I'm trying to put my first Commander deck together, but I need some help and the decklist is, well, weird. You see, I started Magic back when The Dark came out but walked away from the game right after Mercadian Masques was released. I dabbled a little with Zendikar but didn't really come back until Innistrad.
Commander seems like a format I'd enjoy. I spent a huge chunk of my Magic time around a table playing a six-person or more free for all, and it wasn't long before my playgroup devolved into just seeing how crazy a combo a deck could get off.
Anyway, back to the deck, starting with my choice of Commander. The legends in my collection are underwhelming to say the least (remember, I suffered through Homelands), but I do have a Teysa, Scion of Orzhov. I picked her up a couple of years ago to put into a graveyard-focused deck. She seems my best choice because I already have the pieces to build a graveyard-fueled kill deck—and because she's the only legend I have that does anything interesting. Seriously, Soraya the Falconer isn't exactly going to impress anyone. Or even deal a point of damage.
Here's the decklist:
The game plan is simple: get creatures in the graveyard, preferably by sacrificing them for my benefit, which because of Teysa gives me a Spirit creature. Bounce these creatures in and out of the graveyard with things like Animate Dead, Hell's Caretakers, and Living Death. Use the ones left in the graveyard to power things like Song of the Damned and Crypt of Agadeem. Eventually, once I have ten or more creatures in the graveyard, I cast Tombstone Stairwell, getting ten or more Zombies a turn that die at the end of the turn using Teysa's ability to give me ten Spirits a turn every turn, so in just a few turns I have an army of Spirits that can kill a player in a single attack. Until someone uses a Gruul Charm.
A few words concerning some cards that you're probably scratching your head about:
Remembrance – This is probably the last card you ever thought you'd see in a singleton deck, but unless I'm misunderstanding fast effects you can activate Soldevi Digger in response to Remembrance's effect and stick the dead creature on the bottom of your library and then retrieve it with Remembrance. So for two mana you can sacrifice a creature into your hand.
Jar of Eyeballs – Yes, it's silly. But enough creatures in the graveyard and Stairwell turns it into an artifact that says, "Tap Jar of Eyeballs. Tutor for a card of your choice, then stack your deck."
I know there's stuff I'm missing. There's a big, gaping hole in my knowledge of the available cards thanks to my time away, so I'm hoping you can help me fill in the gaps. This deck doesn't necessarily need to win all the time, but it needs to be interesting to play and not get stuck drawing cards and playing lands during a three-hour game. And since my time playing Commander is going to be very limited, I'd like it to be a lot of fun.
Thanks for your time,
In the spirit of transparency, I feel obligated to start by noting that Matthew happens to be one of my former college roommates. Before we start waving the nepotism flag, though, I haven't exactly seen him in a decade and the deck is interesting to the point where I had thought about whether to pick it long before I recognized the name and email address. If we're going to cross people off the list of people able to submit ideas to Dear Azami based off of whether or not I actually know them, well, most of the NYC Magic scene gets obliterated far more firmly than Matt here should be biased against just because we happened to have to share the same bathroom at a NYU dorm roughly fifteen years ago.
That mentioned, let's get to the deck. An initial card count tallied 100, so we're going to have to shake a slot loose somewhere, and the lands are out of balance quite significantly with only 34 mana-producing lands after accounting for that Maze of Ith (and the fact that we're talking original old-school Urborg, not the newfangled Tomb of Yawgmoth edition which might let a Maze tap for black mana).
Some of the card choices are peculiar— Remembrance is not exactly a card that comes up a lot in a singleton format—but the style of game you want to play with Tombstone Stairwell is exactly the style of game I used to love to play once as well, with one of my passions back in the day being a Tombstone Stairwell / Altar of Dementia deck that could mix and match creature damage and decking by feeding each other as I stocked my graveyard.
