Goeie naand Sean (Good evening Sean in Afrikaans; I am from South Africa)
I have been a huge fan of Commander (even when it was known as EDH) and have voraciously read every article on strategy and deck construction I could lay my hands on until I finally bit the bullet and built my first deck. It was a U/B/R deck with Nicol Bolas as the Commander. It was a fun deck and did surprisingly well in the 1v1 arena. I am however more interested in playing multiplayer Commander. I have also read a lot of articles about the "Group Hug" decks and more recently the "Bear Hug" deck.
While I love some of the components of these decks I don't much like the idea of not really doing much towards winning the game. I decided to build a deck using Rafiq of the Many as the Commander and disguise it as Group Hug-variant while setting up a creature beats win. This is the deck I am submitting to you for some help. The deck again works well in 1v1 but seems to suffer when there are more than three players. Please can you help my deck get its multiplayer groove on?
Here is the patient requiring urgent attention from the Commander Deck Physician:
The Commander: Rafiq of the Many
The Red Herring Stuff (apart from Braids I would really like to keep the other pieces under this section)
The Quick Stuff
The Slow Stuff
The Stay Around Stuff
Mana Production Things
Oh yes ... I have also organized a trade for an Ulamog and a Kozilek ... could this be their home?
Please help us Sean.
Baie dankie (Thank you in Afrikaans)
I get asked quite frequently to do some of the "more mainstream" or "bigger" Commanders. I do when one catches my interest—in this case working on building a version of Rafiq that has complexity and tricks built in instead of purely straightforward aggression. I like layering with decks and wanted to work on this one because it was seeking exactly that with a Commander that otherwise would be considered fairly straightforward. It wanted to do something weird and wacky not just straightforward and aggressive and this tweaked my levers enough to get interested.
What got me interested was the willingness to subvert the theme that seemed straightforward and linear—"maximizing the attack benefits of Rafiq"—in order to fit a different shape and advance a different agenda. With that in mind I wanted to pursue with one small segment of your deck and push it even further. Rafiq and Trygon Predator gives an added depth to Rafiq's otherwise-straightforward dimensions and when I saw that it was the only card that worked with Rafiq in this way I knew I had a new direction I wanted to pursue. After all what if the double-strike were given to things that might otherwise be innocuous to further advance their goofiness and amplify them further instead of just trying to kill the opponent as fast as possible?
That seemed like another way to hedge the deck's design by adding something off-the-wall to its functionality and making the "group hug" sub-theme more clear by showing yet another way you weren't jamming as hard as possible for the quick and obvious kill. It's just as valid a metric to follow through on and when your opponents see some goofy cards instead of y'know double striking poison creatures they'll be more comfortable game in and game out and actually allow you to play a good solid multiplayer game of Commander.
After all one of the tricks to scaling up to four-player Commander rather than 1v1 (not that I know much about two-player Commander...) is that opponents can actually prejudice against you and apply considerable bias from the first moment based on who your Commander is. Rafiq is on a lot of peoples' watch-lists because they "know what he does" and he does it very well. By going off on a different tangent entirely than the mainstream approach you can still exploit his power while foregoing a lot of the hatefulness that is otherwise earned.
Since that is where your hug theme was taking you anyway I felt it appropriate to pursue it further still both by deepening the hug theme to be better-represented and by incorporating these new elements of goofiness. Goofy can still kill however and it's worth noting that even the humblest creature with Rafiq to power it up can deal at least two damage. Chimney Imps attack for four. It doesn't take a lot to do a lot with Rafiq so even if these new angles seem underpowered by comparison that's still fine.
Working on the land base first and foremost I made a lot of replacements. I actually had to approximate your starting land count since your email to me didn't give a discrete number of basic lands of each type and with that said I'm going to re-balance it as I change cards around in it. Most of what I ran into in this section was a need to fill it out more comprehensively—there are clearly budget and access issues but even staying within these modest constraints it's easy to improve your lands in order to fulfill your objective more easily. Mostly this is just streamlining but there's some play to it as well.
1x Plains – Re-tooling the basic land count in addition to making these shifts for color-balancing purpose. One becomes an Island while the other taps for both green and white letting the deck express its needs better while otherwise still meeting the requirements we started with.
