UPDATE (4/16/2015) is toward the end.
Look for the other green text.

You + This Deck

Simple idea, tricky to execute: A single 100-card deck with two potential commanders, one better suited for multiplayer, the other better suited for 1-on-1, allowing you to swap one for the other as the situation demands, and with the other 98 cards strong and versatile enough to allow success in either setting. I know that sounds about as good of an idea as a freight train that also works as an elevator, but test it out, this works.

Prototyped here as Angus of Peace.

And here as Asura of War.

Angus is a highly successful political commander, which is great for multiplayer. He's not threatening, his fog effect discourages direct attack and it can also be used to protect a weak opponent, often encouraging that player (and others) to protect you in turn. Fewer resources spent dealing with threats means more resources spent building draw engines.

Jenara is a low-cost, effective combat commander. She can come out on turn 3, attack for 5 flying commander damage, then 7, then hey, good game. In multiplayer she draws a lot of attention (often too much unless you hold her back), but 1-on-1 she shines.

With either commander, the deck relies on heavy card draw to take the pace of the game to a level your opponent(s) won't be ready to take full advantage of. Your deck is, and does. Oracle of Mul Daya and Burgeoning push land advantage. Land-untapping creatures magnify the effect. It's normal to be drawing six or more cards per turn and find you can play enough of them to avoid discard.

With Angus, drop creatures and artifacts that bait removal and protect your board state while you assemble a combo. With Jenara, pump her up and swing as best you can until the inevitable removal hits. If you can shroud her in response, great. If not, don't sweat it. Jenara is an excellent beater, and if your opponent has no answer for her, she's a fine way to win. But your deck has others.

This deck has 29 any-color infinite mana combos, and not a single card that's only useful after you have one. This deck doesn't win-more; it wins. Just few of the fantastic ways to win:

  • Infinite hasted squirrels.

  • Infinite hasted elephants.

  • Multiple unblockable 100+/100+ creatures.

  • Stuffy Doll ripping itself apart.

  • Taking a damage or mill spell cast against you, turning it against its caster and every opponent, then multiplying it a thousand-fold.

But you can't win if you can't stay alive. Just a few of the fantastic ways to stay alive:

  • Indestructible blocker.

  • Indestructible flying blocker.

  • Indestructible flying blocker that can block any number of creatures.

  • Indestructible flying blocker that can block any number of creatures and at the end of combat it destroys all creatures it blocked.

  • The above except it destroys all blocked creatures as soon as you declare it a blocker, and then you can send it at your opponent, and that player has to block it with all creatures, and it destroys all of them as soon as they block.

  • And it has shroud.

  • And it's a squirrel.

So play around with it. Try it with either commander and see if you can figure out how each works. Remember: with Angus, assume you have multiple opponents. Better to lie low until you can kill the whole table at once. With Jenara, assume it's no use being coy or political. Hit fast, hit hard, and expect removal.

Have a suggestion? WAIT! First ask yourself, is this suggestion useful for either commander? For either strategy? For both 1-on-1 and multiplayer? And do I see what should come out to make room?

If yes to all, then for god's sake, tell me! I'm dying to know! If no, then think it over for a bit first. See if something comes to you.

Yep, it really has 29 :

UPDATE, 4/16/2015:
First, for new people:

New visitors: Hi! My answer to this question by toxicliam explains a lot about the deck that I didn't cover in the deck description. If you're curious about why a certain card is in the deck, this might be of interest to you.

And behind this button is everything from the previous update:

Here it is: new stuff
Once again, a big thanks to all that have helped this deck along, with your questions and suggestions and upvotes; it's very much appreciated.

So! A surprising number of changes since just a few days ago. This update is actually kind of two updates, as playtesting proved me wrong on a few things midway through. Here we go:

-1 Howling Mine, +1 Temple Bell

It costs one mana more, but I can draw a card off it right away if I want to, and unlike Howling Mine, Kiora's Follower can multiply it. A greater advantage is that I can use it to draw a card not on my turn, which means more opportunities for Primitive Etchings to trigger. Between Temple Bell, Dakra Mystic, Reckless Scholar , Enclave Cryptologist, Selvala, Explorer Returned, Mikokoro, Center of the Sea (plus Minamo, School at Water's Edge to untap either of those last two, and really any of my land untapping creatures can work with Mikokoro), and Kiora's Follower to untap any of them, that's a ton of opportunities to reveal the first card I draw each turn (opponents' turns count, too) and when it's a creature, draw another one.

This brings me to my next change, though I'm much more lukewarm on this one:
-1 Reckless Scholar , +1 Jushi Apprentice
(don't strain your neck like that; flipped he's Tomoya the Revealer )

There'd be some real pluses and minuses to making this change. On the plus side, it'd likely be pretty easy to flip him when I want to, his unflipped draw ability doesn't make me discard, and once he's a legendary permanent, Minamo, School at Water's Edge can untap him. And he costs one less to cast. Also, and this is super nerdy, but I think he fits the deck better, thematically. He and Minamo are both from Champions of Kamigawa, and for the four Islands in the deck, I use the panorama islands from the very same set. No, not the ones from Tenth Edition with identical art, they had to be from Kamigawa. I may have a problem.

On to the minuses. Most glaringly, to me anyway, he draws a lot of attention. Flip cards wave red flags when they come in. When an opponent casts one, I immediately view it as the threat it would represent if it were already flipped. Jushi Apprentice would get hit by removal that would seem like a waste to use on Reckless Scholar , and once I'm under that shadow of, "you're up to something sneaky," every play I made would be watched closely (I don't want to be watched closely; I'm up to too many sneaky things). His unflipped draw ability also costs mana, while Scholar's is free, and even his flipped draw ability is pricey. You get a lot of cards out of it (with this deck, potentially a lot a lot of cards), but getting a whole bunch of cards at once isn't generally what this deck is about. Instead, it nickels and dimes, a small benefit but a lot of times, and it's been doing great with that strategy. Another huge minus is that his unflipped draw ability doesn't target, which means I flat out can't use him to draw an opponent to death unless I can flip him first. I'm going to try it out, but I suspect the cons are gonna outweigh the pros on this one. We'll see.