This Teysa deck isn't trying to get tough with Darkest Hour to lock people out of the game, achieve an infinite loop, or make people unhappy, so I'm happy to have a look at Teysa where before we've never touched her. What can I say, looking back at Malfegor last time made me wonder which other classic and beloved Commanders we haven't covered yet, and as we ready to enter the Dragon's Maze I decided I wanted to cover the original Teysa before we get a chance to play with the new one.
Due to the fact that I have a reasonable idea of Matt's resource access, I am going to limit myself to old-but-cheap toys from the sets he seems to be pulling the most deeply from—The Dark through Urza's Block is his card pool's niche—and cards that are currently available in Standard since he started really paying attention again with Innistrad and their relative availability is quite high. Price will kind-of-sort-of be an object, but I know that Scrubland is not a lonely one and it has friends if trade bait needed to be dug out, so I'm going to try and self-budget so that anything not Standard-legal is within the realm of the $20 coupon we give out for participation here at Dear Azami...but if it's Standard-legal it's open season, price no object.
This prevents me from adding some of the staples people are tired of seeing force added to every Commander deck—you know who you are, Sol Ring and Sensei's Divining Top—but the priciest "good inclusion" I think is lacking here turns out to be Marsh Flats, which would be a good addition but is not at a price point I can justify given these restrictions.
And just as a note before we dive in here: this is edition number ninety-five of Dear Azami if you include its articles under the original title, 99 Problems, which I do. I would like to see article #99 be special in some way but haven't figured out quite how yet. In the meantime, if there is a classic Commander you haven't seen us cover in an edition so far, now would be the perfect time to send it in as I think Cassidy and I would both be quite content filling out some of Commander's greatest hits as we near this milestone.
We begin with the lands, as I tend to do. We're going to liberate two slots from other sections in order to get up to 37, and we're going to address some of these lands not tapping for mana by themselves by cutting them. That unfortunately means Serra's Sanctum has to go—with only ten enchantments in the deck, how often will it be enough better than a basic Plains to be worth the effort?—and Bottomless Vault gets the boot as well. We've played through Fallen Empires, it sucked, and the slow chargelands are better skipped than played. Four Swamps and three Plains are also going to be cut to make additions, and these seem to be quite vital to me in order to help turn that Remembrance into a playable card.
Out of the Standard-legal budget, we add Orzhov Guildgate and Godless Shrine. The former is a cheap but effective mana fixer, and while the latter has a fair price tag to it, access to it is still not necessarily going to be difficult. The following additions all make it so that basic land types matter for color fixing purposes, so having the Godless Shrine in addition to a Scrublands is important.
Flood Plain, Grasslands, Bad River, Rocky Tar Pit – The Mirage fetchlands may not be quite as fancy as the Onslaught or Zendikar ones, but they fix your mana well enough and at a low cost since not very many of your lands come into play tapped so far. They're not just here to fix your mana, though they are intended to do that—they also provide access to this next card.
Mistveil Plains – A Soldevi Digger like effect that you can tutor for on the cheap, Mistveil Plains will help bolster your Remembrance plans from a goofy two-card combo requiring two specifically named cards to one that works with multiple different cards, some of which you can find rather easily. Needing to have two white permanents is not much of a downside considering that Teysa generates white permanents with ease.
Esper Panorama – Just another cheap mana fixer that enables having enough white and black mana in the right proportions.
Orzhov Basilica – Another cheap mana fixer, this one grants access to both colors simultaneously and gives a slight dash of card advantage on the side as well by being a virtual bonus land draw.
Bojuka Bog – You're playing a Living Death deck, or at least Living Death is a significant aspect of part of what you're trying to accomplish. Bojuka Bog helps enable Living Death as a live card even against opponents who are fighting on that same metric as you are and lets you break up some of the recursive combo elements you tend to see here in Commander.
Thawing Glaciers – The priciest card I expect to be adding outside of Standard-legal additions, Thawing Glaciers is potentially in your card pool already since The Dark through Urza's Block is the sweet spot for your collection. It is a vital way to build up to having a whole lot of operating mana in addition to being a sweet source of card advantage over the course of a game. Getting a free land every other turn is just a great place to be and helps prevent you from drawing too many lands over the course of a game by thinning them out into play directly.
