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By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Aug 16 2017 12:00pm
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I've become a bit Disenchanted with 1v1 on MTGO recently.  If you noticed, I have taken a break from my stats column.  People read it of course, and I got a lot of outstanding feedback, but it started to drag on me a little bit. 

You see when you keep doing the same thing over and over again, it gets boring.  Yeah, Breya, Etherium Shaper is a great Commander.  A lot of people play it, and it is very powerful, so it makes sense to run the card.  If you're playing in leagues you're probably looking to maximize your winnings, and I do not blame anyone looking to recoup costs on the format or what not.   The same goes with any of the other most played Commanders.  You play to win the game right? 

It just got repetitive.  Reporting on the same decks week in and week out was getting to me, and I decided that I needed to take a break, because the column turned in to something that I was not happy with, and that was a weekly pleading for action on the format.  Why research and development decided to start the 1v1 list from the ground up is something that will forever confuse me, considering that Wizards worked with the Elder Dragon Highlander people before they started to release Commander products.  Did they reach out to the Duel Commander leaders and community before they made any decisions?  I'm not sure if they did or not, but there was a treasure trove of information that they could have had, and I feel like their community did a lot of work that we are currently doing now on MTGO. 

I am of course, very happy that 1v1 has made it to the client.  Even though I signed up for a fresh World of Warcraft subscription, I'm playing more Magic than I have in recent memory, and that is because of the format.  I long wanted it on the client, and it was near the top of my wish list for the program.  I love playing it and combined with a Standard format that allows me to cast seven mana sorceries for fun and profit, (here's looking at you Approach of the Second Sun) or eleven mana artifact creatures for free (Metalwork Colossus) and a Modern format that allows me to cast eight Blood Moon effects or like infinite Time Warps, the amount of cool stuff that is happening on the client for me is very high right now! 

In fact while I was writing that intro I started a fresh 1v1 league with Animar, Soul of Elements and won on turn four against my Nissa, Vastwood Seer opponent. 

I tell you what, someone might want to do something about that Pestermite card in Modern.  I mean it sees a little play in the format, but having access to a creature that can untap something might be a little dangerous. 

Animar was my first Commander.  Well that and Kaalia of the Vast.  I remember picking up each of the decks from my local game shop, cracking open the boxes and just having a ton of fun with those cards playing multiplayer Commander.  Kaalia was cool and all, what with the ability to cheat Angels, Demons or Dragons on to the battlefield, but Animar just spoke to me.  Eldrazi were the biggest baddest thing in Magic at the time and seeing the kind of combos that I could pull off with the Commander really spoke to my Spike side.  I went to another shop in Owensboro to pick up some things, and played EDH with friends.  We played until the sun was coming up and the shop owner needed to get home to shower and nap before opening the store again, so I raced to my girlfriend's house at the time, woke her and her daughter up, took them to breakfast, then dropped her kiddo off at daycare, and bless her heart, she humored my excitement about the format for about another hour before finally falling asleep, me sprawled out on her floor with a stack of cards in front of me while trying to figure out the best way to crush the upcoming league pods.  

Sadly that decklist, much like the girlfriend, has been lost to time.  I remember that I ran a ton of mana creatures, the biggest Eldrazi, the Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Pestermite or Deceiver Exarch combo.  I think Aluren was in there.  All I know is I built the deck to maximize the point totals we would get in League play.  It was based on the Armada points system that Sheldon wrote about many years ago.  

Yeah I was going to Spike up a casual Commander league.  I had the best time ever though. I'm not entirely sure about the pods I played in, but for the month the league ran I won 6 pods outright (we played two pods a day on League day), and I only played for three weeks.  I had built up a seemingly insurmountable point total, and held on to win the league when I skipped the last weekend to go out with the kids and girlfriend. 

I'd like to say that I won the next couple of leagues as well, but the shop struggled, and instead of continuing to put money in to it, the owner decided that it would be better suited as his office space for his general practice.  We had a good time while that shop existed though. 

Anyways, Animar is my favorite because of sentimental reasons.  My son was still young, I was happy, and I can look back on that time and see a lot of really good memories.  Things ended poorly for nearly everyone involved, and when I started to get sick and stopped traveling, Animar was one of the first things to go in my collection sell off.  I know the staff at Cape Fear Games took care of the deck and made sure the parts went to a loving owner. 

That bit of extended story time now ends and it is time to at least show off the deck I am taking through leagues right now.  I went 4-1 with my first play through, and am currently 3-0 with it, but the Narset, Enlightened Master player I am paired against right now is giving me fits.  To be fair, my opponent is just crushing me with Jace, the Mind Sculptor right now. 

It's not a pretty game. 

Let's take a look at the list I am running.  After that I have the first league recorded and ready to be viewed! 

