Mighty Morphin’ – (Sultai Commander Deck Tech), by Paul Palmer

Morphs, flash, Ugin and Kadena... Paul explains how he's making the most of Kadena, Slinking Sorcerer's abilities in his Sulati Morph Commander deck.

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Kadena, Slinking Sorcerer from Commander 2019 (C19)

32 Colour Combinations Challenge – The Premise

What exactly is this “challenge”? In short, the idea is to build a Commander deck for every colour combination. That means a deck for each mono-colour (including colourless), each Ravnica Guild, each Shard/Tarkir clan, each Nephilim combination, and of course WUBRG (or “five colour”).

The challenge appealed to me on two levels. Firstly, I love brewing for Commander. Building decks is just so much fun, whether it’s “Good Stuff” decks, decks with a theme or even just a sub-theme, something about it is so relaxing.

Secondly, I love the challenge that it provides. From choosing an interesting general for each deck to making them play differently but still enjoyably: there are so many things to think about when building for Commander. I highly recommend you try this out too.

Instead of just building these lists and leaving them to gather dust in my Tappedout folder, I’m writing an article about each one. I’m only about halfway through the decks and have enjoyed it immensely.

These articles aren’t in any particular order, but I hope they spark some inspiration for your own decks (and don’t get too confusing)!

The Slinking Sorcerer

When C19 was first spoiled Kadena, Slinking Sorcerer was not the card that most excited me, but after seeing the deck played out a few times and including some random morphs in my other decks (especially Willbender and Den Protector) I decided, ”Yeah, let’s try it”.

Kadena has two important abilities:

”The first face-down creature you cast each turn costs 3 less to cast”

This ability means the first morph you cast costs 0… but that’s not all. The way it’s worded also includes the first morph I cast on my opponents turns too. With this in mind I stacked the deck with a huge flash package including Vivien, Champion of the Wilds, Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir as well as more popular Vedalken Orrery and Leyline of Anticipation giving me a fairly high chance to be able to cast 4 free morphs every turn cycle within my pod.

”Whenever a face-down creature enters the battlefield under your control draw a card”

Synergising very well with Kadena’s first ability, this means that the first free morph you cast draws you a card. Unlike the first ability this doesn’t just work with your first morph of the turn, so you can cast any number to keep drawing cards. In conjunction with flash-enabling cards, this lets you draw a lot of cards for no mana. If you can keep Kadena in play and then cast Ghastly Conscription you can draw a TON of cards.

The Morphs

The title of this article isn’t just a Power Rangers reference (although it is definitely a terrible Power Rangers reference) but it’s also true about the morphs in my deck. The best thing about playing a control deck is holding up your mana to represent instant-speed interaction but one of the worst things is struggling to close out a game.

Morphs give you the best of both.

They allow you to hold up your mana to flip them, and also leave a creature behind to chip away at your opponent’s life total. This deck has a strong morph theme of course, including well-known classics such as Den Protector and Willbender as well as some more obscure ones like Weaver of Lies and Mischievous Quanar. While these are all powerful morphs, the way the deck normally resorts to win is a ”pickle” lock, using Brine Elemental to stop people from untapping and then copying the morph ability every turn with Vesuvan Shapeshifter

Modal Spells Matter

One of the things I’ve learned from playing Commander is that utility spells tend to be the ones that win games. Your huge creatures might be the ones that actually close out the games in the end but it’s the utility that sets you up to be in a position to play those huge haymakers.

There is nothing that provides more utility than modal spells that can fulfill multiple distinct roles. There is nothing worse than a removal spell in hand when you need a counterspell, or card draw when you need removal – or vice versa when you have nothing to interact with. This can be solved by cards that have multiple of these options on one card.

One of my favorite Commander set cards printed is probably Mystic Confluence. It does everything that blue mages want: it draws cards, counters spells and bounces creatures while also being slightly easier to cast than it’s older cousin, Cryptic Command. As well as the Confluence, I’ve also loved Primal Command since my days playing Wort, the Raidmother. Just like Mystic Confluence, Primal Command does everything: it lets you search for whatever creature you need at that time, remove any noncreature permanent is a problem and can shuffle any players graveyard into their deck, either granting access to your own dead creatures or dealing with graveyard-centric decks.

While it may not be as powerful as some of the other cards I’ve mentioned, Return to Nature is something I include in all of my recent green decks because it can hit a lot of problematic permanents like Sol Ring and Rhystic Study, while also being able to hit specific reanimation targets.

Build-a-Prophet Workshop

I’ve never had a problem with a lot of the cards that are banned and I think they’re all fair bans. That being said I’ve never been more upset about a banned card that I have when I was building this deck and wanted to include Prophet of Kruphix. I totally understand why it is banned but I only want to do fair things with it so that makes it fine right? No? Fine… So with Prophet being banned, I figured I’d just have to build my own. I’ve already talked about a lot of the number of cards in the deck that give flash so I figured with those I’d throw in some of the cards that untap lands and permanents like my personal standard MVP Wilderness Reclamation and commander staple Seedborn Muse. While Prophet is banned I can use all of the card draw from Kadena to cycle through my deck and set up my own flatpack Prophet.

Who Needs Colours?

When they’re face-down, morphs are all colourless which allows you to lean a little into some colourless-matters cards that you might otherwise expect to see artifact-centric decks. Ugin, the Spirit Dragon works as a one-sided exiling boardwipe and can act as a win condition or removal if it survives. The newer Ugin (Newgin?), Ugin, the Ineffable works as another powerful removal spell with his minus ability, but can also do a very good Kadena impression by reducing the cost of all of my morphs to 1, allowing me to dump my hand easily and draw a load of cards if my Commander is out.

As well as Ugin and Newgin there is one more important ”colourless cards matter” card that has a weird interaction with morphs. Mystic Forge allows you to look at the top card of your deck and cast it if it’s an artifact or a colourless nonland card. Thanks to the way morphs work when you cast it it’s a colourless card regardless of the cards actual colour this means that you can morph your creatures off of the top of your deck.

There are a lot more sweet interactions you can have in this deck and honestly Kadena, Slinking Sorcerer has quickly become one of my favourite Commander decks as it lets me do everything I want in the format: ramp, draw a ton of cards and hold up interaction for later in the game.

Let me know if you’ve seen a deck recently that you then decided to build and then fell in love with. Or if I’ve missed any interesting Kadena interactions.

If you want to see more of my 32 Colour Combinations check them out below:

1. Jeskai – Sevinne, the Chronoclasm
2. Mono-Blue – Kefnet, the Mindful
3. Simic – Edric, Spymaster of Trest
4. Grixis – Mairsil, the Pretender
5. Mono-Red – Neheb, the Eternal

As always thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the article

Paul Palmer

Mighty Morphin' – (Sultai Commander Deck Tech)
Mighty Morphin' – (Sultai Commander Deck Tech)
Morphs, flash, Ugin and Kadena... Paul Palmer explains how he's making the most of Kadena, Slinking Sorcerer's abilities in his Sulati Morph Commander deck.
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