Building a Crew for the Weatherlight – Altering Commander by James Griffin

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Altering Commander: The Sissay Project by James Griffin

Hi all,

Last time I explained how I wanted to take on the insane task of altering an entire EDH deck, and how I had chosen [card]Captain Sisay[/card] to lead my legendary army/motley crew.  Now it’s time to flesh out the deck itself, take stock of what I have card-wise and how the heck I’m going to trade/beg/borrow/steal the rest.  I’m also going to kick off with the first couple of alters.

Sisay seems pretty obvious inclusion lol!  She’s the commander, so she’s in. who else will join her crew?

The first place to look seems to be people she can tutor for. What game ending guys can we play? Basically, [card]Captain Sisay[/card] is fragile enough at a mere 2/2 that every activation of her ability has to really mean something. That’s why the incredible [card]Sword of Kaldra[/card], [card]Shield of Kaldra[/card] and [card]Helm of Kaldra[/card] is out – we don’t want to be stuck with only one of them on the board (even if together they do make the most mental beat stick of them all!).  However, in are [card]Gaddock Teeg[/card] (who shuts down basically anything scary) and [card]Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary[/card]. [card]Gaddock  Teeg[/card] shuts off sweepers and other big scary things (including most generals in my play group), and tells us that we need to leave our wraths at home and take some point removal like [card]Swords to Plowshares[/card], [card]Lignify[/card] and [card]Mangara of Corondor[/card] among others. Rofellos, or Rofls, is sick too. He ramps like crazy, and gives us access to big stuff like [card]Reya Dawnbringer[/card], [card]Iona, Shield of Emeria[/card], [card]Myojin of Life’s Web[/card], and [card]Yosei the morning star[/card]. Rofellos is banned as a general, but he’s almost as good in a Sisay deck because you can find him and the drop a ton of mana. Also in here is [card]Gaea’s Cradle[/card]. Does exactly the same, ramps like a crazy thing, and can’t be countered, but we’ll need to watch out for land destruction.

Hmm…land destruction. [card]Wasteland[/card], [card]Kor Haven[/card], [card]Acidic Slime[/card] and [card]Strip Mine[/card]. That would seem to do it, and a bit of Sunny T and [card]Reveillark[/card] (for the slime) to get them back like a bad curry. This will add shenanigans in multiplayer, where big splashy effects are what it’s all about. While we’re on his train of thought, it would be silly not to have [card]Life From The Loam[/card] and [card]Crucible of Worlds[/card] in there for the land denial lock, that would be cool. Plus the art is absolutely kick ass – I’m going to love altering that one!

Oh dear…

It’s here I’ve gotta accept that we’re actually going to need two lists. One for 1v1 and 1 for multiplayer. You see my current deck, [card]Eight-and-a-half-Tails[/card], works wonderfully in multiplayer, but gets pwned 1v1 – and that’s because I built it with multiplayer very much in mind rather than the tight mana curve and synergy that duelling one on one requires. I’m going to have to paint even more cards to get this project completed, but from now on then we’re aiming for two lists, and one master list of all the cards I need to get and alter. This task is becoming bigger by the day, but I don’t want to do this and have a bunch of sub par cards in the deck that I have to trade out and paint replacements for later.

Mana ramp. We’ve gotta get dear old Sisay out asap if I want to stay alive in a format of ridiculous sweepers, theft cards and spot removal to make you cry. As such, our 1v1 team is quickly joined by [card]Birds of Paradise[/card] (got plans painting wise here, with the [card]Tolarian Academy[/card] artwork), [card]Mana Vault[/card] (luckily I already have one), and a bunch of others which all drop before Sisay on the curve. [card]Bloom Tender[/card] in particular has art that I can’t wait to extend through the text box below – that one will be beeeeauuuuutttiiifffuuuuuullllll!!! :)

Lets get some finishers in now. [card]Crovax, Ascendent Hero[/card] and [card]Kamahl, Fist of Krosa[/card] is a sick sick combo (make their lands into 1/1’s with Kamahl, and with Crovax out, and they immediately die, woo! That’s a combo we would reach for single player before we would reach for it multiplayer in the spirit of fun, but if someone else tries a big lock or something then I won’t be beyond tutoring these guys to spoil their day. Also Kamahl’s overrun gives me a nice potential finisher in an aggro sense, although this deck is shaping up to be primarily a control deck. Both of these guys are good on their own, and this is important when we have a 100 card singleton deck, and odds are we won’t draw the right card at the right time.