Dryad Arbor – I am not convinced this is the manland for you especially with so few ways to actually seek out a Forest and choose to find it specifically. While I concurred that some manlands would be beneficial this was not the one I was thinking of.
Ancient Ziggurat – The inability to tap to cast spells is a serious hindrance to you here and there is more you can do with fewer drawbacks and even advancing your goals and themes at the same time.
Evolving Wilds – I actually usually like this and Terramorphic Expanse but as I worked with your deck more I started to get worried that there were too many lands coming into play tapped and that this would cause you to stumble in your efforts to cast Rafiq on time. That said the solution was to replace this with something similar that came into play untapped and this was easy enough to pursue while still staying within reasonable cost and availability guidelines.
Seat of the Synod Ancient Den Tree of Tales – Possibly remnants of a prior deck design without Trinket Mage Thirst for Knowledge or anything else that seems to care about artifacts these are actually just basic lands with liabilities.
Karoo Jungle Basin – Too hard to reliably put into play not necessarily enough benefit for doing so and you hadn't even filled out the cycle of Ravnica bouncelands first. While I strongly appreciate these for mono-color decks and still consider them entirely worthwhile for two-color designs three-color designs are too much strain on these for too little benefit.
Graypelt Refuge – The one life was a minor benefit and we must budget the lands that come into play tapped very carefully or we'll overrun this tolerance for tapped lands. A little bit of looking around found new options with reasonable ease and thus I pursued that approach instead.
Selesnya Sanctuary – The third bounceland was missing and will still be well-appreciated in the deck especially with some new additions in the spells department that have a bit of a "lands in play matters" theme to it.
Thawing Glaciers – So long as we're skimping the mana count and trying to get more than one mana out of each land Thawing Glaciers is a very hard worker that will reward you considerably in the long run. This is unfortunately almost certainly the hardest card for you to find simply as a card-access issue (rather than necessarily a price issue). It's from over fifteen years ago and is not exactly present in everyone's trade binders or traded actively as a commodity (unlike Force of Will from the same set).
Mikokoro Center of the Sea – As long as we're pursuing the hug side of the deck why not add a land that helps you hug harder? Pass the wealth around a bit and see who your real friends are. Not usually included in a Rafiq deck but certainly a staple of a hug concept.
Celestial Colonnade Stirring Wildwood – While these may come into play tapped they nonetheless fix two colors and potentially count as an attacker for later in the game when such things might be harder to keep around.
Esper Panorama Naya Panorama – Unlike Evolving Wilds these come into play untapped immediately though they do suffer the problem of only providing access to two rather than all three colors of mana. Despite this they're still solid color fixing at a low cost that you can reasonably expect to find whereas other additions I might make from older sets will be harder to acquire than their price tag suggests.
Yavimaya Coast – With Adarkar Wastes and Brushlands in your mana base already presumably the third member of that set is good enough to play as well and worth including. I actually think the U/G land is more important than any other for you to have access to so this is a critical one to add in.
Rainbow Vale – Sharing is caring right? You can actually help a neighbor out with some early mana-acceleration and "conspire" to share the love around the table without necessarily costing you a land drop if everyone plays nice. For those times when being down a land is actually beneficial (and you'll see soon enough) this helps trigger those effects and though it's from an old set and is an entirely obscure rare it will nonetheless be worth the effort of hunting down.
Moving on next I usually like to look at the artifacts and you have listed your Sacred Three there. We're going to build up the hug theme not break it down and this is especially true since you felt the most strongly about this overall. While I am not in love with the Quicksilver Amulet—in fact in every other case to date I've cut it from decks as a waste of time and not really worth the effort—you are and if there's one thing I know not to do thanks to this column it's pulling out one of the favorite cards people have that make the deck resonate with them in the first place. I don't think this really helps what you're trying to accomplish but it's your preference and style and not me behind the deck. South Africa is far from Brooklyn.
Armillary Sphere – A little card advantage is good but with this deck you're not really looking to spend turns 2 and 3 setting up your mana. With the ability to always play Rafiq on turn four you ideally want to play something on turn 2 or 3 which means this isn't actually serving its purpose. The purpose it was filling is already covered by Thawing Glaciers in the land section and will be covered again in the spells section and again with the creatures section so we can afford to cut this particular slot.
