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Balan, Wandering Knight | Equipment Voltron

Commander / EDH Aggro Mono-White Multiplayer Voltron



November 27, 2018:

Guilds of Ravnica Update


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The primary objective for victory is to deal 21 Commander Damage to each opponent with Balan, Wandering Knight

Early game is spent setting up. Any ramp, utility creatures, and Equipment are played in the first several turns to prepare the board for Balan, Wandering Knight . Once the board is ready, Balan is cast, equipped, and starts the clock.

Further resources are devoted into keeping Balan suited up to retain her quick clock, casting new Equipment or recurring destroyed ones when necessary. I'm also disrupting my opponents' game plans with removal and may pressure other opponents with any available alternative threats.

In the event that Balan dies, she is recast and reequipped through her ability to quickly resume her assault. If I'm in a situation where recasting Balan isn't ideal, such as right after a full board sweeper, the deck's alternative threats pick up the slack until the board is restored for Balan to take command again.

If Balan ever becomes too expensive to recast and Command Beacon isn't available, my deck's alternative threats fully take over and I attempt to defeat my opponents though regular Equipment beatdown.

This is my first Commander deck. I started building in October 2011, with Kemba, Kha Regent as the first Commander for her synergy with Equipment. The earlest builds of this deck were a Token/Voltron hybrids to benefit from Kemba's cats. Overtime the token support dwindled, as I no longer cared about the token aspects of the deck and desired to focus more into accomplishing Commander Damage kills.

In July 2013, Eight-and-a-Half-Tails , took over from Kemba as the second Commander shortly after the token support was dropped completely. 8.5 was much better suited for a Voltron strategy by using his protection to keep targeted removal off of himself and my Equipment and bypass blockers. 8.5 wasn't without his own issues. He's essentially useless early game and the occasional games with mana screw botched his effectiveness, but he was the best Commander available that fit my needs.

Aether Revolt gave this deck its third Commander, Sram, Senior Edificer , and Equipment synergy returned to the Command Zone. Sram's ability to drop as early as Turn 2 and begin the Commander Damage death clock much faster than his predecessors while keeping my hand stocked fit the deck very well.

Sram's reign was short-lived. Commander 2017 heralded this deck's forth and current Commander, Balan, Wandering Knight , who possesses what her predecessors never had: raw power. Balan is an Equipment master, able to quickly defeat opponents with the minimal set-ups.

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Acquirable: 2 | Unavailable: 8 | Reserved: 2

Foils: 55

Prerelease Foils: 12

Grand Prix & Pro Tour Promos: 4

Judge Gifts: 2

Masterpieces: 8

Miscellaneous Foils & Promos: 7

Remaining Acquirable Foils:

Teferi's Protection

Petrified Field


Currently Unavailable in Foil:

Balan, Wandering Knight

Armory Automaton

Heavenly Blademaster

Conqueror's Flail

Hammer of Nazahn

Masterwork of Ingenuity

Grasp of Fate

Nahiri, the Lithomancer


Reserved List:

Argivian Archaeologist


Deck Development

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As of February, 2019

February 17

December 21

November 27, 2018 -- Guilds of Ravnica Update

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Noble Templar

A 'second' Eternal Dragon .


Restoration Specialist

Artifact/Enchantment recursion.



Grave-hate and utility bouncing.


Basilisk Collar

Lifelink to boost my life, deathtouch to pressure opposing creatures.


Credit Voucher

Shuffles away a stagnant hand for fresh cards.


Smothering Tithe

Mono-White ramp via Treasure tokens.


Akroma's Vengeance

A full board clear with cycling.


Scout's Warning

Allows Balan or a key utility creature to be flashed in and catch opponents off-guard. Can also be "cycled" if necessary.


Scavenger Grounds

Grave-hate on a land.

Commander decks are dynamic and ever-changing. New cards replace the old, players adapt to each other's strategies, and opinions of cards can alter over time. What was yesterday's strong additions can become tomorrow's weakest links. No deck stays the same for too long.

The following cards are what I'm currently thinking about dropping, either because, they're no longer effective, I became uninterested in them, or they're being replaced with something better.

Currently none

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Not every card is going to be usable. Some have become obsolete, some are overall too weak, and some just don't fit the theme properly. Whatever the reason, there are some cards that I simply don't want in my deck.

I have no intention of using any of the following cards.



Equipment Tutors


Equipment Support


Auras & Vehicles

Balan has no use for Auras and focuses solely on Equipment.

After playing with them for a while, Vehicles have been deemed too much of a distraction for the deck.


