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Sram, Senior Edificer | Equipment Voltron

Commander / EDH Aggro Mono-White Multiplayer Voltron




July 19, 2017 - Hour of Devastation Update

The primary objective for victory is to deal 21 Commander Damage to each opponent with Sram, Senior Edificer

In the early game, Sram, Senior Edificer is cast as soon as possible (preferably Turn 2, Sram might wait if there are no Equipment in hand) for early hits and to draw off of Equipment. At the same time, I'm also setting up my board with any available ramp, utility creatures, and other support cards.

Once my board is built, further resourced are devoted into keeping Sram, Senior Edificer suited up, casting new Equipment or recurring destroyed ones as necessary. At this time, I'm also disrupting my opponents' game plans with removal and pressuring the opponents Sram isn't targeting with any available alternative threats.

In the event that Sram, Senior Edificer dies, if I don't have an alternative threat on board, he's recast and reequipped. If Sram is stuck with summoning sickness for that turn, other creatures may pick up the slack as to not miss any Sword of the Animist or Mirran Sword triggers, finish off Planeswalkers, or to at least keep the pressure up.

In the event that Sram, Senior Edificer becomes too expensive to recast, my deck's alternative threats take over and I attempt to defeat my opponents though regular damage.

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 and current Commander, Sram, Senior Edificer, and Equipment synergy returned to the Command Zone. While Sram lacks the built-in protection Eight-and-a-Half-Tails provides, he makes this up with speed and card advantage. Sram is able to drop as early as Turn 2 and begin the Commander Damage death clock much faster than his predecessors while keeping my hand stocked.

Deck Development

Last Updated: October 11, 2017

Balan, Wandering Knight - Potential Commander. Can easily become a quick clock with little set-up.

Banisher Priest - A Journey to Nowhere effect on an easily recurrable, Equipment-wielding body.

Restoration Specialist - 2-for-1 artifact and enchantment recursion. Supports enchantment/Aura additions.

Basilisk Collar - Lifelink to boost my life, deathtouch to keep threats at bay.

Hammer of Nazahn - Another source of indestructible and free equips.

Inquisitor's Flail - Damage Doubler. Stacks very with double strike.

Conqueror's Galleon  Flip - Becomes a powerful utility land. Crew 4 is high and breaks my personal limit, but it's something I'm willing to overlook as it only needs to be crewed once.

Mine Excavation - 2-for-1 recursion spell, brining back any of two artifacts and enchantments using conspire. Supports enchantment/Aura additions.

Teferi's Protection - Protects myself and my things until my next turn. Stifles removal, alpha strikes, life loss, etc.

Field of Ruin - A Wasteland variant that replaces itself.

Reliquary Tower - In some games, Sram, Senior Edificer and Sword of Fire and Ice's forced card draw triggers can fill my hand faster than I can empty it. Not ideal to discarding cards for nothing.

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.

Angel of Sanctions - Placeholder. If a more desirable card becomes apparent, this card is a possible cut for it.

Argivian Archaeologist - With the idea of adding some Auras and support for them into this deck, Argivian Archaeologist's days are currently numbered. Recursion options that grab both artifacts and enchantments are more valuable than artifact-only ones. Adding one Aura won't affect its position, but if a few Auras are added or more enchantment-based Equipment support gets printed, it'll have to yield to broader recursion.


Remaining Acquirable Foils: 5 | Unavailable in Foil: 8

Foils: 57

Prerelease Foils: 7

Buy-a-Box Promos: 1

FNM Promos: 1

Grand Prix & Pro Tour Promos: 4

Judge Promos: 5

Masterpieces: 5

Miscellaneous Foils & Promos: 7

Remaining Acquirable Foils:

Land Tax

Forsake the Worldly

Return to Dust

Mikokoro, Center of the Sea

Petrified Field


Unavailable in Foil:

Argivian Archaeologist (Reserve List)

Armory Automaton

Conqueror's Flail

Masterwork of Ingenuity

Flickering Ward

Grasp of Fate

Nahiri, the Lithomancer

Myriad Landscape

Please read my Notable Exclusions list before posting!

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.

Additional 0-1cmc Equipment - I'm not going to add cheap Equipment just for the sake of drawing cards off of Sram, Senior Edificer. Chaff like Bone Saw and Accorder's Shield have no place in proper Voltron Commander decks. I see Sram, Senior Edificer's ability as a bonus for using already good Equipment, not an excuse to flood the deck with crap. I'm all for Equipment with low costs, just not the poor quality trash that accomplish nothing.

Equipment Tutors - I can't fit every tutor in this deck and most of them have become outclassed. Steelshaper Apprentice and Relic Seeker are too slow. Taj-Nar Swordsmith needs way too much mana at once. Quest for the Holy Relic has a very clunky hoop to jump through and is a horrid mid-late game draw.

Auras - Even though Sram, Senior Edificer is now the Commander, I still wish to keep this deck primarily centered on Equipment. Never expect a full-blown Aura suite. However, I don't mind using a select few utility Auras if they're worthwhile. Auras like Flickering Ward, that are great even without Sram, Senior Edificer on board, are the ones I'm looking out for. Not that interested in combat-oriented Auras like Angelic Destiny, as this deck would rather have an Equipment in the same slot.

Vehicles - Vehicles must have a crew cost no higher than 2 and have some form of meaningful utility for me to consider them (ie. Smuggler's Copter has crew 1 and looting). If a Vehicle fails to meet both of these requirements, I don't want to use it. I'm not interested in Vehicles that are just bodies.

Shroud - Shroud is a complete roadblock in Voltron strategies. Lightning Greaves and Whispersilk Cloak would force me to equip them to other creatures and leave my suited up creature exposed. Indomitable Archangel and Fountain Watch cause the same issues with my artifact creatures, and they effectively shut down Armory Automaton. In short, if it grants shroud, this deck doesn't want it.

