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By: Adam_the_Mentat, THE WOTC TOOK MY BABY AWAY
Jun 25 2015 12:00pm
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CJB: Feldon of the Third Path


Hey everyone! Sorry about the lack of articles for a while, I've been *SHAMELESS, SHAMELESS-I SAY, SELF-PROMOTION* spending the bulk of my free time actually playing MTGO, Tweeting on Twitter, or working with AJ on Freed From the Real.

So I am a constant proponent, and dare-I-say, lover, of Commander. I have well over 75 Commander decks and counting. I try to make Commander decks based on either fun, Johnny wackiness, or effectiveness -- but overall I like it most when all three cross over. Whereas I have a ton of Commander decks, there are only a couple handfuls of Legends that have gripped me to the point of favoritism.

I still have my strong affinity for Varolz, and I absolutely love Titania, Protector of Argoth, one of the first C14 Commanders to call to me with the hallowed words of "create me." Roon brought with him all of the flickerblinking that I love so much, while Heidar is a snow-covered, conditional bounce-machine that I turn on my own stuff. Karametra fuels my love of ramping, and Animar, with which my brain begged me to create an all-creature build, helped me conceive really fun, weird decks.

What do all of these have in common? 

  1. They are all fun to play.
  2. They all contain insidious, maniacal, or just plain whimsical Johnny combos.
  3. When they go off, they can really go off and really win you the game in unique ways.

Very recently, another Legend has really grabbed my Commander-fancy, and I'm going to showcase two builds of him; one really mean, aggro-based one and one decidedly-more-Johnny.


When I was a kid, learning the wonder of Magic the Gathering, my friend and I would build decks with over 100 cards in them, and no, these weren't Commander decks. Just straight up decks. The casual fun of drawing something different every time we played: "Will I draw Spinal Villain? or Exorcist?" -- was the whole point, and competitive Magic wasn't even a thing, as far as I know. Our games would go on for hours, amid Cheetos dust on our fingers and spilled Mountain Dew on my Sunken City we would play and play, and play. Sometimes we didn't want the fun to end, but we'd draw through our whole gigantic decks.

One day I was at a flea market and came across binders of Magic cards for sale, and discovered an Antiquities Feldon's Cane amid the tomes, and promptly handed the gentleman 50 cents, and went triumphantly home and threw it in my pre-Grixis, Grixis-colored deck of too many card.

Feldon found the first of these canes frozen in the Ronom Glacier

But who was Feldon? It wouldn't be until 1999 that he'd have his story told in a book based on Magic storylines, and probably like most of you, my inner-Vorthos didn't get to hear its story until the Mothership slapped it up on their webpage, though we discovered Ronom stuff in Coldsnap.

Of course, as a prolific and proficient Commander player, I am instantly enthralled with Commander sets being released. When Feldon was previewed, nostalgia overwhelmed me. Loran's story coupled with the flavor text moved me, and I thought the card awesome-- but awesome as in, a card to put in most commander decks where he'd be useful, not as a commander deck himself. Incidentally, I've spoken about him on episode 325 of FFTR, and he played the role of Uncle Owen in my Star Wars Special deck.

Since my initial thoughts, I've come to realize just how awesome he can be at the helm of a deck. 


The Wayfarer
Perceiving the pathway to truth,
Was struck with astonishment.
It was thickly grown with weeds.
“Ha,” he said,
“I see that none has passed here
In a long time.”
Later he saw that each weed
Was a singular knife.
“Well,” he mumbled at last,
“Doubtless there are other roads.”
 
~ Stephen Crane


 

Creatures 
Mogg Bombers 
Mogg Fanatic 
Mogg War Marshal 
Spark Elemental 
Generator Servant 
Hellspark Elemental 
Stigma Lasher 
1 Hell's Thunder
Ball Lightning 
Skizzik 
Blistering Firecat 
Obsidian Fireheart 
Thunderblust 
Ghitu Slinger 
Keldon Vandals 
Avalanche Riders 
Thick-Skinned Goblin 
Volcano Hellion 
Firemaw Kavu 
Keldon Champion 
Keldon Marauders 
Shivan Wumpus 
Keldon Firebombers 
Rathi Dragon 
Thermopod 
Goblin Settler 
Goblin Ruinblaster 
Ravenous Baboons 
Simian Spirit Guide 
29 cards