Moving on to the artifacts, we're going to make two cuts and six additions, most of which are going to be an attempt to streamline some of what you're doing with your spells in a more efficient form using something that stays in play rather than a one-shot effect. The two cuts are going to be Cellar Door for just being too inefficient at producing Zombie tokens (and with that being its primary function for inclusion) and Avacyn's Collar due to the fact that the sacrifice-a-Human subtheme is not especially strong and being able to benefit by getting a token is not actually that strong of a benefit compared to what you can do with these sorts of cards if you try.
Adding back in, I've already given away the play by saying I am going to add Altar of Dementia to the deck, as it is incredibly potent alongside Tombstone Stairwell and just strong with cards like Living Death or even just alongside anything that lets you put these resources back in your hand later. In addition to all of those benefits from using it on yourself, there will be times when using it on your opponents will kill someone remarkably quickly, and this is also a deck that appreciates having a no-mana sacrifice outlet to enable its shenanigans.
Expedition Map is a solid inclusion that helps with your mana base as another way to get Mistveil Plains and Bojuka Bog out of your utility land slots, simply fix your colors, or provide access to Orzhov Basilica and Thawing Glaciers if you have mana needs that need to be fulfilled and you have the time to wait on their development instead of just needing to grab whatever land right now. I'd like another spell-like land or two if possible, but with the gentle approach we've taken so far just fixing your mana, smoothing your colors, and getting bonus access to a few small effects will make it well worth your while.
Blade of the Bloodchief is a direct replacement of the Sadistic Glee we're about to cut—instead of playing it as an aura on one creature (and dealing with the fickle, temporary nature of that card type when inevitably that creature gets killed), you get to keep it as an Equipment and move it around as you see fit, making it a durable long-term resource instead of a single-use effect that may or may not pay off. The slight increase in cost—both cost one, but you have to equip the Blade before you start getting counters—is well worth the significant increase in its ability to have a meaningful payoff.
Mimic Vat and Nim Deathmantle are both good inclusions that will help you recur your toys for fun and profit, enabling you to sacrifice things repeatedly without necessarily having to go down on cards to do it. That Nim Deathmantle happens to also make the thing black, letting you turn a white creature into a creature that triggers Teysa's ability, is how we make up for the fact that we're cutting additional token access out when we cut Avacyn's Collar.
The same general class of creatures will still be able to result in the same number of tokens potentially appearing, and we get far more additional benefits as well. If you're worrying about spending a long time just playing lands on the table and not doing anything, Nim Deathmantle gives you plenty to do with that mana with just a little bit needed to work with it—just any sacrifice outlet and any creature worth recurring.
Lastly and most obviously, Skullclamp is a card I suspect you haven't really encountered and thus do not know is the ridiculous mistake of a card drawing effect that will ratchet your deck into overdrive. Skullclamping a creature to sacrifice and draw two then Clamping the token Teysa makes and drawing an additional two is an excellent way to use Teysa's abilities proactively without having to reach for the broken interactions people tend to aim for instead. I see you clearly want to add a good chunk of card drawing but are encountering the fact that these are not the obvious colors for card draw, and this added to your list of Enlightened Tutor targets means you can get this with fair regularity.
Moving on to the spells since many of them migrated over to pad the artifact count we're going to have to make some cuts in exchange. The two added lands are going to balance out of the creature section with two cuts, so with four artifacts added and one extra slot over-full and not yet cut back down to size we are going to have to make five more cuts than we do replacements. I found fifteen cards I wanted to remove, which leaves me with ten slots left for additions after moving things around.
Some of these we are just giving functional upgrades either in this section or another one; others we are just cutting because they're not pulling their weight (see also: "almost any creature enchantment in this format"). If the possibility is there to move a card into working with your enchantment-recursion theme or accessible via Enlightened Tutor, I've considered that a bonus as well, which is why Disenchant is removed and replaced with basically itself in another card type.