Mana Doublers - Equipment decks will naturally incentivize heavier artifact hate, and non-Equipment artifacts will frequently end up as collateral damage. Mana doubler have their individual issues as well. Extraplanar Lens doesn't like a mana base with 56% Basic lands. Gauntlet of Power can double my opponents' mana. Caged Sun has a clunky mana cost.

Poison/Infect - Dying to poison counters is simply not fun. At all. It's an endless frustration for my opponents and a hollow victory for myself. Grafted Exoskeleton and Inkmoth Nexus would devolve the deck into getting infect kills. I want this deck to be an entertaining challenge, not a nightmare.

Mass Land Destruction Spells - I don't like them in Commander. They're either win-more when I'm ahead or useless when I'm behind. There's no middle ground. They also carry the stigma of ruining games. Not what I want for this deck.

Auriok Steelshaper - Doesn't do enough. Shaving off from equip costs isn't worth an entire slot.

Avacyn, Angel of Hope & Darksteel Forge - Both have very cumbersome mana costs and do nothing in the wake of the efficient exiling removal that's available nowadays.

Bastion Protector - Too narrow. Only boosting Sram, Senior Edificer and nothing else isn't that great in games where I have to restort to my alternative threats. Indestructible is best given by Darksteel Plate and not a body that can easily die.

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?

Leonin Shikari - Never liked it for this deck. Instant-speed equipping offers little utility when you want to attach everything to a single creature.

Ranger of Eos - I've tried using it and it doesn't work in this deck. I don't use enough 1cmc creatures and adding more would be forcing Ranger to work and clog up deck space.

Stone Haven Outfitter - Not a Voltron card. It's anthem isn't effective when I only want to suit up one creature. It's card draw trigger only works when I'm being set back and it doesn't trigger off of Sram, Senior Edificer returning to the Command Zone.

Elbrus, the Binding Blade  Flip - Comprehensive Rules 903.4 and 903.4c. Elbrus has a Colour Identity of . This deck can't use it.

Skullclamp - This deck doesn't have the luxury of on-demand, expendable X/1s to fuel it consistently.

Sword of Body and Mind & Sword of War and Peace - These Swords are the overall worst of the cycle. Body and Mind's milling is a weak back-up plan that gives free fuel to graveyard decks. War and Peace's triggered ability is incredibly lackluster and doesn't provide any significant value. They're not even worth using for the protections when there are other Equipment that provide more practical abilities.

Sword of Kaldra, Shield of Kaldra, & Helm of Kaldra - The Kaldra Set was in the deck before, but newer Equipment have antiquated them and it's too inconsistent to get all three out at once.

Banishing Light & Oblivion Ring - Not that great in comparison to newer cards with stronger effects or the effect attached to handy bodies.

Mass Calcify - 7 mana is too high for a creature-only sweeper and it instantly backfires against other White decks.

Dispatch - While metalcraft isn't too difficult to achieve, it's still a conditional removal spell. Compares incredibly poorly to Path to Exile and Swords to Plowshares.

Artifact Lands - Ancient Den and Darksteel Citadel don't provide any meaningful utility. Ancient Den specifically would often end up as collateral damage from an opponent's artifact sweeper.

Fetchlands - The main benefit of using Fetchlands is colour-fixing. As this is a Mono-coloured deck, I have absolutely no need for colour-fixing. Using them for "deck thinning" is a complete waste, as deck thinning is completely negligible even in 60-card Constructed. Fetchlands would essentially accomplish nothing and use up valuable deck space in the process.

Eiganjo Castle - Preventing 2 damage on a legendary creature is severely low-impact and completely superfluous in a deck with Equipment that can provide much stronger effects.

Flagstones of Trokair - Does absolutely nothing in the the vast majority of games. A land that replaces itself when destroyed has very limited applications and one land barely makes a difference after mass land destruction. This card just isn't useful and I have absolutely ZERO interest in it.

New Benalia - The lone scry 1 isn't worth the tapped land.

Temple of the False God - This card is a trap. It holds the promise to produce , but is completely dead without 4 other lands. This uselessness early in the game forces mulligans when in the opening hand and drawing it early game sucks. Later in the game, it has about the same impact as a late Sol Ring: nice to have, but not accomplishing much.


Hour of Devastation Additions:

All Is Dust -> Hour of Revelation

Drifting Meadow -> Desert of the True


Other Additions:


I'm always on the lookout for ways to lower this deck's average CMC. Equipment are expensive to play and maintain, so having everything else be as cheap as possible is ideal. Nothing gets as cheap and efficient as Hour of Revelation. 3 mana for an entire board purge is excellent, and the '10 nonland permanents' requirement for the cost reduction is very trivial in Commander. Hour of Revelation will cost only more often then not.

All Is Dust was the cut for Hour of Revelation. Trading a 7-mana sweeper for a "3-mana" sweeper is a no-brainer. This swap also adds more hard artifact removal to the deck. Though I appreciate that All Is Dust spares my Equipment, it also leaves behind my opponent's mana rocks and other utility artifacts. My heavy aversion to stronger artifact hate lead to issues in my removal suite. Blowing up everything equally is better than leaving long-term problems behind.


Drifting Meadow has been replaced with Desert of the True. While it's seemingly odd to be replacing a card with a technically inferior one, Desert of the True is available in foil. I'm trying to foil this deck out as much as possible and there's no guarantee cards pre-Urza's Legacy will be reprinted in foilable sets.


Commander 2017 is just around the corner and Ixalan isn't too far off. The annual Commander sets always has something to tinker with, though I don't have high hopes for Ixalan. From what was leaked on that rare sheet a little while back, there's nothing notable to use and my expectations on anything remaining are currently very low.

Comments View Archive

Gleeock says... #1

Hmm. I've actually enjoyed spells like Cataclysmic Gearhulk in my sram deck, I personally prefer Divine Reckoning by far. But the "choose one" option has made for some fantastic mismatches even when I destroy my own crap; usually I keep a lynchpin equipment + enchantment (argentum armor...swords) & just combat trick em to death once there wall is turned to crap

July 16, 2017 8:33 p.m.