Mana Rocks & Mana Doublers

Equipment decks will naturally incentivize heavier use of artifact hate, and non-Equipment artifacts will frequently end up as collateral damage. I'm intentionally keeping mana rocks to an absolute minimum and abstaining from mana doublers entirely, focusing mostly on land-based ramp options instead.

Mana doublers have their individual issues as well:


Removal Options


Hate Cards

Cards like Aven Mindcensor , Loxodon Gatekeeper , and Hushwing Gryff with abilities that slow down opponents and/or prevent certain shenanigans.

I don't care for Hate Cards as they all share the same problems:

  • The longer the game goes, the less effective they become.
  • Not enough of them isn't consistent.
  • Too many of them burns space on non-synergistic cards.
  • Every deck isn't going to be vulnerable to them equally.
  • Simply not drawing them feels no different that not running them in the first place.

Overall, it's not worth the loss of deck synergy for the random chance of stopping opponents tutoring, ramping, or abusing ETB triggers early enough in the game to matter. If I'm going to use a Hate Card, it has to be effective against any deck and completely functional at any stage of the game.


Mass Land Destruction

I don't like MLD in Commander. It's either win-more when I'm ahead or kingmaking when I'm behind. There's no middle ground. MLD also carry the stigma of ruining games. Not what I want for this deck.




Avacyn, Angel of Hope & Darksteel Forge

Both have cumbersome mana costs and can't effectively protect my Equipment in the wake of the quality, efficient exiling removal that's being printed nowadays.


Bastion Protector

Only boosting Balan and nobody else isn't that great in games where I have to resort to my back-up threats.


Iona, Shield of Emeria

Mean-spirited griefer card that unnecessarily hates on Mono-colored decks. Her entire purpose is to stop players from playing the game.

Why is she even allowed in this format?


Ranger of Eos

It doesn't work with the tiny amount of 1cmc creatures this deck has. Adding more creatures would be forcing Ranger to work instead of it being a natural addition.


Inspiring Statuary

The one card type that this deck would want to be made cheaper is Artifact (and by extension, Equipment). Statuary doesn't provide that.


Land Tax

Replaced by Tithe to get the needed lands a turn faster.

Updates Add

Guilds of Ravnica Additions:

Karn, Scion of Urza -> Dawn of Hope


Other Additions:

Solemn Simulacrum -> Wayfarer's Bauble

Hope for the Gateless

The spoiler season for multicoloured sets are never an interesting time for this deck. With less monocoloured cards, there's less to look forward to. Guilds of Ravnica is no different, but there is one notable gem out of what little was available.

Dawn of Hope was designed specifically to give card draw for White Commander decks, being a theme-based draw engine with the fairly loose theme of 'Lifegain'. Gaining life in this deck is a simple task. It has two creatures, four Equipment, and a land as sources of lifegain, with a plethora of tutors to grab any one of them. And there's also Dawn of Hope's own tokens with lifelink. Getting Dawn of Hope to trigger won't be an issue.


To make space for Dawn of Hope , I decided to drop one of the current draw engines. Adding more would lead to multiples showing up too often and clog up my hand. I chose Karn, Scion of Urza to be the cut, as he's similar to Dawn of Hope . Both provide card draw and bodies, so they occupy the same role.

Being similar isn't the only factor. Enchantment is the hardest nonland permanent type to remove. Only two colours have access to enchantment removal and the remaining three have difficulty dealing with them using mana-intensive colourless removal options. As for Planeswalkers, four colours have access to direct removal (White's catch-all spells and heavy sweepers, Black's kill-spells, Red's burn effects, and Green's noncreature removal) alongside universally available combat damage. Dawn of Hope is more likely to survive longer than Karn will in any given game. Dawn of Hope also has the benefits of being tutored for and recurred as required.

Solemn Wayfaring

I have settled on Wayfarer's Bauble to fill Solemn Simulacrum's slot. Wayfarer's Bauble possesses both qualities I seek in a ramp effect: Land ramp that enables an early Balan .

Next Update:

Ravnica Allegiance

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Date added 6 years
Last updated 2 days
Exclude colors UBRG

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.78
Tokens 1/1 Kor Soldier, 0/0 Germ, 1/1 Soldier, Equipment
Folders favorites, Commander, great edh deck, Faves, EDH, EDH Decks, decks i want to build, edh, EDH, Decks Im going to get soon, See all 423
Top rank #6 on 2018-10-16
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3 days ago)

+1 Restoration Specialist maybe