Mid-update Update!

Well! I was wrong about a lot re: Jushi Apprentice . The advantage of his draw-a-card ability over Reckless Scholar 's draw-a-card-then-discard-a-card ability is bigger than I thought, and in this deck, I think it's generally worth the added mana cost. He doesn't draw as much attention as I thought he would, at least regularly. It's kind of unpredictable. Sometimes opponents used removal on him right away, but most often they ignored him. Maybe he isn't as attention-grabbing as I assumed he would be.

Fortunately, he is as easy to flip as I hoped, and one advantage I hadn't given him enough credit for is how much he helps me when I don't have infinite mana. With infinite mana and a way to untap him, he is (as Tomoya the Revealer ) a wincon, but no more so than Reckless Scholar would be. With very little mana, he is (as Jushi Apprentice ) less useful than Scholar, as his draw ability has a mana cost. But right in the middle, if it's turn 7 or so and I've fllipped Jushi into Tomoya but still don't have infinite mana or even the cards to assemble it, Tomoya's advantage over Scholar is huge. That single draw of 9+ cards gives me an excellent chance of getting just what I need to win. Even if it means he sometimes gets hit by removal before I can use him that way, and even if it means he almost always gets hit before he can be used as a wincon himself, it's still probably worth it. He stays.

Elsewhere in the deck, what seemed like it would be a minor change ended up pulling a thread and leading to many more changes. It started when I swapped Dictate of Kruphix out for Jace Beleren, for several reasons. The mana cost is the same, but unlike Dictate, I can draw a card with Jace the same turn I draw him. I'm also less likely to lose Jace in a boardwipe, and once he's big enough, I can use him to draw cards only for myself.

So it seemed like a clear-cut change, but putting him in meant I had a white planeswalker and a blue planeswalker.

In my Bant deck.

Clearly, I had to add a green planeswalker. I tried to justify one of the mono-green planeswalkers, but none of them fit well enough (Garruk, Caller of Beasts came close). Ajani, Mentor of Heroes fits perfectly. He costs one less to cast than it costs to put three +1/+1 counters on Jenara, Asura of War, and as his first ability he can do exactly that! Every turn afterward he's just building her for free. And, of course, he also lets me look for a creature, an aura, or a planeswalker (hey, I've got those!). His ultimate is arguably less useful in EDH than it would be in other formats, but still has plenty of value.

But that wasn't all. Having three planeswalkers in my deck, and three leveling creatures, and three things that make token creatures, and one commander that wins by putting +1/+1 counters on herself, all that together meant I had to put in Doubling Season (Ajani puts six +1/+1 counters on Jenara, every turn? Yes, please). But where to make room for it and for Ajani?

After a lot of soul searching, I decided that Valor Made Real and Blaze of Glory were the best candidates for cards to come out. While their effect is excellent (and fun), its value is also very situational, I have no reliable way to get them into my hand when they'd be most useful, nor anything useful to do with them if I'm not being attacked by lots of creatures. So: they came out, Ajani, Mentor of Heroes and Doubling Season went in, and boy did my average CMC jump.

To knock it back down a little, I swapped Pariah's Shield out for Pariah . Same effect, though I lose the capacity to use it again and again on throwaway tokens. Still, I've got a decent amount of indestructible stuff, the mana cost is less (when adding in the equip cost, much less), and because it doesn't have to be equipped, I can use Alchemist's Refuge to get the working effect into play during an opponent's combat step (and what a great surprise that'll be). Also, as an aura, Ajani, Mentor of Heroes can grab it.

The last change I made was to swap out Worldly Tutor for Enlightened Tutor. The deck has a lot of other ways to tutor a creature, and when looking for a combo, it's generally pretty easy to draw some creature I can combo with. Getting the equipment or aura needed to complete the combo is generally the harder part, and so this change addresses that. Also, Stoneforge Mystic and Steelshaper's Gift can't grab Pariah , so it's nice to have something that can.

That's about it for now! I thought this deck had already seen its last big changes, but these new ones are took me by surprise all over again. I feel like there can't be much left to change, but I felt that way last week, too, so who knows?

If you've got a substitution suggestion that you think I'm overlooking, please tell me! You never know what's going to knock something lose and push the deck to that next step.

Thanks again, everybody!

Update: 4/17/2015

Quick changes, and not worth a full update, but some small card swaps have gotten the number of any-color infinite mana combos up to 29. Still can't decide if I like Magus of the Candelabra. Right now he's out, maybe next time he'll be back in, who knows? As I threatened to, I pulled Doubling Season . Replaced it with Vorel of the Hull Clade, and took Academy Rector out for Phytohydra who has great with synergy with Vorel and with Pariah and with Entangler and with Shield of the Oversoul.

Oh, and Illusionist's Bracers + Seeker of Skybreak breaks so many of my creatures.
First of all, all my creatures effectively have vigilance.
Second of all:
Stuffy Doll? Somebody's dead.
Enclave Cryptologist? I draw when I want.
Kazandu Tuskcaller? Elephants forever.
Ith, High Arcanist ? Creatures only deal combat damage when I want.
Vorel of the Hull Clade? Let's double counters on something until we run out of mana.
Any of my land untapers? We'll never run out of mana.


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