NensouHiebara says... #2


Stonecloaker - Never been too sure if I really want this card. It always feels like something I'd end up cutting if another Equipment support creature gets printed.

Scroll Rack - I took it out for Smuggler's Copter back in February. I seldom had both it and Land Tax out at once, never wanted to burn tutors to assemble them, and didn't really use Rack by itself that much. I'm a lot happier with Looter Scooter. It triggers Sram, Senior Edificer, it loots, can take chunks out of Planeswalkers, and also pairs well with an active Land Tax.

I'm fully aware of the issues Sword of Light and Shadow causes, but I bite the bullet and deal with it. Sword's protection from both creature removal colours and creature recursion is too invaluable to drop.


This deck has an ever noticeable artifact hate issue, and it's been causing many problems.

Actively avoiding heavier artifact removal so that I don't destroy my own board has been a detriment. It has allowed my opponents to get away with the game with utility artifacts and extensive artifact-based ramp. Cataclysmic Gearhulk was the first attempt at adding more artifact removal, as it at least spares by best Equipment. I also added Forsake the Worldly to patch up remaining gaps in my removal suite. While these additions are fantastic, it's still not enough. I'm planning on dropping All Is Dust for Hour of Revelation to add another hard artifact sweeper.

July 16, 2017 8:48 p.m.

NensouHiebara says... #3


Well now...

August 7, 2017 8:19 a.m.

Stefouch says... #4

Is the word "all" a problem?

August 7, 2017 8:40 a.m.

PartyJ says... #5

Should this cat make a claim for the Commander seat in this build?

I think there is no easy answer... would you consider a solid draw engine to be put in the 99?

Mid/endgame Baral has way more Voltron qualities, but denies solid card advantage.

My personal opinion leans towards this cat being the commander and Sram as one of the 99, with a solid pack of available ramp.

August 7, 2017 8:46 a.m.

PartyJ says... #6

... not to mention the newly dropped equipment. This new commander product might storm several ranks of decks like these ;)

August 7, 2017 6:34 p.m.

Gleeock says... #7

Cerainly will change the landscape of Sisay, my Sram too, (That hammer) free equip hits like a ton of bricks in my Sram deck

August 7, 2017 8:41 p.m.

Stefouch says... #8

New Toys!

The german-one is a Bonesplitter that copies itself whenever dealing combat dmg to a player.

August 8, 2017 3:57 a.m.

NensouHiebara says... #9

Hammer of Nazahn is definitely going to be added. More sources of free equip triggers is always welcome.

The Axe is too gimmicky. Not interested in it.

August 8, 2017 8:32 a.m.

Gleeock says... #10

Haha, we agree on something... The axe could be great elsewhere; I MAY use it but not as excited about it as other people are, I'm also a little bit lazy to want to manage a billion tokens in a non-token deck. Would be fun to see Bane of Progress drop after those axes have been copulating... That hammer though :)....

August 8, 2017 9:27 a.m.

Stefouch says... #11

I wonder.. why playing Smuggler's Copter instead of Mask of Memory?

Smuggler's CopterMask of Memory
Cost Cost
Crew 1Equip
Draw 1, discard 1Draw 2, discard 1
Needs attack to trigger.Needs contact to trigger.
Not a creature at end of turn.Stay equipped.
Not good with other Equipments.Stay equipped.
Evasion (Flying).No other abilities.

Aside, here is a new equipment:

Heirloom Blade

I think Equip for +3/+1 is nice. Bonus: the creature is (almost always) replaced if killed.

August 10, 2017 4:13 a.m.

NensouHiebara says... #12


Smuggler's Copter doesn't have to worry about summoning sickness after the turn it's played, can also trigger off of blocking, gives my utility creatures the option to "attack" without putting them in danger, and is an evasive body to divebomb Planeswalkers.

Mask of Memory is completely overshadowed by Sword of Fire and Ice. Mask of Memory also offers absolutely nothing outside of card draw. No P/T boost and no keywords? No thanks.

Not interested in Heirloom Blade. Equipment with death triggers will almost never trigger off of a Commander's death, the creature types in this deck are too varied, and the lone +3/+1 boost is... boring.

August 10, 2017 5:11 p.m.

gzusvictory says... #13

Wowowow! Hey! Remember me!? Probably not. I still run 8.5. I am very new to your change to SRAM! A few questions:

What do you consider your starting game plan with Sram? Let's say you have a few equipment tutors, what equipment do you search for and what order? You mentioned with Eight-and-a-Half-Tails, you search for Swiftfoot Boots first or Sword of the Animist if you are short on lands. Did this change for Sram, Senior Edificer?

No! You chopped Ghostly Prison? And the 2/3 flyer with the same effect? What did you replace them with and why!? (If you can remember.)

How did Grasp of Fate make the cut? I thought you did not like Oblivion Ring-esque effects? Does multiple targets make t worth it? Why not run Quarantine Field at that point? Too much mana? A chance for more targets on the same opponent also though.

What did you cut for Forsake the Worldly? If you can remember.

Last question, ever think about switching back to Eight-and-a-Half-Tails? Sure, he does literal nothing early, but you become SO invulnerable in the late game, which you can reach pretty easily considering you are playing with 3 other players. Do you ever miss it? Or are you 100% satisfied with the change? I do like the touch of keeping him in your deck. How did your play group/meta respond to the commander change? With relief? I can imagine Sram, Senior Edificer often gets under rated at first glance.

August 11, 2017 5:10 a.m.

NensouHiebara says... #14


The starting game plan is to drop Sram, Senior Edificer on Turn 2 and ride the card draw. An early Equipment tutor is usually spent on the either one of those two. In fact, Sram, Senior Edificer makes Sword of the Animist better as he's a consistent early game body to equip.

Ghostly Prison and Windborn Muse were replaced with Grasp of Fate and Armory Automaton respectively. I needed space for Armory Automaton and leaving Ghostly Prison by itself wasn't going to be that effective anymore.

