The Commander’s Chair – The Redemption
Earlier this year I helped a kid at the local store build a Caw-Blade deck. Jace, The Mind Sculptor and Stoneforge Mystic were dominating the format and he was having a tough time getting all the pieces together. I was only able to get him the cards he needed with the help of the online community. As a result, my collection got jostled around in a major way. I ended up losing some value, which was both expected and not a big deal. I did benefit in one way; I ended up staring at a Japanese foil Doubling Season.
This card has been sitting in my I-am-never-going-to-trade-these-cards binder for several months without finding a home. I was talking to a good friend of Red Site Wins, Chas Andres, about his highly impressive cube. You all probably know who Chas is. He is one of the big name financial writers over at Channel Fireball. If you do any sort of trading, I suggest reading his articles. He is also the reason many of you are reading this article today. Chas wrote about my experience with the kid and trade sharks in the shop. As a result, our overall readers doubled overnight. Back to the story, Chas and me made a trade in which I received one of the single coolest cards I have ever seen. This week in the mail I received a Japanese foil Tooth and Nail. Hallelujah!!
I decided that these two cards needed to be in a deck. I also realized that just shoving them into an existing deck would not be good enough. It is bad enough to have a Doubling Season without a home. It is worse to have both of these cards collecting dust and not being played. These two cards needed to be in a deck where they would be at home among other cards of their caliber. As a result, I have decided to build an all foreign and foil deck. I looked through my collection to see what other little gems had been collecting dust and looking for a home. I found my foil Hebrew Glory, which is my favorite card that I never play. I also found a Foil Japanese Door of Destinies. Apparently me and Uriah Oxford, CMDRdecks, think in very similar ways, because when I posted a picture of the first few cards for this deck he immediately guessed the commander I had chosen.
You might be asking yourself, “Why would this guy choose Rhys, wasn’t the last deck he pimped Arcum Dagsson?” Basically, I want to play a fun deck this time. Arcum is very good at winning and being consistent. I want to play a deck that is consistently fun to play with other people. There is no reason to have another all foil power deck sitting in my backpack gathering dust. Rhys works great with both Doubling Season and Door of Destinies. Tripling the number of tokens in play for 6 mana is spicy. Having those tokens get larger and larger as the game goes on is even better. I decided to go with a tribal sub-theme for the deck that should make things more casual.
Let us go over the list;
Buffs | Lords
- Ajani Goldmane – Ajani got the go ahead in this deck because of Doubling Season. Being able to put out 2 tokens that are equal to your life total, while keeping Ajani in play is pretty darn ridiculous.
- Akroma’s Memorial – There are not a ton of ways to give your creatures haste in GW. Since Concordant Crossroads is unavailable in Foreign and Foil, Akroma’s Memorial will be fulfilling that need alone.
- Beastmaster Ascension – This is an absurd card for token decks. I have seen this activated almost every time it hits the battlefield.
- Coat of Arms – This is the classic tribal artifact. This is in here for nostalgic reasons more than anything else. Although, boosting all elves with each activation of Rhys isn’t the worst thing ever.
- Door of Destinies – The inspiration for the deck being tribal. J
- Elesh Norn, Crang Cenobite – The praetors are all ridiculously good in Commander. Elesh Norn is in here as the main Tooth and Nail target.
- Elvish Archdruid – In a tribal deck, you need some of the tribe to be present. Elvish Archdruid is my favorite elf lord because of the generous amounts of mana and the lord boost.
- Ezuri, Renegade Leader – There are few things that beat repeatable overrun effects, in a token deck.
- Glory – As I mentioned earlier, this is one of my favorite cards. It was the only card ever printed in Hebrew. I have finally found a deck to play it in.
- Joraga Warcaller – Another elf lord! The warcaller scales really nicely as the game progresses and the amount of mana the deck will generate more mana.
- Kamahl, Fist of Krosa – What did I say earlier about repeatable overrun effects? Kamahl has a secondary purpose when you Tooth and Nail for him + Elesh Norn for some land destruction.
