Adam_the_Mentat's picture
Dec 18 2015 12:00pm
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CJB: It's that time again!!

Hey everyone and Happy Holidays! This year's holiday article does its absolute best to stay on theme, but also deliver actual viable and fun commander decks to work with! My gift to you, and I will absolutely say, both of them can be really fun.

Some years I try to include other holidays as best I can, but I've always celebrated Xmas, so that's what this article is all about today.

So we have two decks. The first is Gift-giving Elves. Santa is notorious for having elves, and also giving gifts. Those elves usually make the gifts for Santa. The patriarch himself is not represented, but all of these Elves give the gift of excessive mana, and the whole deck plays off of that in a delightful green and red Christmas theme.

The second is Christmas Trees, which are actually treefolk. It has a subtheme of decorating the trees with equipment and artifacts, as well as having presents beneath them. It's monogreen.

So put on your ugly sweater, grab some cocoa or eggnog (even if it's in a controversial monored cup), pull up a nice warm computer desk or recliner with smartphone in hand, and let's talk Holiday Johnny decks.

Magus of the Candelabra 
Arbor Elf 
Realm Seekers 
Fyndhorn Elves 
Gyre Sage 
Bloodbraid Elf 
1 (Reclaimation Sage)
1 Priest of Titania
Joraga Treespeaker 
Oracle of Mul Daya 
Boreal Druid 
Elvish Mystic 
Llanowar Elves 
Elvish Archdruid 
Elvish Harbinger 
Farhaven Elf 
Imperious Perfect 
Wirewood Channeler 
Taurean Mauler 
Worldspine Wurm 
Feral Hydra 
Rimescale Dragon 
Dragonlair Spider 
Wren's Run Packmaster 
Steel Hellkite 
1 Mage-Ring Responder
Savage Ventmaw 


Gemstone Array 
Frontier Siege 
Perilous Vault 
1 Scour from Existence
Soul Foundry 
Orochi Hatchery 
Basalt Monolith 
Mana Vault 
Snake Basket 
Mana Reflection 
1 Meteor Blast
Xenagos, the Reveler 
Planar Portal 
Mana Crypt 
Sol Ring 
Into the North 
Braid of Fire 
Quicksilver Amulet 
Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury 
Thran Turbine 
Mizzium Mortars 
Beast Within 
Brittle Effigy 
Gelatinous Genesis 
Chord of Calling 
Strength of the Tajuru 
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon 
Karn Liberated 
Tower of Fortunes 
Hibernation's End 

Thawing Glaciers 
Mishra's Workshop 
Highland Weald 
Mouth of Ronom 
Urza's Factory 
Deserted Temple 
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx 
Kessig Wolf Run 
Snow-Covered Forest 
Snow-Covered Mountain 
Reflecting Pool 
Rogue's Passage 
Ghost Quarter 
Strip Mine 
Encroaching Wastes 
Stomping Ground 
Ancient Tomb 
Buried Ruin 
Kher Keep 
Springjack Pasture 
Thespian's Stage 
Maze of Ith 
1 Cinder Glade
Tectonic Edge 

So these Elves hook you up with mana, almost like someone hooking you up with giftcards or cash to get yourself whatever you really want for yourself even if it's paying a bill (Hibernation's End's Cumulative Upkeep).

I'm going to discuss the various inclusions, starting with creatures:

Magus of the Candelabra: The Magus could represent either your Jewish or Kwaanza-celebratin' friend, but he's here for utility today, The Braid and Radha's attack and Ventmaw's attack and the turbine may have floating mana that could otherwise go unused.
Arbor Elf: A mana-givin' elf. 
Realm Seekers: A powerful elf of Santa's, whom can call up numerous lands to boost your mana resources. Such nice gifts! 
Fyndhorn Elves: Old school mana-givin' elf. 
Gyre Sage: New school mana-givin' elf.
Bloodbraid Elf: Gives us a spell for free.
Joraga Treespeaker: Lookie! Another mana-elf. 
Oracle of Mul Daya: More land plays, more chances to play land, what a nice gifty elf. 
Boreal Druid: Snow reason not to include this mana elf. *ba-dummp tsssh* 
Elvish Mystic: New school that's old school mana-givin' elf/ 
Llanowar Elves: OG, yo. 
Elvish Archdruid, (Wireworld Channeler), & Priest of Titania: The big money elves. Rich cousins and uncles and aunts and such. 
Elvish Harbinger: Scours up someone else to come to the holiday party, but don't worry, they are most likely bringing gifts too. 
Farhaven Elf: Grab a land, thanks buddy! 
Imperious Perfect: Adds more elves to the fray and pumps them. Doesn't give mana, but it's the thought that counts. 
Taurean Mauler: When you have a large family and you sneak your friend/date in, but they aren't really family, but you introduce them to everyone as a member. 
Worldspine Wurm: This is what we are saving up all our gift cards to cast! 
Feral Hydra: There's always that one toy you buy with your extra holiday cast that actually requires extra batteries, resources, or DLC to make it really cool-- so you just keep pumping cash, er-- mana, into it. 
Reclamation Sage: The gift of dealing with something pesky. 
Rimescale Dragon: Snow dragon's like this dragon!  
Dragonlair Spider: Piggybacking off of what I've previously writtenChristmas trees in the Ukraine are often covered in spider webs. An ancient legend tells of a poor family who grew a Christmas tree from a pine cone. But the family was penniless, so the children’s tree couldn't be decorated. Upon waking, the children discovered that spiders had spun webs of glistening silk around the tree’s branches. Each thread magically turned into silver and gold as the morning’s sun danced upon the tree’s bows. Today, Ukrainians dress up their trees with spider webs to welcome good luck into the coming year.
Terastodon: This deck is all about gift-giving! Giving mana, giving lands, giving insect tokens Dragonlair Spider! Even my removal is gonna give away some stuff in return.
Wren's Run Packmaster: Ahh, the hallowed gift of Christmas wolves. 
Steel Hellkite: Steel Hellkite is the bomb ultra-expensive and super fun action figure you always wanted, like the deluxe Optimus Prime or the TRex Dinorider. 
Mage-Ring Responder: This is totally like that awesome toy you got, but required a crapton of batteries to continue being cool. It's a great mana sink to slap you extra mana into.
Savage Ventmaw: Believe it or not, if you Google 'Christmas Dragon' there's an awful 2014 direct-to-DVD movie titled that. Ventmaw hooks us up with mana.

Now let's talk the other spells.

Gemstone Array: This is in here to throw your during-weird-phases-of-your-turn mana into something to be able to be used later on. 
Frontier Siege: More continuous mana. 
Metrognome: This is for all your excess mana. Gnomes are Xmas elves in the South Park universe. 
Perilous Vault: Could mean the vault of presents at the North Pole or your parents' closet. 
Scour from Existence: Like Santa does to dem cookies.
Soul FoundryOrochi HatcherySnake Basket: The gift of extra creatures and using up your mana. 
Harmonize: The gift of more cards. 
Basalt MonolithMana Vault: Ways to gain mana, and ways to use up extra mana. 
Mana Reflection: The gift of double mana. 
Meteor Blast: The gift of PAIN!
Xenagos, the Reveler: Christmas partier extraordinaire

Mana CryptSol Ring: Obvious inclusions are obvious. 
Into the North: Into the North Pole. 
Braid of Fire: More mana! 
Quicksilver Amulet: Pop out them big creatures, use up your mana. 
Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury: Tanta Kringle.
Thran Turbine: Even more upkeep mana! 
Mizzium MortarsIn acknowledgement of the Christmas Holidays, Bavarian Highlanders fire handheld mortars into the air every year while wearing their traditional dress.
Beast Within: Give the gift of removal and a beast. 
Brittle Effigy: Oh no we broke some of the Christmas decorations. 
Gelatinous Genesis: Too many jello deserts! 
Chord of Calling: Use up that mana! 
Strength of the Tajuru: ditto! 
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon: Automatic include.
Karn Liberated: ditto!
Tower of Fortunes: The best way to draw in a deck with tons of mana. 
Hibernation's End: Perfect partner to Braid of Fire.

