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By: CottonRhetoric, Cotton Rhetoric
May 08 2018 12:00pm
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 It's been over a year since FwC#6! This is 2018's most anticipated Part 7. 

Deck 1 Generosity

(pic=Kynaios and Tiro of Meleris)

I had this deck's premise way before I found its commander, and I was startled when I discovered how perfect a fit he was. The idea is this: what if instead of trying to kill your opponents, you tried to help them? What if you just cast help-everyone cards like Howling Mine and Helm of Awakening, befriending all players, while posing no threat, so they would then want to keep you alive, killing each other instead of you? (Perhaps when the game is down to the final two, you could pull out some unexpected wincon, which is what I'll be doing here, but it's also perfectly acceptable not to, and just be 100% altruistic to all.)

Let's start by breaking down the help-alls by category. 

1. Everyone draws

There are more cards in this category than any other. Here are some of the more noteworthy:

Vision Skeins Kami of the Crescent Moon Windfall Day's Undoing

Font of Mythos Prosperity Flux Horn of Greed 

2. Everyone gets mana

Eladamri's Vineyard Veteran Explorer Heartstone Mana Flare

Aluren New Frontiers Clear the Land Shizuko, Caller of Autumn 

3. Everyone gets creatures

Alliance of Arms Liege of the Hollows Weird Harvest

Elephant Resurgence Hunted Wumpus Kamahl's Summons

(The weirdest thing about Clear the Land and Hunted Wumpus above is that they're apparently by two different artists.) 

4. Everyone gets assorted stuff

Rites of Flourishing Eureka

Noble Benefactor Tempting Wurm Hive Mind Ley Line 

5. Everyone gets life

Grove of the Burnwillows Wall of Shards

There's actually not as many of these as I expected. (Obviously don't try Aven Shrine in Commander.) 

Maybe avoid these

...because they look suspiciously like threats, and our game plan is to endear ourselves to everyone, not worry them.

Jace Beleren Indentured Djinn Shah of Naar Isle

 Hired Giant Boldwyr Heavyweights 

What about black?

    Master of the Feast

Black is the only color this commander doesn't let us use, but in case you want to try this principle with a different commander (or in a noncommander format), here's what you're missing:

Enslaved Horror, Master of the Feast, and that's about it. And both of them arguably fall under the above category, so you really aren't missing anything.

Black doesn't like to help other players! It does like to punish itself, with cards like Grinning Demon and Infernal Denizen, but that's really not the point of this deck. 

So how do we win?

Since you're giving your opponents so many resources, you're probably best using something to unexpectedly win all at once. (If you go for a series of Serra Angel attacks, for instance, your opponent no doubt drew a Doom Blade off your Font of Mythos long ago.) This gives us many options.

As for a decklist, I offer this ridiculous pile, but you are encouraged to tinker with it.

 

Remember: that Old-Growth Dryads and Hired Giant are for BLOCKING. You do not want to do anything but help and bring joy to your opponents in the early game. 

Deck 2 Liches

Oloro, Ageless Ascetic

This deck too started with a premise, not a commander, and the premise was Liches. Thanks to Dominaria, there are now three, each functioning slightly differently:

Lich Nefarious Lich

I then looked for all the black legendary creatures to involve lifegain, and what do you know but one of them doesn't even need to be cast! This is enough to justify the deck.

Drawing three cards a turn is nice, but I want even more, so let's add some more lifegain. There are literally hundreds of cards on color to do this, so instead of a comprehensive list, here are some of my favorites:

Soul Spike  Gerrard's Wisdom  Faith's Fetters 

  Wall of Reverence    Words of Worship

Be wary of cards that gain TOO much life. Using Venser's Journal to draw 5 to 20 cards every turn will deck you pretty fast, and only 1 of the 3 Liches prevents you from dying that way.

At this point the temptation is to look at wisdom effects, like Nightmarish End or Cowed By Wisdom, but I don't recommend it. Those are only good after Lich is out, and at that point we need to worry about winning the game, not getting efficient stats on our Descendant of Kiyomaro. You're better off with cheap, reliable removal and creatures for the pre-Lich game.

Speaking of winning, how do we? The above Approach of the Second Sun is one way, and it's actually pretty easy to re-find it with all of our card draw. Also remember you can take advantage of Lich's "0 life" templating, meaning that any Mirror Universe effect will win the game upon resolution, for the original two Liches at least. In a multiplayer game, Repay in Kind is the ultimate example, not only resolving the same turn you cast it, but affecting everybody at once. In 1v1 commander, or simply to offer redundancy, you can also look to Axis of Mortality, Soul Conduit, and Magus of the Mirror.