Feldon's Cane – Not an effect you actually want and not even the best effect of its sort if you actually did. With the desire to add an Eldrazi noted—and later taken advantage of—this desire is fulfilled elsewhere. If this were going to be reached for it would be only after Elixir of Immortality had already been put to use but ultimately this isn't what we're trying to accomplish so it can be ignored.
Wildfield Borderpost Fieldmist Borderpost – Like the artifact lands these are too vulnerable to justify themselves and too vanilla to actually count as an effective accelerant. Much like why Armillary Sphere is off-tempo for this deck to play out these bump you off a critical turn if you do try to use them to get somewhere faster meaning they're just the wrong tools for the job.
Azorius Signet – I don't usually play with Signets but they do fit your curve very nicely and with only two of the three present it seemed appropriate to move that up to the complete set. While they do come with a risk attached to them as any artifact mana source might the benefits of a low-cost commander make it well worth your while since you can at the very least rush things and drop Rafiq on turn 3 and start cracking for eight commander damage a turn if for example the problem at the table appears to be a really fast combo or lockdown deck.
Expedition Map – My candidate for first auto-include after Sensei's Divining Top; I didn't force-add the Top because I presumed its lack was either intentional or related to card access issues either of which is sufficient for me to not stick it directly in by rolling the dice and cutting whatever card happened to come up. Expedition Map however is a recent printing and downright cheap and given that every Commander deck I have ever seen has a few special lands in it to play with...and would like to draw them more often...this little bit of all-access Tutoring power will always do something nifty. At the worst you grab a cycling land and draw a card very expensively...at the best you hunt up a manland Arena Mikokoro or Thawing Glaciers and take advantage of them considerably more than you would with a mere basic land.
Wayfarer's Bauble – You wanted easy cheap acceleration and this was my other inclusion (after the third Signet) to play the role of affordable mana accelerant. While it will never be especially impressive it will always be good at fixing draws and helping ramp you a little and its ability to get colored mana is what makes it more valuable to you than Mind Stone. Fellwar Stone would also potentially be quite good but you cannot actually guarantee it will get you your colors so the humble and innocent Bauble suits your objectives best.
Behemoth Sledge – Working with the creature base as I got clever and tricky with the "let's have fun!" idea that Rafiq led me to I often found myself wishing there was a way to give the creature trample so you could guarantee that it would be able to get the combat-damage trigger once or even twice (as intended). There was also a bit of a desire for some life gain though that is typically very low on my list of things to do and it was pretty clear that you could grab at either Behemoth Sledge or Loxodon Warhammer to fill the role that was wanted. Keeping your creatures alive in combat seemed like it would come up more often than wanting the third bonus damage even if you get to deal it twice as there is more of an attrition theme than a "pure race" theme to the deck as it is currently built...making the Sledge the right hammer for the job.
Moving on to the spells I wanted to take advantage of some of the more table-hugging effects you can reach for to help accelerate you instead of the Kodama's Reach that I initially paired up with its muggle cousin Cultivate. The utility and pinpoint removal effects work fine at the job you're using them for so mostly this was minor upgrades and a slight shift in perspective to embrace the hugging of others. Since we're just upgrading instead of really re-purposing any slots I'll just keep it straightforward instead of bore you with repetition after repetition of "you can do this a little bit more efficiently with this card..."
Control Magic – Upgrades to Treachery. So long as this is the effect you're reaching for you might as well pay one more to pay four less. Free spells are powerful and a free Control Magic is worth the price of trying to hunt down a copy of Treachery; it's a quiet Commander staple you will always be happy to put to use.
Cancel – Upgrades to Dismiss. For one more mana you get the same effect but replace the card you spend to make this one-for-one trade. Alternatively you could add Forbid but I don't think you're reaching for late-game lockdown here... and just flashing a Forbid as part of your strategy in a hug deck with multiple Howling Mine effects will bias people long-term against um letting you live. Settling for the minor upgrade and getting your card investment back is where I think you're trying to go here.
Prosperity – I know I know you said keep your hands off my Prosperity. But in this case I think you'll find the replacement warranted! By changing Prosperity to Skyscribing you lose a minor bit of mana efficiency—the second blue mana means you'll give everyone one less card than you potentially could otherwise—but gains you yet another Howling Mine-style effect thanks to the forecast ability. Forecast is quite hard for most decks to contain so this is like having a Mikokoro that no one can destroy and gives you a little bit more play with a slot you already were quite happy with.