Animar, Soul of Elements
- 100 Cards Total
1 Ainok Survivalist
1 Ancestral Statue
1 Arbor Elf
1 Bloodbraid Elf
1 Bloom Tender
1 Coiling Oracle
1 Deceiver Exarch
1 Den Protector
1 Duskwatch Recruiter
1 Elvish Mystic
1 Elvish Visionary
1 Eternal Witness
1 Fauna Shaman
1 Flametongue Kavu
1 Gilded Drake
1 Imperial Recruiter
1 Lotus Cobra
1 Mulldrifter
1 Nissa, Vastwood Seer
1 Oracle of Mul Daya
1 Peregrine Drake
1 Pestermite
1 Phantasmal Image
1 Venser, Shaper Savant
1 Primeval Titan
1 Prowling Serpopard
1 Rattleclaw Mystic
1 Raven Familiar
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Sakura-Tribe Elder
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Sea Gate Oracle
1 Surrak Dragonclaw
1 Sylvan Ranger
1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
1 Priest of Titania
1 Wall of Blossoms
1 Wall of Roots
1 Vizier of the Menagerie
1 Wirewood Symbiote
1 Wood Elves
1 Woodland Bellower
1 Zealous Conscripts
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Man-o'-War
1 Maelstrom Wanderer
1 Llanowar Elves
1 Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
1 Gaea's Herald
1 Fierce Empath
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
1 Cloud of Faeries
1 Birds of Paradise
52 cards

1 Chord of Calling
1 Worldly Tutor
2 cards
1 Green Sun's Zenith
1 Eldritch Evolution
1 Glimpse of Nature
3 cards

1 Birthing Pod
1 cards
1 Earthcraft
1 Wild Growth
2 cards

1 Polluted Delta
1 Mountain
3 Island
4 Forest
1 Fire-Lit Thicket
1 City of Brass
1 Arid Mesa
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Botanical Sanctum
1 Breeding Pool
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Command Tower
1 Copperline Gorge
1 Flooded Grove
1 Flooded Strand
1 Hinterland Harbor
1 Karplusan Forest
1 Mana Confluence
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Sulfur Falls
1 Taiga
1 Tropical Island
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Volcanic Island
1 Windswept Heath
1 Wooded Foothills
1 Yavimaya Coast
1 Rootbound Crag
1 Steam Vents
1 Stomping Ground
36 cards
1 Skullclamp
1 cards

1 Animar, Soul of Elements

Here are some games with the sweet deck.  It's only an hour long, which for five matches is really sweet.  I lost my first round to Jace, Vryn's Prodigy and then won against Leovold, Emissary of Trest, Animar, Soul of Elements (which makes for a really weird mirror match), Baral, Chief of Compliance, and Atraxa, Praetors' Voice.  I did not expect to beat Baral, so that coupled with a win against the Commander in the second league was a super awesome surprise. 

The second league, where I also went 4-1 saw me beat two Nissa, Vastwood Seer decks, a Baral, and Tymna the Weaver and Thrasios, Triton Hero.  I lost to the Narset player I spoke of earlier. 

If you're in the market for a super competitive Animar list, I could not recommend this one enough.  It has all the combo goodness that one would expect from the Commander, and can just explode out of the gate, making some games almost impossible for your opponent to catch up to.  Give it a whirl, I don't think you'll be disappointed! 

Next time, um.  I'll think of something else to write about.  We're getting close to a new league and hopefully a new banned list, but I wouldn't be surprised if WotC made no changes this cycle.  Just a gut feeling I have.  Thanks for hanging out! 


Looks like a funish serious by Paul Leicht at Wed, 08/16/2017 - 13:22
Paul Leicht's picture

Looks like a funnish serious deck. Hard to take it all in really. No creatures like Palinchron for the "broken" mechanic? That's usually how mp Animar wins early.

yeah I've not seen any by JXClaytor at Wed, 08/16/2017 - 17:37
JXClaytor's picture

yeah I've not seen any Palinchron in the animar lists for 1v1. I think Ancestral Statue fills the role of that guy, you're not really looking to gain a mana advantage (unless you need to fire off a Zenith) so pumping animar for free and just naturally casting an eldrazi titan seems to work.

Love it, Animar is one of by ArchGenius at Wed, 08/16/2017 - 15:23
ArchGenius's picture

Love it, Animar is one of those commanders I've been wanting to try out.

I'm guessing that Wotc might be willing to finally ban Breya, however I think that would just force the Breya players into Tymna Kraum decks. Beyond that, I'm thinking demonic and vampirism tutors might be on the chopping block. All the other tutors either cost 3 or more, or limit what you can get.

Partner was a broken by JXClaytor at Wed, 08/16/2017 - 19:20
JXClaytor's picture

Partner was a broken mechanic, but I am okay if it pushes Breya players there for some reason.

I think the tutors and fast mana have to go. In fact I sold my Mox Diamond in anticipation of it getting the axe.