- Mirari’s Wake – As both a buff and a mana accelerant, the wake is good in almost all GW decks.
- Mirror Entity – Admittedly, I need some combo in my deck. Mirror Entity is part of the whole Reivelark combo package. He is also awesome on his own, since he makes the tiny little elves into a force to be reckoned with. This is another Tooth and Nail Target alongside Avenger of Zendikar for some fun times. Everything becoming plant elves is surprisingly useful.
- Sword of Paruns – This one may look a little off. I swear it is good. Basically, I equip it to a creature that can generate 4+ mana and generate infinite mana. Until I get one of those creatures, it gives one of my creatures double battle cry or my army into an army of walls.
- Arbor Elf – You need a certain number of forests in play for this to be good, that shouldn’t be a problem.
- Bloom Tender – Since Rhys is a hybrid card, Bloom Tender will be tapping for 2 more often than not.
- Boreal Druid – Colorless is not the best, but Fynhorn Elves is not available in foil.
- Devoted Druid – There might be some shenanigans with this later. I won’t be using the untap ability much while Doubling Season is in play.
- Elvish Harbinger – I should probably put this into the tutor section over the mana ramp. It does both, which is really good.
- Heritage Druid – I don’t have the Nettle Sentinel combo in here, but I am happy to be able to use some elves for mana the turn they come into play. Even when something locks the tokens down, this gives them a purpose.
- Joraga Treespeaker – Level Up and Doubling Season work really well together. If this can get to the highest level, things will get crazy very quickly.
- Llanowar Elves – I wish I could run more of these, but the one will have to do.
- Mul Daya Channelers – I really like looking at the top card of my library. This isn’t the last card you will see with that ability.
- Oracle of Mul Daya – See what I mean? Oracle of Mul Daya is a great accelerator and deck thinner. This makes it good in both the early and late games.
- Primeval Titan – Do I really need to say anything? You all know this card is good.
- Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary – Rofellos is the best in mono-green decks. In a heavy green deck like this, he will do just fine. He is one of the few creatures that can go infinite with the Sword of Paruns.
- Seedborn Muse – I want to use Rhys every turn, is that so wrong?
- Wirewood Channeler – he isn’t quite Elvish Archdruid, but I am not complaining either. He is the best creature to go infinite with since he can create any color of mana.
- Avenger of Zendikar – Like Primeval Titan, I am pretty sure you already know how absurdly powerful this card is. Now imagine it with Doubling Season, fun times.
- Doubling Season – I have always seen Doubling Season as the poster child of casual Magic. This cards price and popularity has absolutely nothing to do with competitive Magic, and we are happy to keep it that way.
- Elspeth Knight-Errant – I don’t really like the new Elspeth. I would rather have all my permanents be indestructible than destroy everything. With Doubling Season, that could happen immediately. J
- Elvish Promenade – There are a surprisingly few number of cards that create elf tokens. I am happy to have one that makes so many.
- Flourishing Defenses – There is only one use for this card; Coat of Arms + Devoted Druid + Flourishing Defenses = Infinite Tokens. I need some combos in here as finishers.
- Garruk, Primal Hunter – I chose the Primal Hunter over the original Garruk because there is more of a need for card draw than I need Overrun effects.
- Hero of Bladehold – A token generator + buffing all tokens is pretty darn impressive. Even though this isn’t an elf, being able to pump all the elves makes her worthwhile.
- Imperious Perfect – A token generator + buffing all elves is exactly what this deck needs. Imperious Perfect is always a friend of Rhys.
- Lys Alana Huntmaster – Probably the worst token generator in the deck. That says a lot for how good the rest of the token generation being run.
- Abundance – My favorite budget enchantment. Early game it ensures you hit your land drops and late game it insures you keep getting gas.