Dramatic Entrance – I didn't really see anything worth dramatically surprising anyone with and while I can see the benefits to your playing Quicksilver Amulet as a long-term investment plan I don't actually see a benefit to getting to do it as a one-shot thing. If you wanted to get an awesome creature into play instead of using this as a Ritual you could pay the same price and Bribery someone which wouldn't even require you to have an impressive creature in hand. This isn't really fitting the deck and so it gets cut accordingly. Finding something that does fit the deck however I was happy to replace it with Rites of Flourishing which offers benefits all around the table: an extra card and a free land drop for everyone! Yet another hug effect and we're starting to pile up enough that it's starting to be likely you'll have one (or access to one) in your opening hand.
Reminisce – As a pinpoint hoser it's fine at that narrow task but I don't think you actually require that job to be done. In repurposing that slot I reached for another hug-like card one that could help actually ramp your mana as well while we're at it. An under-used card I love trying to find a home for is Oath of Lieges. It can work as your own mana-ramp effect like the Cultivate I originally wanted to (boringly) add in this slot instead and actually is a great equalizer against opponents who are spending cards to ramp their mana in that everyone else gets to piggyback on their ramp effect for free. As an early-game hug it's the best I know of since almost everyone will start getting an extra land a turn with the only person who doesn't automatically benefit probably being the person who gets to go right after you play it.
Kodama's Reach – My first instinct was to pair this with its near-identical twin Cultivate but upon further reflection I reached for a little more power to make up for the fact that I was cutting Armillary Sphere. White mana gives you access to Land Tax instead and while it doesn't ramp your mana like Kodama's Reach does we've already added another pure ramp card or two so the need isn't as high but the raw card advantage would still be desirable. If I need to say good things about Land Tax besides "Read the card; no seriously read the card" I'd be surprised.
With that completing my swaps in and out we're down to just the creatures. I tried to get interesting here and focus on triggers that rely on dealing combat damage to an opponent rather than the typical Rafiq plan of "stack up lethal damage very very quickly." Some card choices are clever. Others downright quirky. One...well wait and see. But I bet it's a creature card you've never seen played anywhere before or I'll eat my hat.
Sunscape Familiar – Cut due to the fact that we're repurposing how our ramp cards work and trying to not overcommit them to the table without getting something for doing so. I was mostly against the game plan of playing a turn 2 Familiar followed by a turn 3 Rafiq because the not-really-needed defender ability made you unable to attack and that made me ornery. I did want a Wall in the deck to assist in your all-purpose defense and in fact there's one you can play that is really good at defending and happens to count as a hug card while you're at it so I went for that instead.
Mystic Enforcer – While a very efficient creature that isn't the primary role of this deck so we're looking to build more synergy with these slots rather than find big rocks to pick up. This is an awesome rock but blunt trauma is not the objective.
Psychosis Crawler – I don't really see where the synergy is with this creature. What does it do that the rest of your deck doesn't? If you wanted a Maro effect wouldn't Aeon Chronicler be more appropriate as a first option since it can also draw you a card (or many more than one!) while doing its job? Ultimately I don't think this effect is wanted at all as the benefits of dishing a few points of damage to each opponent each turn too quickly undermines your hug plan. The Bear Hug plan (aka "Phase 2") will emerge naturally if you build in the right sorts of cards.
Mirror-Sigil Sergeant – Getting multiple tokens out of this gets very absurd very quickly but I'm not convinced you want any tokens out of this at all. Having a bunch of creatures doesn't change the fact that you plan to attack in general with one creature and exalted triggers so this is working at odds with the rest of your deck.
Deathless Angel – Solid and technically able to hug in addition to defending your creatures but it's really just here as a flying attacker. There are better ways to attack with this deck and it's a shiny rock but it's just a rock.
Brooding Saurian – Mana-efficient yes but not necessarily an effect that you actually want to trigger. If you were going to focus on defending your permanents wouldn't it make more sense to play Homeward Path than Blasted Landscape? I'm not getting a sense that defending your permanents from mass theft efforts is actually a relevant component of your metagame and so like the Reminisce that is effective at its job but somewhat out-of-place Brooding Saurian gets pulled out of the roster.