Grasp of Fate is an exception as it hits multiple permanents. No interest in Quarantine Field. It's way too expensive and doesn't work with Sun Titan.

I cut Karmic Justice for Forsake the Worldly. Quality exiling removal is constantly being printed, which erodes Karmic Justice's effectiveness.

Never switching back to Eight-and-a-Half-Tails and I absolutely don't miss him in the Command Zone. Sram, Senior Edificer's been amazing since the change. Eight-and-a-Half-Tails is only still in the 99 due to the lack of Leonin Abunas variants without shroud. He still has his issues in low mana situations.

My Commander is mostly irrelevant. It's the crazy plays I sometimes perform that cause groans. I got extremely lucky once with Argentum Armor and a Masterwork of Ingenuity copy both equipped on Turn 5.

Though I'm been happy with Sram, Senior Edificer, his days in the Command Zone may be numbered. Balan, Wandering Knight from the Commander 2017 decks has my complete attention right now. The Cat hits like a truck with little set up.

August 11, 2017 10:11 a.m.

Noctem says... #15

I find it surprising that you would be willing to trade the card draw from Sram and the early game presence he gives for a 4CMC 3/3 with first strike that needs 2 more mana to do something relevant. I think Balan should be in the deck, don't get me wrong, but I don't think he should be the commander when Sram seems much more useful to get things going. I think the same logic you apply to not running 8.5 as the commander anymore can and should be applied to Balan.

August 11, 2017 10:42 a.m.

TCG-Player says... #16

Hi Voltron Fans

I'm a huge friend of Balan as well. He does so well with the new Bonesplitter-Like axe. Once he hit with double strike he gets 2 more axes he can equip straight away by paying 2 mana. You can basically do this turn 4 - 5 (don't forget he can equip himself with things like Swiftfoot Boots).

August 11, 2017 5:08 p.m.

NensouHiebara says... #17


Balan is the kind of Commander I've been waiting for since I first built this deck in 2011.

This deck's primary strategy is to defeat all opponents with Commander Damage though boosts from Equipment. Balan has a better base body than previous Commanders, benefits from being equipped, and circumvents equip costs. He's able to be a 2-Turn clock with minimal set-up and can bounce back from creature removal fairly easily.

August 12, 2017 12:01 a.m.

Noctem says... #18

True, but Sram gives you early game presence and functions as a card engine for doing what you would be doing anyway. He lets you draw into your win conditions which imo makes you more competitive vs other decks. This might be a difference in perspective. That's ok, playtesting will tell us more.

August 12, 2017 6:53 a.m.

@NensouHiebara - you and I definitely diverged a bit over the past couple years with card choices. Likely due to meta and playtesting (I have 13 decks now...). But I believe that we're in sync on Balan, Wandering Knight being the best thing since sliced bread for equipment commanders. I opted for Gisela, the Broken Blade for a time for the keyword soup. It's nice to have an option that doesn't get double punished for commander tax and equip costs and is more than viable as a threat himself. Very much looking forward to him taking Gisela's place.

Hammer of Nazahn is another welcome piece to the arsenal. Can't wait to make use of it.

August 12, 2017 7:41 p.m.

NecroWyrm124 says... #20

Hey I basically copied this deck minus a few of the more expensive cards (looking at you batterskull and Petrified Fields) was an absolute ton of fun to play. Sun titan with stripmine is just nasty . I love the amount of recursion you can work between the swords, titan and revilark.

It's a great deck and looking forward to playing with it for a while .

August 29, 2017 10:47 a.m.

Kurisuto says... #21

Hello good sir/ma'm, I have been in love with this deck since it was Eight-and-a-Half-Tails. With your recent changes you are testing... Do you think Silverblade Paladin still finds a home in the list, I only ask because I see you cut Fireshrieker for Inquisitor's Flail (which is absolutely absurd with Balan, Wandering Knight... DOUBLE STRIKE DOUBLE DAMAGE!)? Next, I see you swapped Darksteel Plate out for the Hammer, but the Hammer isn't indestructible itself, and I feel that to be a little unsettling with catch all board wipes like Hour of Revelation be played where the plate would survive. Also, is Reliquary Tower still being considered now that we lost the draw engine of Sram, Senior Edificer? I feel the hand will empty pretty quick now without him at the helm. Your response is greatly appreciated, this deck is amazing and I appreciate any and all feedback to my comments.

September 1, 2017 4:39 a.m.

NensouHiebara says... #22


Silverblade Paladin is another card I'm planning on replacing, but with what is still up in the air. I'm waiting until after the full Ixalan spoiler before I start finding potential additions.


Hammer of Nazahn is an immense upgrade over Darksteel Plate for Equipment Voltron. The power boost and free equip trigger is well worth the loss of Plate's own indestructibility.


Having to discard cards due to a overloaded hand is a significant annoyance, and Sword of Fire and Ice's mandatory card draw trigger can fill my hand faster than I can empty it. Reliquary Tower is something I'm playing with to see if its inclusion is necessary.

September 3, 2017 9:48 a.m.

gzusvictory says... #23

Are you not changing your commander to Balan, Wandering Knight? I am playtesting him now. He takes a little longer to get out and less card draw, but more power. His activated ability makes his resilience very strong after getting removed. I may consider more 2-cost mana rocks to get him out a turn or 2 earlier, even considering that artifact hate will hit harder on us. I would also prefer to keep mikokoro rather than Reliquary Tower since we lost that card draw when changing commanders. Also, will Sram stay in the deck. What will you take out for him if he does? Thoughts?

September 6, 2017 2:12 a.m.

gzusvictory says... #24

September 6, 2017 2:24 a.m.

NensouHiebara says... #25


Balan, Wandering Knight will become the Commander when I next update the deck. I don't change things the instant new cards come out and keep the deck on a set update schedule. The next update should be sometime in October.