- Garruk’s Horde – I think I have mentioned that I like looking at the top card of my library. I like playing it even better. As a non-abusive Tooth and Nail pairing, Garruk’s Horde and Oracle of Mul Daya let you play most of the cards off the top of the deck. It’s like having a green Futuresight in GW.
- Greater Good – Having a decent sac outlet is always a good thing. Kozilek is obviously the preferred target here, but any decently size creature will do.
- Kozilek, Butcher of Truth – I suppose if I have to choose between this and Harmonize, I will take the monstrous body over the reduced mana cost.
- Mentor of the Meek – I have been dying to give this guy a try. With Rhys and others pumping out tokens, this might be the best card draw in the colors.
- Primordial Sage – If mentor of the Meek isn’t the best card draw, this guy is.
- Regal Force – This should usually be pretty bonkers and hopefully never just a cantrip. Tooth and Nail for this and Avenger of Zendikar to make sure you are never low on cards again!
- Sensei’s Divining Top – Not all of my ideas are original, sue me. This works really well with Oracle of Mul Daya, Garruk’s Horde and Mul Daya Channelers.
- Skull Clamp – With Rhys pumping out a small horde of tokens, Skull Clamp can dig you through your deck in no time at all.
- Academy Rector – I don’t have a great way to sacrifice her. However, when she finally dies get ready to see Doubling Season!
- Chord of Calling – The conspire ability and instant speed of this card make it particularly good in a token deck.
- Fauna Shaman – Let us be honest here. This is only because survival comes in foil or foreign and not both. Oh, and it is an elf.
- Green Sun’s Zenith – Banned in Modern, this is still great in Commander. I even have a Dryad Arbor on the list for some early game shenanigens.
- Idyllic Tutor – I really want to get Doubling Season out.
- Skyshroud Poacher – This card is amazing. I do not understand why I don’t see it more.
- Stoneforge Mystic – I am glad they didn’t put this on the Commander ban list. Skull Clamp and Sword of Paruns are worth having this in as a tutor.
- Tooth and Nail – This is the biggest and best tutor on the list.
- Eternal Witness – I think every green deck needs to play Eternal Witness. I am not entirely clear of a good reason not to, aside from “I don’t own one.”
- Reveillark – Reveilark and Eternal Witness make for a perfect combination to get back the cards that go to the yard.
- Saffi Eriksdotter – If you dig around a little online, you will find out how this has the possibility of going infinite with Reveillark.
- Sun Titan – There are 66 targets in the deck for Sun Titan. I think that is good enough to run him.
- Aura Shards – I hope my opponents don’t like artifacts or enchantments. Aura Shards is an artifacts worst enemy.
- Austere Command – This is my favorite white wrath. I like the ability to wipe out the big baddies while keeping all my tokens alive.
- Hallowed Burial – Go Tuck yourself! With so much abuse of graveyards, this is one of the few effective wraths out there.
- Martial Coup – It is a token wrath, how could I resist. This works awesome with both Coat of Arms and Doubling Season.
There are lands in this deck, but they are super boring to talk about.
I will be building this deck as fast as I can. That means it still might take forever. If you have any of the cards, please let me know and email me at swordstoplow(at)gmail(dot)com. I will be updating with how I got each card and the status of the deck. It would be awesome to get it all together by worlds, but that is probably a pipe dream.
It has been awhile since I ran the first Reaper King contest. The next contest will be ZOMBIES!! The only rules are that your Commander must be the Mimeoplasm and you must have at least 25 cards in the deck that either Zombie creatures or cards that generate zombie tokens. Please submit your entries to swordstoplow(at)gmail(dot)com. Multiple prizes will be given out. The deadline will be midnight PST on Halloween. The winner of this contest will receive this, in addition to an Innistrad fatpack;
P.S. Go check out my Accumulated Knowledge series over at http://www.commandercast.com/
Posted on October 6, 2011, in Articles, Extras, The Commander's Chair and tagged casual, Commander, Commander's Chair, EDH, Magic the Gathering, MTGO, Multiplayer, SwordsToPlow. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.