Jin-Gitaxias Core Augur – Like Psychosis Crawler I don't want to undermine the hug theory too quickly and while Jin-Gitaxias draws you a lot of cards absurdly quickly it also happens to totally sour your opponents on the contradictory nature of your deck: you give and then you take away. That's not nice. Worse it earns grudges. Make no mistake this is a high-power Praetor and I love (almost) the entire cycle of them and this card is one that actually keeps me up at night every once in a while... sometimes with lucid dreams of drawing seven extra cards a turn but usually with waking nightmares of all of my best-laid plans gone to ruin because of this guy flashing in at the end of my turn.
Angelic Arbiter – Before "taxing" your opponent it's best to see if the thing you are trying to take away is actually very important to them. In this case one or the other will end up being no big deal so this in turn winds up being just another big flying rock.
Artisan of Kozilek – A little bit of reanimation is good but for a little more mana you get Kozilek instead of his buddy with the finger paints.
Graceful Adept – Is defending your hand size what you're trying to accomplish? Sure you have Howling Mine effects but like the same theory with Brooding Saurian if you were actually trying to actively seek out this effect you'd have replaced Blasted Landscape with Reliquary Tower and done the job without exposing a creature to pinpoint removal...or costing yourself a card. I don't think this is actually a metric you're trying to enhance so I am going to cut it back down to zero.
Kira Great Glass-Spinner – Frankly you have to worry more about mass removal than pinpoint removal and Commander unlike Constructed is the home of cheap repeating effects that will prevent anyone from actually having to lose a card in order to get the effect they want off. Kira is then just an investment in protecting other things that leads you to be over-invested and thus over-extend by one more piece of cardboard than you need to. In a more controlling deck with more countermagic or mana-control elements I could see how Kira was being effective but this at best postpones things and at worst does literally nothing of relevance. It has homes but your deck's not the right home for Kira.
Sakashima the Impostor – Cloning is cool and Sakashima's flavor is cooler than most letting you duplicate commanders and actually get to keep them in play. However this is another point where the deck's cohesion is at risk: you have a cheap creature that can potentially let you have a really awesome rock for just four mana and pull off something wacky by copying something off-the-wall and running with it. Why not play something off-the-wall in the first place and not have to roll the dice on whether Sakashima is interesting instead of "just" powerful?
Braids Conjurer Adept – Helping with cards is one thing. Helping everyone put things into play without a way to counter them and for free is not a great way to help. In this case because with so few things to actually point people away from you helping hurts. People who try to hug are considered suspect as a matter of course but usually you still have to spend your mana and make your plays and that's all well and good. Braids well she just hands everyone Quicksilver Amulets and says "Have fun!" I didn't like keeping the Quicksilver Amulet though you love it; I'm not going to be nearly as convinced that handing everyone a free Quicksilver Amulet is a good idea. We've added other hug effects that have lower risks and I suspect you even knew as you wrote me that Braids would end up on the cutting-room floor...after all she's the only one you gave me the exemption to cut of your Red Herrings.
Primeval Titan – There is literally nothing interesting I can say here. On to the next addition since the rest of them are all much more interesting!
Kozilek Butcher of Truth – ... I lied. Everyone but this one is interesting. This one's just the right Eldrazi for the job and since you say you have one coming your way and wanting a home in a Commander deck I think you'll find it does an excellent job.
Wall of Shards – When your cumulative upkeep cost is the point of the card you've found the under-costed defender of choice. Share the life points around generously and preserve yours while you're at it with a nice fat flying blocker.
Veteran Explorer – The last of your "pure sharing" hug cards Veteran Explorer is group ramp based on someone somewhere being willing to kill a 1/1 creature for you. Making such an enticing offer to the table as a whole will help sway the game in a different direction than it would have otherwise possibly incentivizing the first sweeper effect at an earlier time and changing the tempo of the game entirely.
Battlegrace Angel – Life gain is something you're lacking and much though I belittle it it's something that will help you out overall. More importantly perhaps is the flying bonus that Battlegrace Angel passes along...since every other creature we're packing in will be looking to successfully deal combat damage to an opponent this will help get your creatures online and functioning.