But wait, we can improve those odds. Lets stick a [card]Sensei’s Divining Top[/card] in. I love this card. The guys at Manaleak have shown me how unbelievable this card can be, and while we’re not playing it here with [card]counterbalance[/card] or some such nonsense, it still gives us a little bit of card quality. Also the artwork is phenomenal. Why do we need this when Sisay finds us whatever we need? Well its most useful if Sisay isn’t around, and now costs 14 mana to re-cast (sigh), has been shuffled into our library or had her tutor ability stifled somehow. On that note, I really want to alter the [card]Fauna Shaman[/card] art, and so she goes in, along with her bigger scarier brother [card]Survival of the Fittest[/card], who is much cheaper now he’s been banned in legacy (hooray for this project!). Not much fun to alter (snow, snow and more snow), but that’s the way it goes. While we’re on card choice and tutoring, We have gotta get a [card]Worldly Tutor[/card], [card]Enlightened Tutor[/card] and [card]Eldrami’s Call[/card] in there, they’ll all help make the deck as consistent as possible, at the cost of card advantage.  They also fish Sisay out of our deck if necessary and help us to find cool non-legendary cards such as [card]Primeval Titan[/card], [card]Acidic Slime[/card], other ramp dudes, or answers such as [card]Harmonic Sliver[/card] to problematic permanents.

We haven’t really concentrated too hard on artifacts yet, because we of course want to run [card]Hikori, Dust Drinker[/card] to deny them mana (letting [card]Gaea’s Cradle[/card], Rofls and others win the game for us). Part of this plan will be to tutor for [card]Kataki, War’s Wage[/card] to shut off their artifact driven ramp if they have it. That makes my ramp worse too, but some are just too good to pass up, so [card]Sol Ring[/card], [card]Talisman of Unity[/card]and [card]Chrome Mox[/card] make it in. In other news, [card]Mindslaver[/card]. Hooooww Yeaaahhhh!

I shall just pause for a minute to savor how awesome this pseudo-[card]timewalk[/card] is… check it out again…

Right, good. I reckon we’ll get a few wins out of him in multiplayer (he’s banned in 1v1), particularly with some more graveyard recursion. We still need a few more artifacts, [card]Lightning Greaves[/card] to protect Sisay, and [card]Umezawa’s Jitte[/card] to make any guy in the deck a threat also seems pretty good.  It’s also fortuitous that Jitte is legendary and can be tutored for if necessary. Nice.

Let’s round this out. Some more ramp, and some answers to theft cards, a bunch of awesome mana fixing lands, some more spot removal. Finally, [card]Garruk Wildspeaker[/card], because darn it, I want a plainswalker!

Hooray! We have lists!

Captain Sisay: 1 vs. 1 Deck List

Commander

[card]Captain Sisay[/card]

Creatures

[card]Academy Rector[/card]

[card]Acidic Slime[/card]

[card]Arashi, the Sky Asunder[/card]

[card]Aven Mindcensor[/card]

[card]Birds of Paradise[/card]

[card]Bloom Tender[/card]

[card]Brooding Saurian[/card]

[card]Crovax, Ascendant Hero[/card]

[card]Duplicant[/card]

[card]Eternal Witness[/card]

[card]Fauna Shaman[/card]

[card]Gaddock Teeg[/card]

[card]Genesis[/card]

[card]Glissa Sunseeker[/card]

[card]Harmonic Sliver[/card]

[card]Hokori, Dust Drinker[/card]

[card]Kamahl, Fist of Krosa[/card]

[card]Karmic Guide[/card]

[card]Kataki, War’s Wage[/card]

[card]Knight of the Reliquary[/card]

[card]Linvala, Keeper of Silence[/card]

[card]Mangara of Corondor[/card]

[card]Mirror Entity[/card]

[card]Myojin of Life’s Web[/card]

[card]Nest Invader[/card]

[card]Primeval Titan[/card]