Additional Mana Rocks - Not going that route. I don't need to rush Balan onto the battlefield, so the early game will be designated to preparing the board like it was with Eight-and-a-Half-Tails as the Commander. Additionally, Sword of the Animist is my first choice from an early tutor.

Reliquary Tower - It's currently an experiment, pairing it with Sword of Fire and Ice to keep me from discarding when the Sword overloads my hand.

Sram, Senior Edificer - Will probably still have a place in the deck. Waiting for Ixalan to be completely spoiled first.

Knight Exemplar - This is a Tribal card. It's not suited for Voltron.

Bastion Protector - Tried it when Commander 2015 came out and didn't really like it. It doesn't do anything if Balan is out of commission and its 3/3 body doesn't allow it to work with Reveillark and Recruiter of the Guard.

Fountain Watch - I don't like shroud for Voltron. At all. Most notably, it completely shuts off Armory Automaton.

Ogre's Cleaver - Too dull. I prefer Equipment that have some form of additional utility beyond P/T boosts. Equip is also a pretty high for what it does.

September 6, 2017 5:54 p.m.

Stefouch says... #26

I am not convinced that Balan > Sram for the Command slot.

The card-advantage brought by Sram help a lot the deck to recover from mass destruction.

Please, don't hesitate to share your tests with this change!

PS: Your decklist and your explanations convinced me to play (almost) the same deck! Usually, I am following your advices.

September 7, 2017 5:10 a.m.

PartyJ says... #27

I am still playing with Sram on the helm. Having a tough time to hand in the card advantage.

But my deck has more different choices. But I like the reasoning he puts up. Good for thought!

September 7, 2017 3 p.m.

TCG-Player says... #28

I also was curious about either Sram or Balan is the right choice to be the Commander in this deck. I fi ally decided to run Balan because i really don't like these low-cost but low-impact equipments many players like to run to get the draws from Sram. I think each equipment should be impactful and worth equipping. How do you think about this?

September 7, 2017 3:11 p.m.

Gleeock says... #29

For THIS deck I do see Balan being a good choice. I already took my shot long ago at saying to go "all in" on Sram's draw ability. But I don't think 16 equip + 1 aura out of 99 cards was really all that dedicated to what Sram does best, so with that ratio - I say, what the heck, Balan probably is a better choice.

September 7, 2017 4:25 p.m.

Stefouch says... #30

I agree that 16 equip is poor.. good point!

BUT Flickering Ward is extremely powerful with Sram!

September 8, 2017 3:34 a.m.

NensouHiebara says... #31


This is... interesting...

September 11, 2017 10:40 a.m.

Teysaforever says... #32

Balan is a she.

September 12, 2017 2:09 p.m.

TCG-Player says... #33

@NensouHiebaraOh yeah! That card is hilarious. I love it!

@TeysaforeverDid you just assume Balan's gender?!

September 13, 2017 3:28 p.m.

NensouHiebara says... #34


Balan is indeed female.

September 13, 2017 4:07 p.m.

TCG-Player says... #35

Oh yeah you're right. The german name is Balan, Wandernde Ritterin.

September 14, 2017 1:24 a.m.

gzusvictory says... #36

Do we need another Maze of Ith in the form of Thaumatic Compass?

September 16, 2017 6:57 a.m.

@NensouHiebara - Considering that Mono-white is lacking on ramp, it's on theme with it being an equipment and that the defender tokens are more likely to be irrelevant than not, I definitely plan on playtesting it.

Also, if you make Balan, Wandering Knight the commander, will you be considering shroud? Whispersilk Cloak has since made it into my deck since Balan's ability gets around shroud. I haven't looked back since.

September 16, 2017 10:20 a.m.

PyreCracker says... #38

Hi, big fan here.

I really like Balan and am excited for what you will do with her.

With the carddraw of Sram gone, i guess the deck needs something aside of Fire and Ice. So Sram in the 99 in exchange for the Silverblade Paladin.

And maybe there is room for the Alms Collector (basically the white Con. Sphinx) and Rogue's Gloves or Avarice Amulet.

September 16, 2017 4:32 p.m.

NensouHiebara says... #39


I don't feel like I need another Maze effect. Maze of Ith and Kor Haven were in the deck together for years and haven't felt the need for the second effect again after dropping Maze back in December. Haven is also one of my go-to targets for a land tutor, so I often have it out.

Thaumatic Compass seems a little awkward to use for its land side since there's only Enlightened Tutor to find it, and burning a potential Equipment tutor for a Maze effect feels like a waste.


Whispersilk Cloak doesn't seem unreasonable with Balan at the helm, but it will still be as clunky as always when relying on my other creatures. I'm going to stick with leaving shroud out of my deck. I don't want to have more awkward scenarios than what I already get with Godsend and Sword of Light and Shadow.


Sram - Cutting Silverblade Paladin for him isn't a bad change. Ixalan doesn't offer any new creatures for this deck, so Paladin is an open slot.

Alms Collector - Draw spells are too infrequent in my meta for Collector to function properly. I mostly see card draw engines that draw one at a time.

Other Card Draw Equipment - I don't have a lot of interest in using them, mainly because they're all terrible compared to Sword of Fire and Ice and space in the deck is very tight.

September 16, 2017 8:40 p.m.

PyreCracker says... #40

Hi, I have still some questions if i may:

Why do you play Transcendent Master over Loxodon Punisher?


Do you think without Sram you'll get the full value out of Flickering Ward and Smuggler's Copter?

September 18, 2017 4:34 p.m.

NensouHiebara says... #41


Transcendent Master is a threat that doesn't need Equipment. If I'm in a situation where Equipment is scarce, it's something I can fall back on. Loxodon Punisher would be stuck as a 2/2. Punisher's a potent threat with Equipment, but I wouldn't use it over the Master.

Looter Scooter is still a good loot engine. Booting Sram from the Command Zone only makes it not draw off of casting it consistently. Not a huge loss.

Flickering Ward is still good without Sram, but it is something I'm willing to cut.