Other Spells 
Goblin Bombardment 
Elemental Appeal 
Death Spark 
Flame Slash 
Lightning Bolt 
Flame Rift 
Magma Jet 
Mizzium Mortars 
Thunderbolt 
Sudden Shock 
Browbeat 
Staggershock 
Breaking Point 
Hammer of Bogardan 
Ruination 
From the Ashes 
Volcanic Offering 
Incendiary Command 
Impending Disaster 
Boom/Bust 
Chaos Warp 
Coalition Relic 
Darksteel Ingot 
Fire Diamond 
Coldsteel Heart 
Lotus Bloom 
Lotus Petal 
Mox Diamond 
Mana Crypt 
Sol Ring 
Lotus Blossom 
Wheel of Fate 
Wheel of Fortune 
Seething Song 
Rite of Flame 
Desperate Ritual 
Shivan Harvest 
Uncontrolled Infestation 
Crucible of Worlds 
Gamble 
40 cards

Lands 
Encroaching Wastes 
Dust Bowl 
Ghost Quarter 
1 Tectonic Edge
Strip Mine 
21 Snow-Covered Mountain 
Thawing Glaciers 
Mouth of Ronom 
Mikokoro, Center of the Sea 
Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle 
30 cards

 

Avalanche_Riders.jpg
Boom__Bust.jpg


This is the meanest deck I've ever produced, perhaps. It's very heavy on land destruction and turning that to your advantage. Over the years, I began as someone who completely hated land destruction of any kind. Then I accepted Strip Mines and Wastelands populating the casual room and inserting themselves more and more into Commander decks. There are problem lands, sure, but then sometimes folks go overboard.
Over the years I've tried to lighten... and no matter how much I want the person on the other end to be as casual as me-- they usually aren't. So, I decided to take a walk on the opposite side of the tracks and try some land destruction in a deck.
 
There are games where people are going to get angry. I created this deck about a month ago and have been playing it off and on, when I'm of a mood. On Father's Day, while not playing this deck, but others, every game my landbase was taken out so I had to sit there until I inevitably had to concede due to no hope. It's times like that I don't feel bad about playing this deck.
 
On days where I am playing an opponent who doesn't particularly appear heinous, I feel almost bad putting out a Ravenous Baboons on turn two and destroying my opponent's Command Tower. So this deck sparks a dichotomy of emotions.
 

Adam's mind formulating this deck...

 

This whole concept started because I pulled a Thunderblust in an MM2015 pack, and I was trying to think of things I could do with it. When my mind unraveled into Ball Lightning and Blistering Firecat, that's where I got to thinking of Feldon, and then the deck took a meanieface turn because I realized most of the stuff I was slapping in this commander deck was low-level CMCs, so maybe I could supplement with mana trickery and mana artifacts, speed these things out and be able to recur them with Feldon... so why do I need lands? I'll hose lands! I'll hose as many lands as I can while crippling my opponent and filling the rest up with burn, and fun Feldon chicanery! Hellspark Elemental-type-sacrifice creatures! Echo creatures! Evoke! Goblin Bombardment! Shivan Harvest!
 
 
If you have out artifact mana, and your Feldon, you can recur the riders or baboons or the settler after casting Impeding Disaster or something, You can recur the champion or the bombers for tons of damage. If you have destroyed some lands, throwing out a Feldon-token-Shivan Wumpus every turn becomes heinous quick.
 
Something I really love with Feldon, is Wheel of Fortune and it's Time Spiral-ilk. Even if your hand is slightly full, you might be pitching cards Feldon can then abuse. 
 
I've had out the bombardment, and been able to cast a (Ghitu Firesligner), sac it to the enchantment and then recur it with Feldon, attack and sac it again for a total of 8 damage from it in one turn.
 

Once I played a blue mage who countered 7 of my spells in a row. Seven. I wound up casting Boom/Bust and he conceded, and proceeded to find me in private messages to scold me. I understand the passion behind being angered by such a bold move, and I tried to understand his reasoning. Why was negating all of my moves and turns, causing me 7 cards, not equal to in heinousness to shutting down land for each of us? In all fairness I did have out a Fire Diamond, but I only had out Feldon and he, nothing. It wasn't end game. Anything could've happened. Just prepare yourself for this type of vehement backlash for playing a subset of cards that exist and have existed for quite some time. Honestly, I am still learning to pilot this, and often changing it. Sometimes I destroy all the lands and wind up boning myself in the process.

A great happenstance was playing someone who had out a Mana Vault, who I had gotten down to five life. I Busted all the lands, and he slowly died from Vault damage-- only saving himself at 1 point o' life. It was just  a game of cat and also cat until I grabbed the fireslinger and ended him.
 
This deck also has Thick-Skinned Goblin in it, as a small chance to avoid paying echo costs if you need bodies on the field. Due to Feldon's ability, even with that charred noface goblin on the field sometimes I'd let the echo creature die.
 
