hydra
1 Prying Blade
1 Ram Through
1 Rampaging Baloths
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Regal Force
1 Renata, Called to the Hunt
1 Retreat to Kazandu
1 Return of the Wildspeaker
1 Return to Nature
1 Rishkar's Expertise
1 Roaring Earth
1 Rogue's Passage
1 Rude Awakening
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Shamanic Revelation
1 Silkguard
1 Skyclave Pick-Axe
1 Sol Ring
1 Strength of Cedars
1 Swiftfoot Boots
1 Sylvan Anthem
1 Thundering Mightmare
1 Time of Need
1 Timeless Witness
1 Tireless Provisioner
1 Tranquil Thicket
1 Tyrite Sanctum
1 Wrap in Vigor
1 Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig

Does the deck do anything outrageously original? Definitely not. It’s a green stompy deck through and through. But what the deck does do is show you how much power you can have on a small budget, while also having fun with the new Modified keyword.

If you’re looking to spend a little extra cash on some upgrades, you can try out Avabruck Caretaker, Hardened Scales, The Great Henge, Ohran Frostfang, or Toski, Bearer of Secrets.

Make Like a Tree, and Get Outta Here

There you have it, friends, a fun and powerful Kodama of the West Tree deck for $50. If you haven’t played Commander on a budget yet, I strongly urge you to give it a try. If you wanna see how much fun we have, then tune into the Scrap Trawlers channel Sunday nights at 7:30 Central at twitch.tv/scraptrawlers.

Hit me up on Twitter at @AndyZupke to let me know what you think of the deck. Or tell me about any other budget decks you’re brewing around Neon Dynasty legends.

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