Repay in Kind Mirror Universe 

Note that if you use a Mirror while not at 0 life, if your opponent is at a higher total, the exchange will count as life gain for you, so it will trigger the draw effect on Lich's Mastery (which does not put you at 0).

We do want to prevent ourselves from taking too much damage, due to the Liches' drawback, so let's add a bunch of wraths and fogs and such (WB has plenty of both).

Solitary Confinement's upkeep will be easy to pay with all of our card draw. Then there are smaller-scale stall cards like Forcefield, Beloved Chaplain, Seraph of the Sword, and so on.

How to actually find our Liches? A lot of tutors are banned in Commander, but a lot of them aren't! No Enlightened Tutor or Vampiric Tutor, but all of the below are good to go. And we really do want to pack a lot of these—they get not only the Liches, but other important cards like Solitary Confinement, a wrath, Repay in Kind, or Approach of the Second Sun.

Idyllic Tutor Academy Rector Beseech the Queen

Dark Petition Dimir House Guard Grim Tutor

Don't forget we are gaining life every turn, so we can capitalize on that too. These are nice for the pre-Lich game, or for those nightmarish scenarios when someone dares to hit Lich with a counterspell.

Ajani's Pridemate Well of Lost Dreams

Sanguine Bond

You'll notice so far that every card mentioned is either white or black, ignoring the blue part of our commander. This is on purpose, due not only to the BBBB requirements of Lich, but also the many double-white cards we're running, and especially the fact we don't need to actually cast our commander. If you want to expand the mana base, you could include cards like Second Chance and Delusions of Mediocrity, but there honestly isn't much reason to.

Here's my list! 

 

Deck 3 Legends Matter

Yes, a third commander deck to start somewhere other than its commander. With the release of Dominaria, there are a whole slew of legends-matter cards. Let's use them!

We had a few before Dominaria. Only a few though, and even less once we remove the unplayable ones like Adventurer's Guildhouse. Kamigawa block gave us Time of Need, Reki, the History of Kamigawa, the legends-matter land cycle, and some pump effects. Pre-Kamigawa gave us Sword of the Chosen and Captain Sisay. Post-Kamigawa gave us Hero's Blade and that's about it.

Reki, the History of Kamigawa Sword of the Chosen Captain Sisay

Dominaria gives us so much though! Legendary sorceries, legendary-matters, historic-matters, and all those cards you've been reading about for the past few weeks so I won't waste too much time repeating. I will pull out a few highlights from specific categories, though.

Removal:

Draw:

 

Utility:

From here there are two main paths we can take: with Jalira, Master Polymorphist or without.

Jalira, Master Polymorphist

"With" is obviously splashier and more exciting. But "Without" is more responsible. 12-mana spells are hard to cast if drawn, and Jalira is both fragile and suspicious-looking. "Without" is the overall stronger and more reliable deck.

It That Betrays
Choose one, only one.

We haven't picked a commander yet. Let's do that now.

The only one who's a lord for legendary is Arvad the Cursed, and I hardly think we want to limit ourselves to WB, so let's look elsewhere. All five colors have multiple things to offer this deck, but black and red are the least dear to us, so let's look at the WUG commanders. Of our options, I like Rafiq of the Many best for his ability to pair with small numbers of large creatures, which is what a legendary deck will often have.

Now that we've figuerd out our legendary matters slots, let's figure out who the legends themselves will be. Sticking with WUG, here are the strongest and most efficient:

Jenara, Asura of War Roon of the Hidden Realm Treva, the Renewer

Daxos of Meletis Ephara, God of the Polis

Isperia the Inscrutable  Isperia, Supreme Judge

Saffi Eriksdotter Dromoka, the Eternal

Plus a handful of monocolored ones, but that image block is already large enough. Note that all of these are pretty cheap to buy! Playing casually has its upsides.

Fleshing things out with ramp/fixing, removal, utility spells, and counterspells, we basically have our deck. Here it is:

 

 

P.S. Rafiq's exalted + double strike on a Dragonlord Ojutai wearing a Blackblade Reforged with six lands out deals 24 damage—in addition to triggering the Anticipate ability twice. 

See you next time, and have fun with Commander!