Amid the angry concedes, the ragequits, the people scolding you, you can find people, like my cohost on FFTR, AJ, who appreciate this kind of thing. You can have fun interactions-- heck, I just won a game before writing this paragraph with just Blistering Firecat-Feldon-tokens every turn.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

~ Robert Frost


Creatures 
Mogg Bombers 
Mogg Fanatic 
Mogg War Marshal 
Stigma Lasher 
Ball Lightning 
Skizzik 
Blistering Firecat 
Obsidian Fireheart 
Thunderblust 
Ghitu Slinger 
Keldon Vandals 
Avalanche Riders 
Volcano Hellion 
Firemaw Kavu 
Keldon Champion 
Keldon Marauders 
Shivan Wumpus 
Inferno Titan 
Soul of Shandalar 
Burnished Hart 
Duplicant 
1 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Solemn Simulacrum
Hell's Thunder 
Goblin Marshal 
Rimescale Dragon 
Balefire Dragon 
Bogardan Hellkite 
Spawn of Thraxes 
1 Tyrant of Discord
1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
31 cards

Other Spells 
Goblin Bombardment 
Flame Slash 
Lightning Bolt 
Magma Jet 
Mizzium Mortars 
Browbeat 
Incendiary Command 
Chaos Warp 
Darksteel Ingot 
Fire Diamond 
Coldsteel Heart 
Lotus Bloom 
Mana Crypt 
Sol Ring 
Wheel of Fortune 
Seething Song 
Shivan Harvest 
Caged Sun 
Skullclamp 
Staff of Nin 
Coercive Portal 
Memory Jar 
Gauntlet of Power 
Sensei's Divining Top 
Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
Chandra Ablaze 
Mimic Vat 
Banefire 
Bonfire of the Damned 
Skred 
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon 
All Is Dust 
Karn Liberated 
35 cards

Lands 
Encroaching Wastes 
Dust Bowl 
Ghost Quarter 
Strip Mine 
21 Snow-Covered Mountain 
Thawing Glaciers 
Mouth of Ronom 
Mikokoro, Center of the Sea 
Maze of Ith 
Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle 
Thespian's Stage 
Vesuva 
Deserted Temple 
Ancient Tomb 
1 Tectonic Edge
35 cards



Now this deck is far more suited for polite company, but it'll still get ya your wins, a lot of the time.

I've retained the Ball Lightning style elementals, because they are very fun to recur with Feldon. I've pushed Feldon's ability as the main build around here, taking the pieces from the more-heinous version that wouldn't get you murdered and replacing a lot of the "destroy all o' dem lands" cards with more Echo / Evoke / Recur-ables. Duplicant drops in, which can net you some concedes if you manage to drop it, sacrifice it, and recur it every turn. I kept numerous mana-producing artifacts from the first build in this deck, to help speed along the turns and games-- but removed things like Desperate Ritual and Simian Spirit Guide and replaced them with land, Caged Sun and Gauntlet of Power. Pro Tip: If I still owned a Gauntlet of Might it would go in this deck.

I pushed the Snow-Covered subtheme by adding Skred and one of my all-time favorite red dragons, Rimescale Dragon.

I still like the combo of Wheel of Fortune type spells with Feldon, discarding creatures to make artifact tokens of while filling your hand with other viable cards, so that theme stayed in, with the addition of the Chandra that does that for four cards-- since mass land destruction wasn't a theme, I could add a host of more expensive cards. This also allowed me to add in the colorless utility trifecta of All is Dust, Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, and Karn Liberated.

The addition of Kiki-Jiki allows for even more temporary token fun and EtB trigger abusing.

Three cards which really performed in a stellar fashion were Firemaw Kavu, Stigma Lasher, and Volcano Hellion. The Hellion took out a lot of opposing stuff, for the small price of some life, and then swung for 6 if it was a Feldon Hastey token. Stigma Lasher either did its job of perma-no-life-game or died dropping wither counters, and could then be artifact-tokenized via Feldon to rinse and repeat. Firemaw Kavu is Flametongue's less cool cousin, but shines here for the potential of doing six damage in one turn with it.

More than the first deck, this one really hates having Feldon get tucked, so I plan to play it even more once the Tuck rule is implemented online.


So there you have it, two decks, spawned from Feldon. Here's a great card and definitely in my top favorite magic cards of all time. He costs less than a Kiki-Jiki and does different stuff. I can't wait to get ahold of Chandra's parents from Origins so I can recur them with Feldon, making them an artifact they can sacrifice to themselves. Feldon's not done being useful, either. He's a great asset to two other decks I plan to talk about in the future: Grenzo, Dungeon Warden and Alesha, Who Smiles at Death. He's great to include in any graveyard recursion deck that runs red, honestly. 

What would you have added? What would you have changed? Leave me suggestions in the comments section here, or find me on twitter @CmdrJohnnyBoosh.

Thanks for reading!