September 18, 2017 8:57 p.m.

gzusvictory says... #42

Make the change to Balan, Wandering Knight! I hit 76 commander damage last game with Inquisitor's Flail, Argentum Armor, Batterskull, and Umezawa's Jitte. The guy hits like a house, like I hit another person for 24 commander damage in one hit on turn 7. It just does work. How has it worked for you so far? Any issues?

September 20, 2017 5:36 a.m.

NensouHiebara says... #43


Commander in my area has become exceedingly sparse and stagnant lately. I've only had one game with Balan so far, and that was almost a month ago when Commander 2017 released.

In that single game, I one-shot two Dragon precon players and shrugged off back-to-back Swords to Plowshares and Merciless Eviction topdecks from the Vampire precon player. Not a notable game to be honest. Dropkicking precons isn't something to gain worthwhile information.

September 20, 2017 6:04 p.m.

Spyrechild says... #44

So as mentioned before, Ive been using your guide as my primer for my own deck. Recently Ive been having issues with keeping my hand full, the lack of a sword of ice and fire dose not help with the situation but its just out of my price range at the moment.

Any advice? Any other draw cards you would use?

October 1, 2017 8:31 p.m.

NensouHiebara says... #45


Though I wouldn't actually use them, Avarice Amulet and Rogue's Gloves are decent budget card draw Equipment.

Conqueror's Galleon is a non-Equipment option I currently have my eyes on. Its land side offers great utility for Mono-White. Crew 4 is somewhat high, but it's not unreasonable since Galleon only ever needs to be crewed once.

October 1, 2017 11:02 p.m.

TCG-Player says... #46

I have a ruling question:If you attack with multiple creatures and you have Leonin Shikari out is it possible to requip your your equipments after the equipped creature hit, but before the new eqipped creature does its damage?

PS: Is removing Angel of Sanctions still a thing? You said he will be most likely the first one to go ;)

October 2, 2017 4:12 p.m.

NensouHiebara says... #47


Combat damage is dealt simultaneously. So you can't do this normally.

You could do this with two creatures if the first one with the Equipment has first strike and you move the Equipment onto the second creature without first strike in-between combat damage steps.

But I'm not a Judge or anything, so you should ask someone well versed in the Comprehensive Rules.


I didn't expect to be changing Commanders again so soon, and Balan needs to have a few cards be replaced. Angel of Sanctions is an open slot, but the cards that are no longer ideal are at a higher priority.

October 2, 2017 5:29 p.m.

Stefouch says... #48


What NensouHiebara says is right.
More precisely, damage's assignation is a turn-based action that happens at the beginning of the Combat Damage Step of the Combat Phase. "Turn-based actions" don't use the stack and can't be responded. Players get priority afterwards.

So, you have the opportunity to either change your Equipment places (thanks to Leonin Shikari) before assigning/dealing damage, or after. Not in-between.

But there's an exception, it's if you control a creature with first or double strike. When such a creature dealt its damage, and before the others will assign their damage, you have a moment where players will get priority. See rule 510.4 for that exception. (translation: you get a second Combat Damage Step).

PS: I'm a Judge Level 1 experimented with the Comprehensive Rules.

October 3, 2017 3:45 a.m.

TCG-Player says... #49

Thank you for the fast response
So it would be a little combo if you have both Leonin Shikari and Puresteel Paladin (or lots of mana) out. But i guess it's too gimmicky and Balan, Wandering Knight or any other double striker can do the same job.

October 3, 2017 7:05 a.m.

Stefouch says... #50

Yes indeed. Leonin Shikari is already a great combo with Lightning Greaves: "all your creatures have shroud."

October 3, 2017 9:46 a.m.

gzusvictory says... #51

Thoughts on O-Naginata post-Balan switch? Him getting chump blocked feels bad and trample can really help. Or do you feel the restriction hinders your other creatures too much? With second equipment, Balan reaches 12 damage with trample minimum!

Another downside involves the fact that 12 of your creatures are not legal equip targets alone, but you have balan every game! Thoughts?

October 4, 2017 11:34 p.m.

gzusvictory says... #52

Are you aware of the fact that Field of Ruin will also give basics to the other players you did not target?

October 4, 2017 11:37 p.m.

NensouHiebara says... #53


I already have Sword of Vengeance and Loxodon Warhammer to provide trample. O-Naginata feels too much like a weaker version of them.

I'm fully aware Field of Ruin gives a free Basic to every other opponent. It doesn't bother me. I'm not aggressive with my Strip Lands and the one-time free Basic isn't going to matter enough to be a detriment.

October 5, 2017 11:03 a.m.

redace10 says... #54

Inpressive deck indeed, I have two suggestions for you -

Inspiring Statuary is a one of a kind ramp card for an equipment deck. It may end up being a collateral damage type card if it's removed, but I can tell you from experience playing it, it ramps an astounding amount. If your deck diversifies away from equipment, which Sram is fully capable of doing, it might not be a great fit. As your deck is currently constructed though, it looks like a winner.

Tragic Arrogance is one of my favorite voltron-wipes of all time. To be honest with you, I kind of dislike Cataclysmic Gearhulk. A lot. Letting your opponents pick pretty much sucks, and if there's any other artifacts or creatures you want to keep on board (like your equipment or Sram) the Gearhulk could end up either in the graveyard when it resolves, or makes you sac something you don't want to. While it is easy to recur the Gearhulk, that still doesn't mitigate the fact that Tragic Arrogance does the job far, far better.

Hope I gave you something to chew on, happy hunting :) Don't switch to Balan, he might be a more efficient body to use equipment on, but I view him as a worse commander. Sram's ability to draw is a big deal, Balan will run into problems of loosing fuel as the game gets longer.

October 9, 2017 9:38 p.m.

NensouHiebara says... #55


Inspiring Statuary's inability to make Equipment cheaper is a massive deal-breaker. The one card type that this deck would want to be made cheaper is Equipment. Statuary doesn't provide that.