Hydra Omnivore – I have made fun of blunt objects at several points here taking cards out that were literally just rocks you were going to bludgeon the opponent with. Hydra Omnivore is an awesome blunt object however since it punches everyone at the table as it swings. For being such a hard worker I'm happy to include it. After all it's usually easy to sneak in an attack against someone with a little politicking...but this gets significantly more ridiculous with your commander. Just a Hydra and Rafiq makes for eighteen damage to each opponent and that is considerably more than "just" a rock.
Ohran Viper – The most obvious of the Ophidian effects made especially clever thanks to Rafiq's double strike giving this deathtouch Snake the ability to kill two blockers with no ramifications requiring three four-power blockers to get in his way. Double strike to draw two cards is an angle that several cards are going to take advantage of but there are more creative ways to take advantage of that still to come as well.
Sturmgeist – Replacing Psychosis Crawler with Sturmgeist lets you trade the damage-dealing side of the Crawler for flying and card draw. As a flier that evasion helps ensure you get your card draw which with Rafiq makes for two cards a turn and even gets to take advantage of the fact that you'll have an extra point of power on the second punch.
Hystrodon – Often you hear the question of "Who's your Morph?" The first assumption is Willbender the second is usually Vesuvan Shapeshifter and in this deck Hystrodon makes the cut because of the fun intersection of double strike and card drawing. The trample helps get around token chump blocking but at this point this conversational vein is well-mined and the third Ophidian variant starts to call into question if we're pursuing interesting overlaps or just power from a different angle.
Raven Guild Master – Morph #2 should answer that question as sneaking this particular morph across to hit the opponent yields twenty cards off the top of their library. Most Rafiq decks aim to deal 21 as fast as possible with Rafiq and use that as their way to get around infinite life and other complexities. This one doesn't but it may still have to answer the same problems—Raven Guild Master makes decking a very realistic possibility by actively working on the opponent's library and your commander accelerates that considerably.
Thada Adel Acquisitor – Another fun early drop made all the more powerful by Rafiq. Thada can pull out two artifacts a turn from an opponent's deck starting with say Sol Ring and Sensei's Divining Top or maybe a Sword of X and Y to further explore craziness. Against the right opponent you can actively strip out their most troubling problems simply pulling out their Mindslaver and Mycosynth Lattice to no man's land on the first crack. Between profit and inflicting harm Thada presents a new angle to Rafiq's arsenal while exploiting the synergistic opportunities the double strike provides.
Graceful Antelope – Ha! 'That's still a mainstream Commander card" you say. Graceful Antelope goes and locks down special lands like Urborg and Cabal Coffers solves mazes and reclaims the ruins of the Tolarian Academy as nice arable farmland once again. Rafiq doubles the speed with which this Plainswalking Bovidae does its dirty work hitting the fun aspect of Rafiq with a goofy card that actually carries a significant amount of weight in this particular context.
Sphinx Ambassador – Another big rock to replace other fat flying creatures you were using Sphinx Ambassador very quickly hits a runaway point especially with the double strike bonus Rafiq passes along so casually. On its own merits like Thada Adel it does harm to the opponent's deck by denying them key resources though the answer to the question the Ambassador asks ("Judge! What happens if he chooses a non-creature card!") is unfortunately that it stays in the opponent's deck... You can't just use this as another opportunity to attack for a Jester's Cap effect. What the Ambassador does offer is access to the creature of your choice out of the opponent's deck every time it hits so long as you're a little cagy in disguising what you actually want (and let's face it green decks will just always name Primeval Titan). Rafiq upgrades this to two fresh recruits out of a single attack which is a considerable amount of resources appearing out of nowhere.