[card]Quirion Elves[/card]

[card]Reveillark[/card]

[card]Reya Dawnbringer[/card]

[card]Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary[/card]

[card]Saffi Eriksdotter[/card]

[card]Sakura-Tribe Elder[/card]

[card]Steward of Valeron[/card]

[card]Yosei, the Morning Star[/card]

Instants

[card]Eladamri’s Call[/card]

[card]Enlightened Tutor[/card]

[card]Oblation[/card]

[card]Swords to Plowshares[/card]

Sorcerys

[card]Growth Spasm[/card]

[card]Into the North[/card]

[card]Life from the Loam[/card]

[card]Nature’s Lore[/card]

[card]Primal Command[/card]

[card]Sylvan Scrying[/card]

[card]Three Visits[/card]

Artifacts

[card]Chrome Mox[/card]

[card]Lightning Greaves[/card]

[card]Mana Vault[/card]

[card]Sensei’s Divining Top[/card]

[card]Talisman of Unity[/card]

[card]Thousand-Year Elixir[/card]

[card]Umbral Mantle[/card]

[card]Umezawa’s Jitte[/card]

Enchantment

[card]Aura Shards[/card]

[card]Lignify[/card]

[card]Mirri’s Guile[/card]

[card]Oblivion Ring[/card]

[card]Steely Resolve[/card]

[card]Survival of the Fittest[/card]

[card]Sylvan Library[/card]

[card]Wild Pair[/card]

Land

[card]Arid Mesa[/card]

[card]Brushland[/card]

[card]Dust Bowl[/card]

[card]Eiganjo Castle[/card]

[card]Flooded Strand[/card]

[card]Gaea’s Cradle[/card]

[card]Graypelt Refuge[/card]

[card]Hall of the Bandit Lord[/card]

[card]Horizon Canopy[/card]

[card]Kor Haven[/card]

[card]Marsh Flats[/card]

[card]Miren, the Moaning Well[/card]

[card]Mistveil Plains[/card]

[card]Misty Rainforest[/card]

[card]Savannah[/card]

12 [card]Snow-Covered Forest[/card]

2 [card]Snow-Covered Plains[/card]

[card]Strip Mine[/card]

[card]Sunpetal Grove[/card]

[card]Temple Garden[/card]

[card]Verdant Catacombs[/card]

[card]Wasteland[/card]

[card]Windswept Heath[/card]

[card]Wooded Bastion[/card]

[card]Wooded Foothills[/card]

[card]Yavimaya Hollow[/card]

Captain Sisay Multiplayer list

[card]Gaddock Teeg[/card]

[card]Kataki, War’s Wage[/card]

[card]Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary[/card]

[card]Saffi Eriksdotter[/card]

[card]Sakura-Tribe Elder[/card]

[card]Aven Mindcensor[/card]

[card]Eternal Witness[/card]

[card]Harmonic Sliver[/card]

[card]Knight of the Reliquary[/card]

[card]Mangara of Corondor[/card]

[card]Mirror Entity[/card]

[card]Stonecloaker[/card]

[card]Yavimaya Dryad[/card]

[card]Yavimaya Elder[/card]

[card]Academy Rector[/card]

[card]Brooding Saurian[/card]

[card]Captain Sisay[/card]

[card]Glissa Sunseeker[/card]

[card]Hokori, Dust Drinker[/card]

[card]Linvala, Keeper of Silence[/card]

[card]Acidic Slime[/card]

[card]Arashi, the Sky Asunder[/card]

[card]Genesis[/card]

[card]Karmic Guide[/card]

[card]Reveillark[/card]

[card]Crovax, Ascendant Hero[/card]

[card]Duplicant[/card]

[card]Kamahl, Fist of Krosa[/card]

[card]Primeval Titan[/card]

[card]Sun Titan[/card]

[card]Yosei, the Morning Star[/card]

[card]Iona, Shield of Emeria[/card]

[card]Myojin of Life’s Web[/card]

[card]Reya Dawnbringer[/card]

Instant

[card]Enlightened Tutor[/card]

[card]Swords to Plowshares[/card]

[card]Eladamri’s Call[/card]

[card]Oblation[/card]

Sorcery

[card]Into the North[/card]

