Creating a powerful, yet fun, Commander deck is always a challenge. One major problem that arises is everyone’s differing interpretation of ‘fun’. I’ve covered this topic in previous articles (and probably will in the future too).
Today I want to share with you my most powerful Commander deck that still adheres to my definition of fun. I’ll walk you through the mental process I undertook to build this deck, step by step, to give you an idea of how I build for Commander.
Brainstorming (Also Pondering) a Theme
I always feel compelled to incorporate a theme into Commander decks I create. One theme I had always wanted to explore was deck manipulation and cards that benefit from it.
These are a few examples of cards I thought of to ‘fix’ my deck. The next step was finding cards to take advantage of this.
Here are a couple of cards that synergize well with knowing the top cards of your library. Other mechanics I looked at were clash, cascade, and miracle. All of these work very nicely when you can manipulate your library.
With cards like this in mind, I started to think about a Commander.
The Perfect Commander for the Job
I’ve had this idea in mind for quite a while. During that time the best commander option was Intet, the Dreamer. I toyed around with this idea with her at the helm, but never really filled out a decklist until this guy was spoiled:
Maelstrom Wanderer! Could it get any better than this? He was perfect in every way for the deck. Not only is he blue and green, he is super aggressive and can single-handedly kill in three swings with commander damage. This was the card that finally set my idea in motion.
I began by assembling a list of cards that reordered my library or put cards on top of it somehow. Here is what the deck currently uses:
There are just enough to reliably see a few each game. Obviously the repeatable ones are best, especially Scroll Rack, but cards like Brainstorm and Preordain are always helpful right before casting Maelstrom Wanderer.
So, how do I take advantage of all this manipulation? Here’s the awesome part:
These cards provide various types of advantage. Some cheat creatures into play, some cast cards for free, some ramp mana, and some provide simple card advantage. All of these are powerful tools in Commander.
As you can see, the theme takes up a good chunk of the deck. I decided to fill out another good portion of the deck with sweet cascade targets for Maelstrom Wanderer.
The first four provide ‘wrath’ effects before Maelstrom Wanderer resolves (remember, the cascades happen first, then Maelstrom Wanderer enters the battlefield). Palinchron and Great Whale are fun to cascade into because they make Maelstrom Wanderer almost free, and are also large hasty creatures thanks to Maelstrom Wanderer’s other ability.
I also run a bunch of other powerful cards with large mana costs to get the best use of Maelstrom Wanderer’s cascades:
These provide threats to cascade into or simply hardcast. These enormous creatures also benefit from haste, especially titans.
I filled out the rest of the deck with some awesome green ramp spells, a sol ring (duh), and a few other solid staples. Mana ramp is always amazing, and I needed a few ways to deal with artifacts:
Onto the lands:
Piloting Maelstrom Wanderer
This deck works very well. It is full of fun synergy that keeps the game interesting, and each game is usually unique.
There are a ton of fun things to do with this deck. Setting up a cascade into Great Whale or Palinchron, which allows me to pile on the threats the turn I cast Maelstrom Wanderer. Constantly floating a large monster on top with Lurking Predators. Transforming a lowly [card sakura-tribe elder]Sac-tribe[/card] into an Inferno Titan with Proteus Staff.
I like this deck because it is powerful, yet it doesn’t employ any ridiculous combos. It simply utilizes quality synergy to keep threats on the board as often as possible. No annoying counterspells, no boring land destruction, just pure monster assault (although I may cheat them out a few turns early).
This is the type of deck I strive to create. I want it to be powerful, because losing every game sucks, but I don’t want to do annoying things to my opponents. If getting killed by large expensive creatures is annoying, then Commander is probably not the format for you.
If you have any suggestions or ideas for this deck feel free to post them in the comments. I am always looking for improvements to my decks.
Thanks for reading!