Here Are Some Simple But Effective Upgrades That You Can Make To Your Commander 2017 Decks
Finally, the Commander 2017 decks are upon us. Whether your preference is Dragons, Cats, Wizards or Vampires, we all have at least one tribe to take into your gaming life and make your own. I thought I would write about an easy way to make the decks a little better.
The aim is just to give everyone a simple way to improve each of the commander decks, the effect for each deck will be a general power boost or a combo to pull off. After that you can take whatever inspiration you want from this and go your own way with it. I just hope to give you some ideas to get your brewing started, as I have far too many EDH decks and I may as well use that to benefit people.
So without any further ado, let’s get started shall we?
Draconic Domination: Dragons Descend
The Draconic Domination deck is the least likely to be a combo deck but probably inherently the most powerful. Dragons are generally high cost and high power; as a result more often than not the best way to make the deck better is to either improve your ability to cast the spells earlier, or find something that really breaks the whole deck open.
So my first card is a win con in and of himself. A planeswalker whose ultimate literally wins the game in this deck due to [c]Scourge of Valkas[/c] and the incredible [c]Dragon Tempest[/c]. Both of these cards allow your dragons to deal damage to either a player or creature equal to the number of dragons you control. [c]Sarkhan Unbroken[/c] does a lot of good things. First of all, his plus one allows you to add a mana of any colour, which of course is fantastic in a five colour deck, as well as drawing a card. You can minus two him to make a 4/4 Dragon token which can help protect him if you have nothing else. However his ultimate, his minus eight allows you to bring any number of dragons from out of your deck and put them into play. With Scourge of Valkas in your deck you get to blast you opponent for an awful lot of damage; as all the dragons see each other enter, you basically get the number of your dragons squared in direct damage to an opponent, or several opponents. My personal best was six hundred and twenty five damage, and I’d like to set you a challenge to beat that.
The second card and third cards allow you to put dragons into play at instant speed and for a significantly reduced price. They are [c]Quicksilver Amulet[/c] and [c]Dragon Arch[/c]. These are both fantastic artifacts that allow you to instantly put a creature or a multicoloured creature into play. Needless to say, with the card draw given to you by cards like [c]Kindred Discovery[/c] not to mention [c]The Ur-Dragon[/c] itself, you can amass an army of dragons that cannot be beaten.
Arcane Wizardry: Wizards Casting up a Storm
Wizards sit in Grixis colours which are widely known for being storm colours in EDH. You can do an awful lot of things with the wizards deck, but I am going to lean into this aspect of it, and give you three cards which let you instantly win the game.
You could certainly make the most of the commander [c]Inalla, Archmage Ritualist[/c] by adding cards like [c]Panharmonicon[/c] and any one of a number of wizards with great enter the battlefield triggers like [c]Snapcaster Mage[/c] and get a whole four triggers for the price of two. Value like that is certainly worth investigating.
However I am going to talk about all three of the card choices right here. [c]Sensei’s Divining Top[/c], [c]Helm of Awakening[/c] and [c]Future Sight[/c]. Top costs one mana, and if you tap it you can draw a card and put it on top of the library. The Helm makes every spell cost one generic mana less which makes the Top free. Finally [c]Future Sight[/c] allows you to cast the top card of your deck. This allows you to draw your entire library not to mention having cast one spell for each card drawn. All you need to do is combine this with a storm card and you can win the game in an absurdly entertaining way. For the record my preference is [c]Brain Freeze[/c] but [c]Gutshot[/c] works perfectly fine too. Find whichever version fits your personal style and go with it.
Vampiric Bloodlust: Vampires will Suck the Life out of You
[c]Edgar Markov[/c] is all about going wide and overwhelming your opponent with an exceptional amount of vampires. First of all in terms of power, I think the the original vampire has one of the best Eminence abilities out of the four tribal leaders. Getting an extra 1/1 out of every creature you cast is incredibly valuable and can be broken pretty quickly.
So the first card takes advantage of your commander directly. [c]Anointed Procession[/c] makes his eminence ability literally twice as good. Sometimes having a token sub-theme isn’t a good enough reason to include a card like this, but when your commander is the token generator it makes it an easy include. It turns every Vampire you cast into a three-for-one which is a fantastic rate and allows you to make the most of the go wide approach.
On the subject of going wide. [c]Sorin, Solemn Visitor[/c] was a big player in Standard with cards like [c]Secure the Wastes[/c] and [c]Wingmate Roc[/c], and it is largely due to his plus one ability. Giving all of your units +1/+0 and lifelink until your next turn if you have five creatures is great. If you have twenty tokens it is even better, in fact it could be easily argued that it is kind of broken in the best possible way. The fact is that if Sorin sticks around for long enough, you can force your opponents to sacrifice a creature every turn, which makes him even more valuable. He is definitely worth putting in your one hundred cards.
Finally one card that is in the deck is [c]Sanguine Bond[/c] which is one half of a very silly infinite combo where you wipe everyone else out with one point of damage. The other half is also a five mana enchantment and is called [c]Exquisite Blood[/c]. Simply manage to stick both of these enchantments and you win the game as soon as you deal damage to an opponent or gain any life. Always worth putting in any deck with black mana and life gain.
Feline Ferocity: Cats Pounce Quickly!
Finally, the floof deck, I mean the cat deck. The cat deck doesn’t have any immediately obvious things you can do with it to break it open. You have a lot of different things you can do it make it better, so I am just going to give you some great cards you can have in the deck.
First of all I think [c]Gavony Township[/c] is a fantastic addition to the deck with the ability to both go wide and go large. With the ability of [c]Arahbo, Roar of the World[/c] to double a cat’s attack power, being able to make them bigger permanently means that this cat lord’s ability just gets better and better. It may only be one +1/+1 counter, but spread that across a few turns and then across multiple cats and you have a lot of damage very quickly. The fact that you don’t even have to use a spell slot up for this powerful ability is certainly another big factor in its favour.
Next we have a cycle of cards, with the equipment theme I like to find the best kinds. I really like the ‘Sword of’ cycle (the [c]Sword of Fire and Ice[/c] for example). The five swords can make one incredibly dangerous cat, one that cannot be blocked or targeted except by colourless sources, and that does an amazing amount of work. Each hit to an opponent not only does an incredible amount of damage to their life but also upgrades your place in the match and trashes theirs.
Finally the equipment tends to be powerful but sometimes have high equip costs. You can negate that with a simple one mana enchantment. [c]Sigarda’s Aid[/c] lets you cast Equipment cards at instant speed which is nice. What is nicer is that the card allows you to attach any equipment cards for free to any target creature you control as soon as it enters. This is combat tricks on a completely different level, and is definitely worth considering when combined with Arahbo’s ability.
Brewing is always fun
Commander is an incredible format and probably my favourite one. The freedom you have with card selection and deck building is unparalleled in Magic: the Gathering, which is why I enjoy it so much.
Hopefully this article helps inspire you and gives you some ideas to help you put your own touch on these brilliant decks. I think they are great, I always love the Commander decks but I absolutely adore Tribal decks.
If you have any other ideas then speak up. If you ever want to run an idea by me then I would love to hear it. I am on twitter as @EnotheStrife and I am always on board with discussing ideas about the game I love.
Finally, which deck are you going to get and how do you plan on building it? I am going to build the Cat deck up, and will be picking some cards from the Dragon deck for my [c]Scion of the Ur-Dragon[/c] too; but I would love to know what you do with your tribe!
Thanks for reading,