Oh the weather outside’s been frightful, but this deck is so delightful, and since we’ve no place to go, let’s team up and crush the jerk playing draw-go!
I’m back with another seasonal deck that will serve as a lead in to next week’s coverage of Jumpstart 2022, as well as doing all of your favorite Bant things: playing lands, drawing cards, and removing any obstacles in your way to winning.
The Commander: Isu the Abominable
An exciting new Commander from Jumpstart 2022 has snow-fallen into my heart this holiday season and I can’t wait to get cards in hand for this deck and start burying my opponents! Isu has 2 great abilities and a pretty decent 3rd one to activate with the extra little bits of mana you inevitably wind up with throughout a game. Looking at the top of your deck is always useful to let you plan ahead, and if you so choose can even be a whole deck on its own built around manipulating the top card, ripping Miracle cards like Devastation Tide and Terminus off as needed to grind your way to victory.
This deck is primarily built around the 2nd ability to give us a bunch of card advantage and snowball our way into a win. 64 of the 99 cards in our main are snow, which means we are frequently going to be able to rip multiple cards in a row off of the top. Crucially, Isu lets us play lands as well as cast spells so with ways to put multiple lands into play per turn we can continuously churn through what would otherwise be dead cards while also ramping our big threats out or just growing Isu themselves.
We have some traditional ramp with cards like Nature’s Lore and Arcane Signet, but we’re also running a number of snow-specific ones such as Boreal Druid, Into the North, Coldsteel Heart, and Replicating Ring. Glittering Frost can be combined with Rime Tender, Rimewind Taskmage, or Sculptor of Winter for even more mana.
Above and beyond that, our preferred method is to be able to make extra land drops per turn, as this allows us to filter them off of the top of our deck to free us up to cast spells. We now have a plethora of options to do this including Oracle of Mul Daya, Azusa, Lost but Seeking, Dryad of the Ilysian Grove, and Wayward Swordtooth. Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Strait and Tatyova, Benthic Druid do the same but also let us draw cards in addition which is outstanding.
The Card Draw
Here we again are able to fit in a bunch of on theme ways to draw cards with Ascendant Spirit and Ohran Viper doing it on damage and Ohran Frostfang extending the ability and extremely valuable deathtouch to your whole team, and Ice-Fang Coatl as an ETB. Pilfering Hawk lets us loot, Tireless Tracker gives us Clues, and Vega, the Watcher triggers as we cast off of our deck. Blessing of Frost both grows our team and draws, Search for Glory lets us tutor, and then we have a number of ways to scry or put cards directly into our hand with Frost Augur, Graven Lore, Marit Lage’s Slumber, and Scrying Sheets.
We have a bunch of traditional removal cards like Swords to Plowshares and protection like Cyclonic Rift, but we also have snow based ways to deal with creatures in Blizzard Brawl, Gelid Shackles, Winter’s Rest, and On Thin Ice. Icebind Pillar and Heidar can temporarily deal with problem permanents. Adarkar Valkyrie lets us get back the best creature on the board if a wipe happens. Storvald, Frost Giant Jarl protects our team while buffing our smaller threats. Winter’s Chill can be an instant speed wipe of one player or a fog depending on their ability to pay, and Sunstone can stonewall combat directed at you until it is removed.
The Win Conditions
The first way we can look to close out the game is with Isu themselves, manipulating the counters with The Ozolith and Hardened Scales and then using Snow Devil, Whispersilk Cloak, or Rogue’s Passage to get through. If that doesn’t work we can go wide and buff our team with Avenger of Zendikar, Boreal Outrider, and Diamond Faerie, or go tall and smash through with big beaters like Abominable Treefolk, Conifer Wurm, Rimefeather Owl, and Spirit of the Aldergard. Icebreaker Kraken can tap someone down for our team to get through and is even reusable, and Moritte of the Frost is a second copy of any of the above.
Thanks for joining us for our latest kitchen table Commander deck! Make sure to keep an eye out for the other decks in the series! If you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.