Hi all! Today, we’re going to cover some upgrades to the recent Eldrazi Unbound preconstructed deck released with the Commander Masters set. At a higher price point than traditional precons, these have a bit more juice behind them than usual, but there’s plenty of room to grab some more synergistic cards. In typical fashion of my writing, I’m going to try to keep this on the cheaper side for upgrades, especially since you’re most likely going to be paying a premium for the deck.
For the commander, we’re going to stick with the face commander: Zhulodok, Void Gorger. This guy absolutely rips: giving you double cascade on all of your big Eldrazi and artifacts can get out of hand really quickly. I won’t beat around the bush: we aren’t here to do any crazy stuff with cascade or try to get combos out, we’re here to make big spaghetti monsters and smack some face. The main goal of our deck will be to ramp out with a lot of early mana acceleration, cast and protect our commander, and win through superior value from cascade triggers. Our win conditions are primarily combat damage, but we have enough tools to control the board and win the long game rather than purely aggressive tactics.
Before we get into this deck, I want to note the Eldrazi titans: the big named ones we all know and love. I won’t be including any in this list because of their incredibly high costs, but they all synergize great. You don’t need me to tell you how much of a threat these are, they’re some of the scariest creatures printed in magic history. If you have them or are planning to play with proxies/in a digital format, go nuts with these, but for the purpose of this article I’ll be leaving them on the sidelines.
First, I’ll go over some notable cards in the base precon. Then we’ll tackle some things to cut out to make space for our upgrades. Finally, we’ll highlight some of the key improvements we make to the list.
Key Cards from the Precon:
- All of our big Eldrazi that can threaten a board are our key performers here. Artisan of Kozilek is a powerhouse with Annihilator 2. Flayer of Loyalties and It That Betrays are also a nightmare to deal with for our opponents.
- We kept in all of the instants and sorceries from the base precon. Beggars can’t be choosers, and all of them provide decent utility that we won’t have elsewhere.
- Ugin’s Mastery is super cool and can provide a lot of long term value from early off.
- Thran Dynamo and other ramp pieces are key here since we have an absurdly high average mana cost.
First, we cut any creatures that are duds to hit off Cascade triggers. Since we generally will want to play big cascade creatures after sticking our commander, we want to have enough things that will be valuable to actually hit. While some of our ramp is a bit unavoidable in that regard, we want to have as many chances to get good cards off it. We cut:
After that, we cut a few other low value creatures that provide too slow of ramp for what we need:
- Burnished Hart
- Geode Golem – not really ramp, but provides a similar role. Loses a bit of value as the game goes on, but a pretty fun card if you want to hang on to it.
- Dreamstone Hedron
Next, some cards that just lack the synergy we need or are a bit underwhelming:
- Omarthis, Ghostfire Initiate
- Fireshrieker – good in a vacuum, but a lot of our powerful triggers are from attacking with Annihilator, not damage.
- Transmogrifying Wand – Too slow for real removal.
- Suspicious Bookcase
- Mazemind Tome
- Unstable Obelisk – this card is fine but it’s pretty sub-par for ramp.
- Hedron Archive
Finally, two lands that are a tad bit slow or lower value:
- Temple of the False God – I’ve been told this card is actually statistically pretty solid, but I’m not entirely sold. Give it a go, but I prefer to leave it at home.
- Guildless Commons
That’s 17 total slots to make room for more goodies. I was pretty generous leaving some cards in that could realistically be cut for higher synergy cards, such as Duplicant and Phyrexian Triniform, but they can perform pretty well and don’t desperately need cuts. We also want to keep a pretty diverse amount of CMC’s in the deck to help with making sure we hit Cascade triggers consistently, and some of these pieces might help fill those gaps.
- Key to the City – this is my replacement for the ol’ sus bookcase. This card is awesome, as it provides a great way to give your creatures unblockable and filter through cards on the side.
- Eye of Vecna – more early game card draw can help replace our ramp and keep our hand full of things to play, which is pretty scarce at times in colorless.
- Ghost Quarter – brings us back up to a clean 37 lands and gives a bit of land hate.
- Conduit of Ruin – a great mid-game piece to gain some tempo before casting your commander, provides ramp and a silver bullet.
- Ulamog’s Crusher – don’t sleep on how strong Annihilator is, this card just dunks on people when they don’t respect it.
- Deceiver of Form – this is a great way to try and close out a game, even if it’s a bit up to chance. We’re playing cascade, it’s in the spirit!
- Stonespeaker Crystal – this one is a little bit more reasonable than Hedron Archive for a bigger ramp piece, and it provides some nice utility in a pinch.
- Skyclave Relic – this one I like a bit more than Dreamstone Hedron since it’s a bit more flexible.
- Wayfarer’s Bauble – it might seem overkill, but we really need to make sure we can ramp out smoothly. Land ramp is always a priority because it ends up being safer in general than other forms.
- Liquimetal Torque – this one brings us to 13 ramp pieces and provides some niche utility, but it’s a 2 drop rock.
- Introduction to Annihilation – it’s no star player, but having actual removal is nice to keep in your back pocket, and with such limited answers even the mediocre cards look like gems.
- Trailblazer’s Boots – This is a sweet way to get some evasion onto your creatures for a pretty low entry fee.
- Zenith Chronicler – A neat way to get some card draw in, and even though it helps your opponents, you’ll never help them and they’ll frequently help you!
- Strionic Resonator – We have quite a few triggered abilities, including Cascade and Annihilator.
- Swiftfoot Boots – More protections and haste is always welcome.
- Triplicate Titan – Another big value card, similar to Wurmcoil Engine but a bit financially cheaper.
- Bladegriff Prototype – Another midgame piece, but this one is more a personal flavor of mine: I really adore this card and it can really pull it’s weight. It’s slow, but it’s a really good hit for your 7-ish cost cascades. Plus, we could always use some more removal, even if we don’t really get to pick.
Overall, we have a fun and unique beatstick deck that has plenty of room for upgrades. A lot of these changes should make our manabase and ramp package a bit more consistent, our draw a bit more forgiving, and our top end a bit scarier for those on the receiving end. Have fun with this one, and keep an eye out for sales – these decks are a bit tricky to find at a good cost, so be sure to pick one up if you’re interested and can get your hands on one. Until next time friends!
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