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Don't give me that sass, Aya!

Commander / EDH*




Oh lands, lands, I've played them so many ways!!

One of my favorite decks I've ever brewed is my Genju of the Realms deck (I know he's illegal, he fits my theme though!). This deck is my favorite because it's so specific and weird, which is one of the things I most like about brewing commander decks. This deck is certainly no exception to that rule. It's also born from a commander lotto that me and my buddy do. He actually got Sasaya, but wasn't able to build a super functional deck and told me to try my hand. So here I am to introduce you to Sasaya, Orochi Ascendant, the mono-green commander you've never really considered.

Sasaya is a strange commander in the sense that she doesn't do anything for you at all until she's flipped, I mean aside from being a cool snake monk. To flip Sasaya you need to have atleast 7 land cards in your card, this is why I wanted to build her. I think her ability is so unique and janky that it makes me beyond happy when I get her effect off and people realize that I have 64 mana every turn now that's more than likely to go up since I have seven lands in hand. Let's jump into an overview of how the deck works:

  • Graveyard Play

So, how do you get seven land cards into your hand without just holding your land in hand every time you top deck one? Graveyard play is a big part of it! I wanted to make the most of my graveyard as it's basically a second hand if you use it correctly, there are tons of cards in here that will mill you or even specifically put lands into your grave. But we wouldn't want to do that without being able to get them back! Creeping Renaissance and Praetor's Counsel are easy ways to get all of your lands back to your hand, and Praetor's Counsel even prevents you from having a maximum hand size for the rest of the game!! Feels pretty good. Groundskeeper, Tilling Treefolk, Grapple with the Past, Regrowth, Sudden Reclamation, Skullwinder, and Eternal Witness are also cards you can use to recur stuff from your grave. The latter four are generally cards I'll use to recur creatures or other spells I need, not wasting my witness on a forest haha.

  • Lands To The Hand

Next, let's talk about returning lands from the field back to your hand. It may seem counter-intuitive, but hopefully by the end of this it makes sense. We want to eventually get to a critical mass of lands in hand, but we don't always need that to be the case. I like having cards like Scryb Ranger and Quirion Ranger that let me untap something by bouncing my land back to my hand. The reason I like these cards should be pretty obvious, I can do it every turn and I can do it for free. Not only that, but I'm getting additional value by untapping my stuff. Effects like these can be useful to start building towards a big splashy play where you get four lands at once to the hand, if you know you can do that ahead of time it makes it much easier to get all seven. Similar effects are those of Umbilicus and Blood Clock, they're similar in that you return a permanent to the hand once per turn, but if you choose not to you take 2 damage. Now, we want to return stuff to hand. What's fun about these cards is that they make your opponents do it too, a bit of a tempo play that's gonna get annoying fast, or potentially bleed them for a bit. One obvious include in this section that isn't actually in the deck yet is Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar. I know this needs to be in here because it's amazing in this deck, but I just haven't made the cut to add him yet.

  • Ramping It Up

So now that we've addressed that, let's talk about ramp. I'm not always gonna be playing a land for turn. Saving lands in hand isn't the most efficient way to get to Sasaya's effect most of the time because it means that I'm not playing lands, and by virtue of that, I'm not playing anything else. That's not the case if you can ramp, and green certainly can do that better than any other color. I wanted to throw some ramp in here because I don't necessarily want the deck to need Sasaya's effect to work and ramp helps mitigate that. Basic stuff like Llanowar Elves can actually give us some flexibility in whether of not we need to play a land that turn, sometimes that's enough. Awakening Zone and Cryptolith Rite are both good cards by themselves that make it so we aren't too reliant on our land for mana, but both of them out at once does a whole lot for you. Gyre Sage can easily net you 2-3 mana per turn, that feels pretty good to me. Omnath, Locus of Mana really makes your mana base do what you want it to even if you just have a few out, and once you flip Sasaya he's a behemoth.

  • Tutor? I Hardly Know Her

There's two more topics I wanna cover before we wrap this longwinded description up. Let's talk about tutors.I included a few that not only replace themselves, but give me card advantage. You got the two 3 cost classic mono green ramp cards: Kodama's Reach and Cultivate. Common sense includes, but let's see what else we can use to get lands. It's good that Kodama's and Cultivate pull one to your hand and one to your field, but in this deck it's almost better to not have lands on our field. Let's look at a few cards that pull multiple lands into your hand. Journey of Discovery, Yavimaya Elder, and Wild-Field Scarecrow all will pull out two lands to your hand which is pretty nice. Yavimaya Elder will also draw you a card, what a sweetie. Abundance gives you pseudo tutoring every turn, when you need land you get it, until you flip Sasaya, and then who wants more land? Not this guy. Greenseeker is re-usable as well. Want a really good one? Rites of Spring can do ridiculous things to really ramp you into Sasaya's effect.

  • Winning The Game

Now hopefully this explains kind of what the deck wants to do to try and make this weird commander do the one thing it wants to do. I'd be remiss to not touch on our win-cons though. what's the point of getting all this mana if we can't do anything with it? Consider for a moment, the Avenger of Zendikar. This guy gives us board presence, and can pump up those tokens too. He's pretty good, maybe not an inherent win con, but if we can ramp into him before Sasaya goes off, he can buy us a lot of time, and even let us go on the offensive. Hydra Broodmaster does broken and ruthless things to our opponents once Sasaya hes flipped. Pulokranos World Eater is very similar in that regard, but just a lot less wide, useful to knock out some targets and make our attacks easier though. Wolfbriar Elemental. That's all I need to say about that, you have 7 forests with Sasaya flipped, you do the math. Helix Pinnacle is my favorite win-con in the deck because it's just as janky as our commander.

I went into this long-winded explanation for the deck because the way it functions is so strange compared to anything else I've built. The juggling of lands between zones can get kinda complicated, but it's not too hard. Plus it's fun when your opponents think you're just wasting your time and mana doing useless stuff, and then you have 45 wolf tokens the next turn out of nowhere. I'd love to hear any feedback about this deck, I think it's fun and I hope you do too!


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Date added 3 months
Last updated 3 weeks

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.26
Tokens 0/1 Insect, 2/2 Wolf, 0/1 Plant, 3/3 Beast, */* Hydra, 0/1 Eldrazi Spawn
Top rank #30 on 2018-05-11
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Revision 4 See all

2 months ago)

+1 Seek the Horizon maybe
+1 Genesis Wave maybe
+1 Genesis Hydra maybe