Casting of Bones, Divine Transformation, Holy Mantle, Inheritance, Intangible Virtue, Sadistic Glee, Buried Alive, Drain Life, Harrowing Journey, Argivian Find, Disenchant, Feast or Famine, Necrologia, Songs of the Damned, Soulshriek
Of these, I know I need to address cutting Songs of the Damned because this is a card you've routinely tried to make work in a variety of forms. In this case, it'd be interacting with Drain Life and Soulshriek to potentially X spell someone out of the game.
Death's Grasp would be a better Drain Life if that were something you wanted and Exsanguinate would let you turn this into a way to X spell an entire table, but frankly the inconsistency issue of needing to draw this Ritual effect AND the card to go with it (out of a limited class of such cards) AND have that card be enabled by a full graveyard AND have that card be instrumental in winning a game suggests that just cutting that aspect will be better than leaning on it. Most of the rest of these you'll see are replaced with improved versions or simply moved around to make room for a new aspect of creature recursion, like how Sadistic Glee became Blade of the Bloodchief or Inheritance turned into Skullclamp.
Disturbed Burial, Grim Harvest, Phyrexian Reclamation – Your theme is to sacrifice creatures for fun and profit, and each of these gives you the ability to do so more consistently and are broken up in different ways. The Reclamation was included specifically to go with your enchantment-recursion subtheme and Enlightened Tutor, and while I usually like a little bit more incidental life gain when I'm including it, this is not actually a barrier to playing the card.
One is an enchantment that can be reused or just fired off for multiple activations in a row if you think you should play around Krosan Grip, while the other two have Buyback and Recover as hard-to-disrupt advantage mechanisms that require a very narrow class of cards to stop them. Getting things back to sacrifice them again will be worthwhile, and Teysa's ability to help control the board should assist you in having the time to use Buyback to its fullest.
Promise of Power – A fair chunk of the reason I advocated cutting one card draw spell was to fit a more efficient one. Drawing five is better than drawing three and otherwise the mana costs are fairly comparable...and the harder-to-cast one comes with an additional option to Entwine, making it even better in the later stages of the game as it can be a threat as well as a card draw spell.
Army of the Damned – You sure like Zombies, right? Moan of the Unhallowed suggested to me that you might be in the market for a flashback spell to make Zombie tokens, and you don't get much more Zombie-licious than dropping thirteen of the buggers in one fell swoop. I keep wanting this to make the cut in one of my decks—I'm playing Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter as my B/W Commander now, and some mix of killing the opponents' creatures and gaining +26/+26 is an amazing option that I still find myself foregoing because deck space is tight—and I don't think you should make the mistake I keep making of not playing it.
Aura of Silence – I cut Disenchant to give you one you can tutor for and recur. The potential upside of taxing a combo player's development is well worth the additional mana, which is why this is itself rather than the cleaner, easier Seal of Cleansing.
Grave Pact – I have to suspect that you simply do not know this card exists, as you are starting out in the format pretty fresh. This is a well-worn Commander staple that will reward you plentifully as you do what you are naturally doing, and having it in your lineup will help cover the issue of plentiful, repeating creature removal. You have a few Wrath effects and some pinpoint removal, but at most half a dozen cards or so are able to remove a creature from play directly and each of them so far does it once. With Grave Pact in play you'll find your opponents have a hard time keeping a strong board presence against you, which should assist both your ability to attack them and whether you need to actually mount a defense. Grave Pact plus Tombstone Stairwell is about the dirtiest thing ever, by the way.
Decree of Pain – Another well-worn Commander staple, Decree of Pain is part Wrath and part card drawing spell and is what I tend to describe as "the only thing I want to be doing in Magic" when I play the card. (I'm sort of lying—I have a copy of Overwhelming Forces which is "Decree of Pain, targeting you," and lets you keep your own stuff to bash them with. That is the only thing I want to be doing in Magic and why it holds the absurd price tag you can only get for Portal Three Kingdoms cards.)
