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Absolutely Exemplary You Funky Little Hydra

Commander / EDH BUG (Sultai) Competitive Jank Multiplayer Primer Ramp

sickfreed

Maybeboard


Zaxara, the Exemplary cEDH (Not Exactly a Primer, Just Suggestions)

Earlier in developing the concept I wanted to do a kind of Hydra/X-spell tribal thing, but the more I thought about it, the less useful Zaxara's Hydra token producing ability started to become, and began to see it as more of an interesting byproduct. I've kept some X counterspells and Hydroid Krasis because it circumvents stax effects that affect or prevent noncreature spells but otherwise it's strayed from that concept quite a bit. I've put some other creature-based interaction in the maybeboard as well, but they're more meta decisions as it's not the main goal here. I wanted to see what it was really capable of if The Dramatic Scepter suite also works well here with the plethora of mana dorks I've added in. I've also managed to include a Seasons Past suite as even though this isn't a graveyard deck specifically, it ends up working really well here to loop some spells.
Freed from the Real + Zaxara, the Exemplary or Pemmin's Aura + Zaxara, the Exemplary is the simplest.

Dramatic Reversal + Isochron Scepter with enough nonland mana producing permanents as a backup.

Pull from Tomorrow, Stroke of Genius, Blue Sun's Zenith, Mind Spring or Hydroid Krasis draws the library. Zaxara will make a Hydra and put +1/+1 counters on it equal to your library count.

Demonic Tutor + Recollect + Seasons Past "Puts the library in your hand" one card at a time at sorcery speed.

Essentially, amass value then use infinite mana and arbitrary loops to reuse spells and overwhelm opponents.
If Alchemist's Refuge somehow ends up in the graveyard before drawing the library, Noxious Revival it back in once the library's in hand and the zone is empty, making it the only card. Crop Rotation it into play and activate it using the arbitrary mana. If Pull from Tomorrow was what drew the library, simply discard Refuge to Pull then Krosan Reclamation or Memory's Journey to put it back into your library.

If Alchemist's Refuge is in your hand after emptying the library, cast Pull from Tomorrow for zero to discard it, then shuffle it back in the same way with Reclamation or Journey before Crop Rotating it into play.

If Alchemist's Refuge was in play and tapped for colorless mana after drawing the library, then just sacrifice it to Crop Rotation and hold priority on the resolution to shuffle it back in with Krosan Reclamation or Memory's Journey before actually resolving the search on Rotation. If Pull from Tomorrow was NOT used to draw the library, then simply cast it for zero to discard Refuge before Rotating to it.

This will enable instant speed casting of Seasons Past and other sorceries/creatures and is difficult to prevent when going off as the active player. As the inactive player, holding up enough mana to drop Freed from the Real or Pemmin's Aura through an unexpected Refuge enables the potential to win on someone else's turn.
With infinite mana, library in hand and Alchemist's Refuge active it's now time to use the armory of spells start winning.

Strip hands with Thoughtseize, gaining arbitrary life looping Hydroid Krasis with Culling the Weak to counteract the lifeloss.

Destroy Everything your opponents control with Assassin's Trophy.

Looping a Draw X spell by looping Pull from Tomorrow for zero to discard cards then Krosan Reclamation or Memory's Journey and Noxious Revival with Seasons Past to load back up on cards to redraw, amassing an arbitrary army of Hydra tokens, using Finale of Devastation to give them haste for lethal combat damage.

Finale of Devastation for ten or more, Deathrite Shaman, Culling the Weak with Seasons Past and Recollect can drain life totals, using Pull from Tomorrow for zero to discard and exile all the instants and sorceries as ammo for Deathrite Shaman to exile.

Moving to the End Step with full library in hand can be used as a "discard outlet" by putting a shuffle trigger on the stack with Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre during the Discard Phase. Assuming Alchemist's Refuge is active, this enables Deathrite Shaman loops on the end step should Pull from Tomorrow be exiled or unusable.

Included:

Seasons Past & Recursion Suite forms the primary loop structure.

Caustic Caterpillar hits the average stax piece. Easily tutored with Worldly Tutor.

Reclamation Sage targets Cursed Totem primarily but has blanket uses.

Hydroid Krasis is the only Hydra worth including to draw the library.

Culling the Weak +3 on an X spell for sacking a dork, enables loops with Deathrite.

Timetwister is just straight gas. Unnecessary in the grand scheme.

Ad Nauseam fills hands incredibly easily and works well with the low average CMC (Ulamog excluded).

Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre also loopable with Culling the Weak and adds to redundant recursion. Enables End Step Discard Phase abuse.





Excluded:

Thassa's Oracle and similar effects. Too easy and boring.

Walking Ballista and Torment of Hailfire are fine game-closers, but unnecessary.

Boreal Druid is an excellent dork, but being three colors is rough.

Dark Ritual +2 to an X spell at best; won't help cast Zaxara.

Mana Vault A repeatable Ritual, also won't help cast Zaxara.

Kozilek, Butcher of Truth works but Ulamog serves the purpose better.

Extra Turn Spells are great and something to consider, but have been excluded for general sanity's sake.



I'll keep working on this as I come up with things, but one of the things I like about this commander is it's really easy to build around based on some of my other decks as background. It's not exactly competitive but because of how open-ended and well supported the colors are it can be pretty powerful, and pretty fun to pilot at the same time. The combos are fairly intuitive and easy to understand, and it's not difficult to set up for a grind in the right environment. Zaxara is definitely an interesting creature and I look forward to experimenting with it further in the future.



x sickfreed

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Casual

94% Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 2 months
Last updated 1 month
Key combos
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

10 - 0 Mythic Rares

48 - 0 Rares

18 - 0 Uncommons

18 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 1.96
Tokens */* Hydra
Folders zaxara, favorites
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