Now check this out!: 

This screenshot illustrates how effective a Rimescale Dragon can be, even if it requires one more extra mana than it should. 

This shows you a beatdown about to happen, with Meteors flying everywhere. Also, look everyone, the Dragonlair Spider from PZ1 is glitched and gives me flying, deathtouch insects. :P

Kalonian Twingrove 
Woodfall Primus 
1 Great Oak Guardian
Yew Spirit 
Dungrove Elder 
Wickerbough Elder 
Leaf-Crowned Elder 
Bosk Banneret 
Orchard Warden 
Unstoppable Ash 
Cloudcrown Oak 
Dauntless Dourbark 
Seedguide Ash 
Timber Protector 
Treefolk Harbinger 
Deadwood Treefolk 
Nemata, Grove Guardian 
Magnigoth Treefolk 
Treefolk Seedlings 
Weatherseed Treefolk 
Chameleon Colossus 
Adaptive Automaton 
Worldspine Wurm 

Reach of Branches 
Vernal Bloom 
Mana Reflection 
Gauntlet of Power 
Caged Sun 
Mana Crypt 
Sol Ring 
Thran Dynamo 
Gilded Lotus 
Skyshroud Claim 
Beacon of Creation 
Nissa, Worldwaker 
1 Nissa's Revelation
1 Nissa's Renewal
1 Scour from Existence
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon 
Karn Liberated 
All Is Dust 
Akroma's Memorial 
Desert Twister 
Beast Within 
Song of the Dryads 
Sorcerer's Strongbox 
Brittle Effigy 
Coercive Portal 
Unstable Obelisk 
Staff of Nin 
Quicksilver Amulet 
Elixir of Immortality 
Soul's Majesty 
Sword of Light and Shadow
Sword of Fire and Ice 
Sword of Feast and Famine 
Spidersilk Armor 
Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury 

Maze of Ith 
Jungle Basin 
Ancient Tomb 
Mouth of Ronom 
Ghost Quarter 
Strip Mine 
Encroaching Wastes 
Thespian's Stage 
Thawing Glaciers 
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx 
Rogue's Passage 
20 Snow-Covered Forest 
Llanowar Reborn 
Yavimaya Hollow 
Tectonic Edge 
Myriad Landscape 
1 Blighted Woodland

So this deck is all about Christmas trees, as in Treefolk. Veredeloth leads the way, bringing gifts of Saprolings, which are the second worst gift to give someone after Fruitcake.

Beacon of Creation makes all the parasitic insects that dwell in cut down Christmas Trees.

All the Treefolk in the deck represent the Christmas trees but also form a unique tribal concoction. Worldspine Wurm again, makes an appearance, because I can't help myself when I have this much mana. The mana-fixers here today are things like Caged Sun, which resembles a Xmas ornament, (Gauntle of Power), Vernal Bloom and so forth. After a while, a lot of mana starts flying around.

Sorcerer's Strongbox is a present under the tree. Akroma's Memorial is the angel on top. The trees are decorated with Sword ornaments. Spidersilk Armor takes over the previous deck's Dragonlair Spider Ukrainian role.

Speaking of ornaments, Aeolipile absolutely looks like an ornanment falling off a tree and breaking. Broken glass ornament shard in foot = 2 damage, IT ALL MAKES SENSE!

Thanks for joining me again. Happy Holidays!! Did I miss anything you would've included? 

Lemme know in the comments below, or maybe shoot me a message in Twitter: @CmdrJohnnyBoosh.