Necromancer's Covenant – Another token-making mechanism as well as a dash of graveyard hate, this lets you potentially profit from someone else working on that same metric (or a little bit of work from your Altar of Dementia) and lets an awful lot of power appear in play for the cost. It also gives all Zombies lifelink, not just the ones it makes, so it has a little bit of tribal synergy as well for you since quite a bunch of your cards are Zombies or provide Zombie tokens. My biggest haul so far has been two dozen Zombies and one opponent very unhappy at his Golgari Grave-Troll plan and uncastable Karador, Ghost Chieftain left to rot. When this shuts people down, it does so very profitably, and it is another tool that helps keep your Living Death useful without rewarding an opponent even more than yourself.
Syphon Flesh – I cut Feast or Famine on the basis of I didn't like the narrow removal spell plus potential Zombie option plan and opted for the removal spell AND Zombie plan that is Syphon Flesh. This is another new toy that I don't use quite enough because it's a great value for the rate but my decks don't really capitalize on it especially well. The fact that you have a Commander who focuses on recurring black creatures and a Zombie subtheme makes this especially good for you. While it may not really impact all three players if one of your opponents is tooling around with tokens, it tends to trade for multiple pieces of real cardboard and make three guys while doing it and is the better version of Moan of the Unhallowed since it kills things too, which is way better than having flashback.
The other five slots remain unfilled, as noted above, meaning it is time to move on to the creatures and finish things off. I owe two slots to the land department and see eleven creatures I want to cut, which means I have nine additions to make back in after we've budgeted for the bulge elsewhere. The creatures I am cutting are the ones that underperform.
Serra Angel just isn't the card she used to be these days. We've gone and moved on to harder-hitting toys in that same "awesome white finisher" slot, one of which we're going to include directly as a replacement of her. I don't think the job she was doing was the one you needed, which is why the replacement is not Baneslayer Angel. But it so happens that Serra was the U/W control deck finisher of choice Back In The Day, and the new addition has been filling that role for the past few years now admirably.
Sun Titan – While this finisher doesn't have flying, you trade your 4/4 with vigilance for a 6/6 with vigilance for just one mana more and get a very powerful recursive effect attached for free. It only hits about half of your enchantments and is fun with No Rest for the Wicked and Phyrexian Reclamation, but it is a little bit sad at least that it can't help you return Tombstone Stairwell to play. It makes up for that by giving you access to so much more from fetchlands we've added as part of your mana base to a fair number of quality creatures, and if you ever use it to recur a Mimic Vat and then imprint it under the Mimic Vat later, you will have entered Recursion Heaven.
Grave Titan – Making Zombie tokens is also something you like to do, so this second heavy hitter adds a whole lot of power to your game plan. If you're willing to play Maafield Twins because of the attraction of having bonus Zombies appear, Grave Titan's clearly a card you should be adding.
Noxious Ghoul – If you're making Zombie tokens en masse, this will help keep those tokens on the winning side of the table—Noxious Ghoul plus Tombstone Stairwell will obliterate any but the most ridiculous board positions. While this doesn't combine well with Teysa's plan A of putting flying tokens into play because it will kill those fliers and probably Teysa as well, that it combines so very well with other portions of your deck suggested it had to be included even if it might not be optimal sometimes. Getting this off of Living Death is a great way to ensure that you're the one who comes out ahead, after all, and Noxious Ghoul followed by Army of the Damned will kill even Darksteel Colossus.
Graveborn Muse – Another way to take advantage of your Zombie theme and help bolster you with some much-needed card advantage. This is a little bit of a lightning rod, so don't expect it to live forever—playing it in hopes of drawing four or five cards the next turn is something other people probably won't let you do, not once, not ever. But it's a strong card that can take the heat that will deservedly be pointed at it and is especially good with what you're trying to accomplish as token Zombies are cheap and easy to come by.