Cataclysmic Gearhulk can be tutored for as well as being easily recurrable. And I have the option to let it live if I'm falling behind and need the body. Gearhulk is a much more flexible sweeper.


Balan, Wandering Knight is the Voltron Commander I've always wanted: one with strong Equipment synergy and actually designed around combat. The goal of the deck is to win with Commander Damage, and Balan does that better than any previous Commander. Other cards (including Sram) can still provide card draw in the 99.

October 9, 2017 11:17 p.m.

redace10 says... #56

Fair points, I still think tragic arrogance is an excellent board wipe that's practically tailored for Voltron decks. Gearhulk isn't the card to drop for it, what about angel of sanctions? Seems a little out of place. Give it a shot, Tragic Arrogance is criminally undervalued in EDH, as it gets around Indestructiblity, Hexproof, shroud, even protection from white. Being the chooser for every player let's you dismantle opponents' boards in a way that's almost impossible to stop.

Speaking of removal, Council's Judgment is another gem that may warrant consideration. Can you tell I like control cards? Might be a tad obvious haha. Seriously though, white has access to great removal, and for a Voltron deck with an uber cheap commander, the deck looks fairly creature heavy. I also think you could probably drop to 35 lands if you wished.

As for Balan, you're absolutely right that he is way more lethal than Sram could ever hope to be. Still, I feel that if Balan runs into a good control deck(or a few at once), he might be outmatched. For example, facing a board wipe mid to late game looks like it would really hurt Balan a lot, as opposed to Sram who would be cheaper to recast and keeps refueling your hand. If the deck gets tailored to Balan with plenty of draw cards (does white even have a lot?), then yeah, he can dominate. In a vacuum though, I believe Sram is just better.

October 10, 2017 10:55 a.m.

NensouHiebara says... #57


I don't want to go critical mass with sweepers. I need my Commander and my Equipment on board to win! The three sweepers I have already to clear out everyone else's toys set me back enough. A fourth one feels excessive.


Council's Judgment is way too political for my tastes. I don't like how my opponents have actual control over what gets removed, which leads to Judgment being easily botched by collusion or grudges.

October 10, 2017 11:57 a.m.

redace10 says... #58

I could debate tragic arrogance further, as it does let you keep your commander and your best equipment(probably a sword). Alas, maybe seeing it used would provide some clarity, it screams voltron-wipe to me.

I think in trying to help you, you ended up helping me with my thoughts on equipment voltron builds. I really appreciate the back and forth conversation. I'm thinking of switching to Nazahn from Ojutai for my next decked out voltron build, this has helped a lot. Thanks so much :)

October 10, 2017 12:25 p.m.

Gleeock says... #59

Nothing wrong with Tragic Arrogance, I'm more of a Divine Reckoning guy myself. Some tradeoff between CMC, destroy vs. sac. flashback... I still end up preferring the true one-sidedness of my divine reckoning though... Then MLD :)

October 10, 2017 10:35 p.m.

gzusvictory says... #60

October 10, 2017 11:02 p.m.

NensouHiebara says... #61


Haven't really given Teferi's Protection much thought. I've been more focused on fixing the deck up for Balan.

I'll toss it in the Maybeboard and give it a shot later on.

October 11, 2017 9:27 a.m.

Starlantis says... #62

@NensouHiebara I've read over everything today and I'm super impressed. I would love to bounce some ideas off of you for my own equipment deck.

With the release of the new commander decks it really adds a lot to go through.

October 11, 2017 3:01 p.m.

Icenhard says... #63

I don't Get The cataclismic gearhulk. Why would you like to destroy your stuff?

October 13, 2017 8:59 a.m.

PyreCracker says... #64

@Icenhard Wouldn't that be the question about every wipe?

October 13, 2017 11:52 a.m.

NensouHiebara says... #65


One of White's strengths is its sweepers: the ability purge the board of undesirables in a quick and efficient manner. My stuff getting destroyed as well is unfortunate, but quite often a necessary sacrifice to keep my opponents' strategies in check. Without sweepers, this deck would fold to a lot of easily avoidable situations.

October 13, 2017 7:21 p.m.

gzusvictory says... #66

Can you please remember what you took out for Strata Scythe, Caged Sun, and Relic Seeker? By the way, playtesting with Inquisitor's Flail, I noticed a lot of my Sword triggers are no longer doing it twice since it does not equate to double strike. Do you find it worth the change in order to reduce redundancy of Balan, Wandering Knights double strike?

October 23, 2017 3:48 a.m.

NensouHiebara says... #67


Strata Scythe -> Conqueror's Flail

Caged Sun -> Cataclysmic Gearhulk

Relic Seeker -> Eight-and-a-Half-Tails

Any Equipment that raises Balan's power to at least 6 paired with Flail allows her to one-shot. Just the two Equipment. I'd say it's worth it.

October 23, 2017 8:36 a.m.

Kosmokatze says... #68

Hey NonsouHiebara,

Thank you for sharing your great deck. I am a long time follower and I love this deck, because it plays the kind of magic which I enjoy the most: Artifacts and a mono-white build. Let's face it: mono white is the single-worst color in Commander. However, your deck is powerful with strong synergies and a flavourful theme, without swingy, game-ending cards and combos. I am taking a break from competitive commander, because it does not fit for me. There are other formats that do that for me. Therefore, I am strongly considering building a mono-white attrition deck for a more casual meta.

I would love to hear your thoughts on some cards.

Mana Crypt it is amazing, but it can do a lot of damage to you (1.5 a turn on average). It is great for decks that try to win fast. I think its probably fine to add it here since you have lifegain but I feel like you are a little slow to try to push for the win. The damage can add up quickly, especially when you aren't lucky with the random results.

Alternative Suggestions:

Wayfarer's Bauble is solid land ramp. I would rather have lands in play than a mana stone as they tend to get blown up. It's cheap to use and doesnt leave you with a target for things like Austere Command. It also lets you ramp into a turn 3 Balan, Wandering Knight.