[card]Life from the Loam[/card]

[card]Sylvan Scrying[/card]

[card]Cultivate[/card]

[card]Growth Spasm[/card]

[card]Kodama’s Reach[/card]

[card]Primal Command[/card]

Artifact

[card]Sensei’s Divining Top[/card]

[card]Sol Ring[/card]

[card]Lightning Greaves[/card]

[card]Umezawa’s Jitte[/card]

[card]Crucible of Worlds[/card]

[card]Thousand-Year Elixir[/card]

[card]Umbral Mantle[/card]

[card]Mindslaver[/card]

Enchantment

[card]Concordant Crossroads[/card]

[card]Mirri’s Guile[/card]

[card]Survival of the Fittest[/card]

[card]Sylvan Library[/card]

[card]Aura Shards[/card]

[card]Oblivion Ring[/card]

[card]Mirari’s Wake[/card]

[card]Wild Pair[/card]

Planeswalker

[card]Garruk Wildspeaker[/card]

Land

[card]Arid Mesa[/card]

[card]Brushland[/card]

[card]Dust Bowl[/card]

[card]Eiganjo Castle[/card]

[card]Flooded Strand[/card]

[card]Gaea’s Cradle[/card]

[card]Graypelt Refuge[/card]

[card]Hall of the Bandit Lord[/card]

[card]Horizon Canopy[/card]

[card]Kor Haven[/card]

[card]Krosan Verge[/card]

[card]Marsh Flats[/card]

[card]Miren, the Moaning Well[/card]

[card]Mistveil Plains[/card]

[card]Misty Rainforest[/card]

[card]Savannah[/card]

[card]Snow-Covered Forest[/card]

[card]Snow-Covered Plains[/card]

[card]Stirring Wildwood[/card]

[card]Strip Mine[/card]

[card]Sunpetal Grove[/card]

[card]Temple Garden[/card]

[card]Verdant Catacombs[/card]

[card]Wasteland[/card]

[card]Windswept Heath[/card]

[card]Wooded Bastion[/card]

[card]Wooded Foothills[/card]

[card]Yavimaya Hollow[/card]

Now to figure out how to actually get these cards. Let’s see… I have some already:

BoP; Fauna Shaman; Nest Invader; Aven Mindcensor; Stonecloaker; Academy Rector; Hokori, Dust drinker; Linvala, Keeper of Silence; Acidic Slime; Revillark; Crovax, Ascendent Hero; Primeval Titan; Sun Titan; Reya Dawnbringer (I think); Enlightened Tutor; Oblation; Cultivate; Growth Spasm; Mana Vault; Lightning Greaves; Umezawa’s Jitte; Mindslaver; Oblivion Ring; Garruk Wildspeaker; Arid Mesa; Graypelt Refuge; Hall of the bandit lord; Kor Haven; Marsh Flats; Misty Rainforest; Strip Mine; Verdant Catacombs and Wasteland (a champs edition one – boo!)

Total: 34.

Needed: 79.

Well it’s a start! A trip to manaleak.com willl get me sorted with a few more I reckon, they always have a good stock of non-standard cards in particular, but I can’t buy them all, so I’m going to have to rely on trading for most (If you have any I need and you want to trade, drop me a line, that would be great, particularly old tatty or damaged cards can all be restored if you have anything like that.).

I’ll begin each article from now on with a Need/Have/Altered statistic so I can chart my progress and see how far I’ve got.

With the list down I’ll do a couple of quick alters just to get my painting juices flowing and get the project kicked off. So, for now I’ll leave you with them to look over. Next time I’ll take you through in more detail one of my alters, with some idea of what equipment I use, and how you can get started altering and get in on the action too.

Until then, have fun!

James

This little fella was fun because of the odd card frame.  When I do Horizon Canopy I want to make it even more skeleton, with the art extended inside the top title box, with only the frame and text remaining, and the same into the text box at the bottom.  That would be good.

This Fauna shaman was a lot of fun.  I did it at my parents house though, so it will remain this half-done until I get back and have access to my airbrush again.

The slime was a fun one too, again I’ll smooth it out when I get back to my airbrush. until then it’ll do. I may also paint another panicking soldier on too just to add flavour.  Marvellous.

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