Embracing The Chaos - Embracing Animar
On Monday, we previewed Animar, Soul of Elements, and I suggested some cards that might go with it. Today, I'm suggesting a build for an Animar deck that looks fun, interesting, and not too threatening (although I imagine if it's allowed to keep too many creatures in play, it'll be scary).
I'm putting together this particular deck for two reasons—three if you count “building decks is fun and cool.” First, I promised that in Week 8 of Armada Games' League 10, I'd run out decks with two different new Commanders. Second, this past week, Armada owners Aaron and Michael Fortino thought that it'd be a neat idea to offer in Week 8 a points bonus for running Commanders (from the new product) of a specific wedge—and asked me to pick the wedge. I like this color combination, and I'm interested in seeing what folks do with it. There are a number of directions to go, for sure. I've chosen the proliferate and “+1/+1 counters matter” themes. (See other official spoiled Commander Deck cards here.)
ANIMAR, SOUL OF ELEMENTS
Blade of the Bloodchief
ARTIFACT CREATURES (4)
Ashling the Pilgrim
Avenger of Zendikar
Djinn of Wishes
Glen Elendra Archmage
Jugan, the Rising Star
Myojin of Seeing Winds
Nin, the Pain Artist
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
Ulasht, the Hate Seed
Braid of Fire
Survival of the Fittest
Fuel for the Cause
Whim of Volrath
Theft of Dreams
Maze of Ith
Minamo, School at Water's Edge
Oran-Rief, the Vastwood
Tower of the Magistrate
BASIC LANDS (19)
I considered Ion Storm, but there's just not enough red to make it worthwhile. I also considered Myojin of Life's Web (post Greater Good!), but it was also too janky. One of the deck's dreams is to be able to get extra counters on the blue Myojin and go from there.
You'll see a few new cards in there: Nin, and some that have been previewed this week on the official site: Command Tower and Hydra Omnivore. Edric, Spymaster of Trest is notably missing. I'm still a little skittish about letting my opponents draw cards. Maybe if I were also playing Jin-Gitaxias and Vorinclex, I'd think about it. I'm going to think more about Vow of Wildness. For its price, it seems good to put on your own guy, and at least if that guy gets stolen, you can get hit with it.
Whim of Volrath is a Michael Fortino special. He pointed out that it keeps the chicanery of Omnath in check while being able to be bought back for a low, low price. Added to that, it gives me the chance to change Animar's protection, and it seems like a nice, flexible choice.
You might also be wondering about Theft of Dreams. I'd like to see how good it is in practice. Obviously, it's a beating after a Cryptic Command, but even early game, drawing two or three cards is nice for the mana. Late-game possibilities have significant upside, so we'll see.
This is a first draft, and we have six weeks to go before it gets played, so feel free to comment, suggest, and point me in a few directions (keeping the basic theme in mind). There are better Magic minds than my own reading this column, so I imagine there will be a few changes in the coming weeks. I'll post the final list the week I play it.
Now to some new-ish art in higher resolution. Presenting Avatar of Slaughter.
Art by Jason A. Engle. All preview links or copies must be accompanied
by artist credit, WotC Copyright, and preview sourced to StarCityGames.com.