Tithe is instant speed and let's you dropping lands when you fall behind.

Sensei's Divining Top I have started seeing this card a bit less as a staple for every deck.Card selection is always amazing and the more often you can refresh your selection the better this card becomes. It is amazing when you can manage to shuffle once per turn. This means that every turn, you get access to the best of three cards as your draw. It is great for trigger Miracle, like Terminus, even in your opponents turn. However, you don't have a lot ways to shuffle your deck to filter off the bad cards.

Alternative Suggestions:

Crystal Ball is topdeck manipulation where you dig into the cards you want or need. Whithout many shuffle effects it can make a nice addition.

Mind's Eye is one of the more powerful actual card draw effects available to mono white. It does not provide topdeck manipulation and it consumes a lot of mana. It is no Consecrated Sphinx and it may sit for a round until it provides value. However, it is very reliable card draw, especially if not answered quickly.

Crucible of Worlds is a good backup plan for your many utility lands. It turns Inventors' Fair into an engine. You already run Buried Ruin and Petrified Field which make this setup hard to disrupt. Personally I like including fetchlands if you are going to include this card just to expand what you can do with it. In mono color I tend to not run fetchlands. With Crucible I would consider fetchlands so I tend to have more shuffling, also for Sensei's Top.

Wrath of God and Day of Judgment are great when you are facing very fast decks. However, they lack versatility. At least the Wrath is a flavourful card and mostly stronger than Day of Judgment.

Alternative Suggestions:

Rout can wrath the board at instant speed as a nice surprise option.

Tragic Arrogance and Divine Reckoning work good with your voltron strategy. Keep your best creature and equipment and destroy the rest. Tragic Arrogance can also handle Indestructible and Hexproof, which is a great benefit.

Hallowed Burial Generally speaking I find it hard ever wanting to miracle Terminus. It can be nice with topdeck manipulation especially with Sensei's Divining Top, but I have also concerns with that card. Overall, I feel like the cheaper overall mana cost of Hallowed Burial could be a bit more solid than the random situations where you can profitably miracle cast Terminus.

Grasp of Fate and Angel of Sanctions are both efficient and versatile removal options. Your opponents will typically answer them quickly to get their cards back. I see it more like tempo cards, if you want to push for the win.

Alternative Suggestions:

Aura of Silence can act as as removal or as a tax and slowing effect on opponents until you want to remove something.You can access it with Enlightened Tutor and bring it back with Sun Titan.

Ray of Distortion is costly, but I think it's an underplayed card. Instant speed two-for-one removal is not too bad in my book.

Karmic Guide is amazing recursion on legs. It works well with Reveillark, even if you don't run Clone style effects.

Serra Ascendant is more aggressive and looking for swords. It's a nice and cheap beater.People get really pissed off when they see this on turn one and it usually leads to the whole table running you over first. Anyway, after clubbing a single opponent to under half life people start stabilizing and then you will turn the game into archenemy.

Transcendent Master Not really sure what to say. I think it's a very flavourful option and he gives you something to dump mana into. He can carry equipment and scales well into the late game. On the other hand he is very slow and everybody at the table will see it coming.

Alternative Suggestions:

Wall of Reverence acts as an amazing blocker paired with its lifegain it grants some great sustainability. You don't need to attack to gain life, which makes it great in more situations against decks that push hard on life. You also get the life end of your turn which can make a differnce.

Gisela, the Broken Blade comes down early, has evasion and lifelink. She's an efficient beater.

Baneslayer Angel is just an efficient beater, much like Gisela. She is very good at that. Again, it's a slow card, but so is Transcendent Master.

October 29, 2017 3:48 p.m.

NensouHiebara says... #69


Mana Crypt Show

Sensei's Divining Top Show

Day of Judgment & Wrath of God Show

Grasp of Fate & Angel of Sanctions Show

Serra Ascendant & Transcendent Master Show

November 1, 2017 4:52 p.m.

gzusvictory says... #70

Questions for post-Balan, Wandering Knight switch! I see you are still on the Sram, tsk tsk! =P

Does Flickering Ward and Sram, Senior Edificer stay in the 99 post switch?

Why not keep Caged Sun in the 99? Did the deck get too tight that it had to get cut from adding cards?

Would you consider running Ancient Tomb?

Would you cut Reliquary Tower for Mikokoro, Center of the Sea considering less card draw from Balan?

What sleeves do you use for you commander deck? Dragon shields, kmcs, ultra pro, etc?

November 9, 2017 9:14 a.m.

NensouHiebara says... #71


I haven't had a game of Commander since August... :|

There's been little interested in Commander at my LGS during FNMs the past few months. I intended to make the switch last month, but I can't test new cards if I can't get a game going...

I'll update the deck by the end of this month. Games or no games.


Sram is going to stay in the 99, replacing the eventually-redundant Silverblade Paladin.

Flickering Ward is currently being replaced by Conqueror's Galleon. Galleon is the card I want to test the most.

Caged Sun was the last mana-doubler in the deck. I no longer wanted the lone doubling effect in the deck anymore. Land-based ramp, especially Sword of the Animist, has been wonderful.

Ancient Tomb was in the deck before. It was cut some months after Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx was added. I didn't need two lands that produce more than one mana and I needed space for the cycling lands. I'm actively trying to make Nykthos work well in the deck. If I ever get fed up with trying to build devotion, I'd reconsider Ancient Tomb.

Reliquary Tower isn't part of the deck officially, and still won't be after the Balan swap. If the swap doesn't work out the way I hope it will, it sinply won't happen and Reliquary Tower will be removed from the Maybeboard.

I double-sleeve in KMC Perfect Fits and DragonShield Mattes.

November 9, 2017 2:39 p.m.

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Date added 4 years
Last updated 1 month
Exclude colors UBRG

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.86
Tokens 1/1 Kor Soldier, 0/0 Germ, Equipment
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Top rank #15 on 2016-01-25
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Revision 179 See all

1 month ago)

+1 Teferi's Protection maybe