In Commander, it’s generally best to build your deck to handle a wide variety of threats and game conditions instead of jamming it full of redundant, win-more effects that you think are cool and don’t want to cut. HOWEVER, sometimes that’s a BORING and DUMB thing to do for NERDS that care about optimal lines and winning consistently. Instead, we’re Doubling Season down on our primary game plan and swinging for the fences with one of the go-widest decks you’ll ever play. Win, lose, or draw (yes, sometimes you will actually end the game in a draw), you’re going to shoot your shot and see what happens.
The Commander: Rhys the Redeemed
Rhys is an extremely linear, extremely fun Commander and we’re going to be taking full advantage of both of their abilities in this deck. We want to come down early and get our Elf token generation going, find one of our many ramp pieces that key off of the number of Elves we have, and then go to town with their doubling ability, ideally using untappers on our opponents’ turns so we can burst from something like 6 tokens on our turn to 12, 24, then 48 before untapping on our next turn, dropping a finisher, and then making a casual 96 more tokens to make sure we really get there with style.
This deck uses pretty typical Elf-ball style ramp, though we are foregoing the traditional Llanowar Elves style dorks for more massive bursts from Priest of Titania, Circle of Dreams Druid, Elvish Archdruid, Wirewood Channeler, Elvish Guidance, and Gaea’s Cradle. We also have untapping effects like Argothian Elder, Seeker of Skybreak, Umbral Mantle, and Wirewood Lodge which are big boosts at worse, and infinite mana at best. Earthcraft and Malachite Talisman provide us other ways to go infinite, Citanul Hierophants and Cryptolith Rite let us tap all of our tokens for mana as well, and Mana Reflection and Mirari’s Wake give us more traditional mana doubling. Tempt with Discovery can directly fetch us both Gaea’s Cradle and Wirewood Lodge, Harvest Season can fetch a huge number of basics, as can Perilous Forays.
The Card Draw
This is another deck that is light on pure card draw but runs some impactful tutors to end the game when we need to. We should have the mana to pay for Mentor of the Meek, Shamanic Revelation and Rite of Harmony give us big bursts of draw at once, and Skullclamp is obviously extremely powerful. We also have Enlightened Tutor to get a key piece, and when it’s time to end the game we have Altar of Bone, Green Sun’s Zenith, Natural Order, Eladamri’s Call, and Evolutionary Leap to get our creature based win conditions.
The Targeted Removal
Thiiiiis is one of the main areas where we have cut cards do go more all in on our main game plan. We do still have a couple of pieces in Aura Shards and Return to Dust to hit troublesome enchantments like Propaganda but if there’s a problematic creature we have to rely on player removal.
The Board Wipes
Board wipes are any creature based deck’s biggest enemy, but even so we can’t rely solely on being the fastest to do our thing – sometimes we will still need to reset the creature count. Elspeth offers us a wrath that will hit most of the things we’re worried about while leaving our board untouched as well as having two other useful abilities depending on the game state. Austere Command gives us similar flexibility, Hour of Reckoning is cheap and again leaves most of our board alone, and Martial Coup and Phyrexian Rebirth clear the board while giving us tokens we can start doubling again with Rhys.
The Wrath Protection
On the flip side, we are packing a decent number of ways to save our board from wrath effects because they can be devastating to us both in terms of resources and tempo. Grand Crescendo, Heroic Intervention, and Rootborn Defenses all grant us indestructible, and if your meta is particularly heavy on wraths, there are many other variants you can include as well. Teferi’s Protection is just a great protection spell in general. We also have ways to search up our creature based protection in Dauntless Escort, Selfless Spirit, and Soul of New Phyrexia. Soul can be especially useful since it is repeatable, even from the graveyard one last time if necessary. Eldrazi Monument also gives us flying, and we will have no problem making the sacrifice.
The Doubling Enablers
We have a whole mess of cards that serve to either allow us to activate Rhys multiple times in a turn or turn cycle, or double up on the number of tokens created when they do their doubling. Generally we want to drop Quest for Renewal, Seedborn Muse, or Awakening once we are set up, allowing us to untap on each turn and win on our next turn. For the slightly more grindy approach, we have Second Harvest, Illusionist’s Bracers, Rings of Brighthearth, Anointed Procession, Doubling Season, Parallel Lives, and Primal Vigor.
The Game Enders
Once we have our big burst of token creation, it’s time to end the game. We don’t want to sit around being the obvious threat and waiting for a wrath to make us sad, and a great first step is casting City of Solitude to either bait out a counterspell or clear our way, followed by giving ourselves haste with Concordant Crossroads. Now that we’re safe, we have creatures in Goldnight Commander and Craterhoof Behemoth to give us massive boosts, or Cathars’ Crusade for the enchantment version, which can also be protected by Privileged Position and Sterling Grove. To pair with Earthcraft we also have Squirrel Nest and Blasting Station, both useful cards for the deck in their own right, which offer us direct damage if we can’t through with creatures somehow. Similarly, we can leverage either attacking or tapping for mana into massive drain with Throne of the God-Pharaoh if needed. Finally, remember that draw I mentioned? If you’re feeling extra spicy, your massive amounts of mana can power out a Squall Line that kills everyone at the table, yourself included. Nobody makes you bleed your own blood!
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 email@example.com.