Withered Wretch – A utility addition that helps moderate the worst abuses your opponents are capable of while also happening to be a Zombie and thus part of your Zombie theme. I tend to like Nezumi Graverobber in this role since I am a very big advocate of as much power as possible from as many cards as possible and the Graverobber has the potential to take over a game with some work put into it, but the likelihood (or frequency) of that coming up is admittedly fairly small and the utility of being a Zombie in your Zombie deck is considerably higher.
Ghastly Remains – The more Zombie-themed this deck becomes, the more you can potentially benefit from a recursive creature that fits your tribe. Strangely enough, since Teysa exchanges resources and getting the token might be more important than having the card in play, Ghastly Remains choosing to amplify for zero is a play you can realistically consider making turn after turn if you have mana and need to make something happen, which may be of low utility but is of very high hilarity. The Amplify here will not be for very many—this will tend to be a 2/2 or 3/3 most of the time—but it's got built-in recursion when we're trying to build in more recursion even if the cards we're getting back aren't impressive, so this addition is a perfectly fine way to put a card most wouldn't look twice at to use.
Geralf's Messenger – The reason I cut Butcher Ghoul, knowing that you could get a higher-powered Zombie for your efforts if you tried. While this was quite pricy back in the heyday of B/R Zombies being the most potent deck in Standard, it's under five dollars now, so I trust you can find one to trade for pretty readily and thus this is a price neutral addition to the deck. The added size and bonus life loss can add up when you're able to play it multiple times over the course of a game, making it much better than Butcher Ghoul at the same task. Mostly we need to get your creatures up to fighting size, and 1/1s won't do it.
Weathered Wayfarer — Then I added 1/1. Weathered Wayfarer is quite strong in the format, playing out as a pretty fairly balanced version of Land Tax that can get you fancy nonbasics as well as basic lands, letting you find Mistveil Plains with yet another card we've added to the deck. It's also awesome regardless of whether it can get Mistveil Plains, but it was clear I was going to make room for this when I knew we wanted to build Mistveil Plains in as part of your engine. Games you start with this in your first few turns will be games where it's smooth sailing and no mana worries at all, which is a potent effect to get out of a card that your opponents will not regard as threatening. Why it is that this never garners removal but Graveborn Muse by itself gets people to pull the trigger, I'll never know.
Cemetery Reaper – Our last addition is the first and only Zombie Lord we're adding, and it's being included solely because of its token-generation abilities because the +1/+1 bonus is pure upside as far as I'm concerned since we're not really building to have that matter in any real, critical way. This happens to be another card that helps suppress opposing graveyards, and it cranks out a Zombie every turn when "hey, free Zombie!" is a critical subtheme of your deck. After all, free Zombies die and become free flying Spirit tokens, which can become free removal effects—when you're using Teysa fairly as a resource-conversion tool rather than unfairly as a combo engine, having more free resources to go with that fair usage is a great freebie to have.