With these last additions that gives us the following decklist:
- 1 Battlegrace Angel
- 1 Draining Whelk
- 1 Eternal Witness
- 1 Giltspire Avenger
- 1 Graceful Antelope
- 1 Hydra Omnivore
- 1 Hystrodon
- 1 Indrik Stomphowler
- 1 Mulldrifter
- 1 Novablast Wurm
- 1 Oversoul of Dusk
- 1 Phyrexian Ingester
- 1 Primeval Titan
- 1 Quicksilver Gargantuan
- 1 Raven Guild Master
- 1 Rhox
- 1 Simic Sky Swallower
- 1 Sphinx Ambassador
- 1 Sturmgeist
- 1 Trygon Predator
- 1 Veteran Explorer
- 1 Kami of the Crescent Moon
- 1 Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
- 1 Mangara of Corondor
- 1 Rafiq of the Many
- 1 Thada Adel, Acquisitor
- 1 Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger
- 1 Ohran Viper
- 1 Wall of Shards
- 5 Forest
- 5 Island
- 4 Plains
- 1 Adarkar Wastes
- 1 Arena
- 1 Azorius Chancery
- 1 Bant Panorama
- 1 Blasted Landscape
- 1 Brushland
- 1 Celestial Colonnade
- 1 Esper Panorama
- 1 Kabira Crossroads
- 1 Lonely Sandbar
- 1 Misty Rainforest
- 1 Naya Panorama
- 1 Rainbow Vale
- 1 Rupture Spire
- 1 Seaside Citadel
- 1 Selesnya Sanctuary
- 1 Simic Growth Chamber
- 1 Stirring Wildwood
- 1 Thawing Glaciers
- 1 Tranquil Thicket
- 1 Yavimaya Coast
- 1 Mikokoro, Center of the Sea
- 1 Azorius Signet
- 1 Behemoth Sledge
- 1 Expedition Map
- 1 Font of Mythos
- 1 Howling Mine
- 1 Lightning Greaves
- 1 Mimic Vat
- 1 Quicksilver Amulet
- 1 Relic of Progenitus
- 1 Selesnya Signet
- 1 Simic Signet
- 1 Temple Bell
- 1 Wayfarer's Bauble
- 1 Land Tax
- 1 Mana Reflection
- 1 Oath of Lieges
- 1 Oblivion Ring
- 1 Privileged Position
- 1 Rites of Flourishing
- 1 Treachery
- 1 Bant Charm
- 1 Condemn
- 1 Dismiss
- 1 Return to Dust
- 1 Snakeform
- 1 Swords to Plowshares
- 1 Time Stop
- 1 Austere Command
- 1 Hymn of Rebirth
- 1 Phyrexian Rebirth
- 1 Praetor's Counsel
- 1 Primal Command
- 1 Skyscribing
- 1 Time Warp
- 1 Eldrazi Conscription
As always for your participation in this week's Dear Azami a $20 coupon to StarCityGames.com is yours to work with; I tried to keep the prices ultimately very reasonable and given your possession already of a Primeval Titan and some new Eldrazi coming your way these are otherwise pretty cheap additions. My record for lowest price so far is just over $20 and while we're nowhere near that—thanks to Land Tax Treachery and Thawing Glaciers we hit the $90 mark—after these the next highest price on any individual card is $3.75 and the total price just $35. Pricing them out they cost the following:
|Thada Adel Acquisitor||$0.49|
|Rites of Flourishing||$0.75|
|Oath of Lieges||$0.99|
|Wall of Shards||$1.49|
|Raven Guild Master||$3.25|
|Mikokoro Center of the Sea||$3.75|
|Kozilek Butcher of Truth||$14.99|
Thanks to a little bit of cleverness and flexibility you may note that while I have moved to a two-week break between articles instead of a weekly schedule that doesn't necessarily mean that Dear Azami will be moving from weekly as well. I am actually in Japan this upcoming week and will have flown off on a jet plane days ago by the time you read this...with complete email and other social media silence.
Last week's contributor Mike Lanigan will be presenting another deck submission with a completely hands-off approach from me: no advice no editorial nudges to remind him that saying bad things about people's favorite Commander staples isn't the best idea just a chance to fly on his own merits and see how things work out. Sound off in the comments there if you'd like to see him as a permanent partner here on Dear Azami... There are other contributors who've volunteered to give it a try so we're not married yet but I'd like to hear your thoughts to help make any decisions going forward.
-- Sean McKeown
Want to submit a deck for consideration to Dear Azami? We're always accepting deck submission to consider for use in a future article like Brad's Kaervek the Merciless deck or Dale's Seshiro the Anointed deck. Only one deck submission will be chosen per article but being selected for the next edition of Dear Azamiincludes not just deck advice but also a $20 coupon to the StarCityGames.com store!
Email Sean a deck submission using this link here!
Like what you've seen? Feel free to explore more of "Dear Azami" here in the article archives!And feel free to follow Sean on Facebook... sometimes there are extra surprises and bonus content to be found over on his Facebook Fan Page as well as previews of the next week's column at the end of the week!