Putting it all together, we get the following decklist:
- 1 Auramancer
- 1 Bloodflow Connoisseur
- 1 Cemetery Reaper
- 1 Corpse Connoisseur
- 1 Doomed Traveler
- 1 Dread Slaver
- 1 Driver of the Dead
- 1 Falkenrath Noble
- 1 Geralf's Messenger
- 1 Ghastly Remains
- 1 Grave Titan
- 1 Graveborn Muse
- 1 Gravedigger
- 1 Hell's Caretaker
- 1 Krovikan Horror
- 1 Maalfeld Twins
- 1 Mausoleum Guard
- 1 Mentor of the Meek
- 1 Monk Idealist
- 1 Noxious Ghoul
- 1 Phantom General
- 1 Soul Warden
- 1 Sun Titan
- 1 Unbreathing Horde
- 1 Unruly Mob
- 1 Vizkopa Guildmage
- 1 Wakedancer
- 1 Weathered Wayfarer
- 1 Withered Wretch
- 1 Avacyn, Angel of Hope
- 1 Selenia, Dark Angel
- 1 Teysa, Orzhov Scion
- 8 Plains
- 8 Swamp
- 1 Bad River
- 1 Bojuka Bog
- 1 Crypt of Agadeem
- 1 Esper Panorama
- 1 Flood Plain
- 1 Forbidding Watchtower
- 1 Godless Shrine
- 1 Grasslands
- 1 Isolated Chapel
- 1 Maze of Ith
- 1 Mistveil Plains
- 1 Orzhov Basilica
- 1 Orzhov Guildgate
- 1 Reflecting Pool
- 1 Rocky Tar Pit
- 1 Scrubland
- 1 Spawning Pool
- 1 Strip Mine
- 1 Thawing Glaciers
- 1 Wasteland
- 1 Urborg
- 1 Altar of Dementia
- 1 Blade of the Bloodchief
- 1 Expedition Map
- 1 Jar of Eyeballs
- 1 Mimic Vat
- 1 Nim Deathmantle
- 1 Phyrexian Vault
- 1 Skullclamp
- 1 Soldevi Digger
- 1 Animate Dead
- 1 Aura of Silence
- 1 Endless Ranks of the Dead
- 1 Grave Pact
- 1 Necromancer's Covenant
- 1 No Rest for the Wicked
- 1 Phyrexian Reclamation
- 1 Remembrance
- 1 Enlightened Tutor
- 1 Grim Harvest
- 1 Swords to Plowshares
- 1 Army of the Damned
- 1 Decree of Pain
- 1 Demonic Tutor
- 1 Diabolic Tutor
- 1 Disturbed Burial
- 1 Living Death
- 1 Moan of the Unhallowed
- 1 Promise of Power
- 1 Syphon Flesh
- 1 Wrath of God
- 1 Tombstone Stairwell
As always, Matt will receive a $20 coupon for participating in Dear Azami. If the fact that the coupon is going to someone I know for once, well, I think I've played it very fair so far by not playing favorites with any possible submissions, and the coupon comes out of my paycheck anyway so it's not exactly unreasonable for me to decide whom I want to share it with every great once in a while.
I'd vaguely stated I wanted to try to keep the portion of cards outside of Matt's possible collection or Standard-legality to a $20 minimum and clearly failed at that, as the cards from Mercadian Masques through New Phyrexia total $30 rather than the allotted $20. But considering I hit the hard threshold Cassidy and I agreed on down to the last penny and this time wouldn't involve reneging on a commitment to my cowriter, I'm content with the price point standing as it is so Matt can get to play with all these awesome Titans and Skullclamp too.
|Promise of Power||$0.99|
|Blade of the Bloodchief||$1.49|
|Decree of Pain||$5.99|
|Rocky Tar Pit||$0.39|
|Aura of Silence||$1.49|
|Altar of Dementia||$4.99|
|Army of the Damned||$3.49|
Next week, Cassidy gets first pick of the Dragon's Maze commanders. As I've said, I'm kind of interested in seeing which old classic commanders we haven't covered yet, so considering I go to bat after Cassidy, Sheldon, and Bennie get their first chance to start building with the new legendary creatures that have been unveiled to us, we'll have to wait and see just how much the new cards tickle my interest. I'm sorely disappointed by at least one of them—Selesnya's champion is just a big vanilla thing, after all—but where the enthusiasm lies with our readers ultimately decides what I write about.
So if you want to see new things, send in new decks! And if you want to see old things, send in your greatest hits with the classic Commanders we've not yet covered so we can try to hit a few more high notes before Dear Azami turns 100!
-- Sean McKeown
Want to submit a deck for consideration to Dear Azami? We're always accepting deck submissions to consider for use in a future article, like Anthony's Ruhan of the Fomori deck or Christopher's Malfegor deck. Only one deck submission will be chosen per article, but being selected for the next edition of Dear Azami includes not just deck advice but also a $20 coupon to StarCityGames.com!
Email us a deck submission using this link here!
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