Description

"Vela snuffs out ever trace of Krond's reign, leaving pure nightfall in her wake."

Vela is by far my favourite Commander to pilot due to her skill-intensive, political playstyle that makes her appear unassuming until its too late. Don't fret if you appear behind on mana or creatures, use that to your political advantage by gathering your resources and expunging them while everyone else is on the back foot.

How we Play Show

We are both a lion and a fox, a gentleman and a ruthless backstabber. We never tell lies, but we craft our promises so that we leave ourselves a loop hole we have every intention of exploiting. Early game, we try and make as few enemies as possible and play the role of an unassuming, durdly sort of deck with a six drop commander. Mid and late game, we become the lion ripping sustenance from our opponents hands and being a harsh ruler who fully commands the game. Make your allies when you can, and twist them around your fingers. Yet take care to keep your promises and protect those who do you kindness, as we can use their alliances and resources in the end to bring us victory.

Do not forget to make allies and to use them well, as "he who is highly esteemed is not easily conspired against."

The Injuries Show

"If an injury has to be done to a man, it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared."

Though Vela likes to skulk about in the shadows in the early game, eventually we must put our foot down and assert dominance over the field and game in order to win. This is how we do it.

Silent-Blade Oni : What more exemplifies the above Machiavelli quote than this card? Not only will this most likely put us in a winning position, but will do it using our opponents own cards. Also, with all the ways we have of cloning things in this deck, we are more than capable of stealing more than one card a turn and using our opponents combos against them.

Dire Undercurrents: Forget what I said above, this probably fits that quote the most. When this card intially sticks, it seems strong, but unassuming as we need matching creatures to get the most out of it... Then we drop Cavern Harpy or Grave Titan and instantly put our opponents in topdeck mode while we reap a constant supply of card advantage.

Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni: A powerful card indeed. It's in a similar vein to Silent-Blade Oni, however works best against graveyard based decks. Whatever they want to dump into their graveyard and try to reanimate is ours... as are the creatures we kill and counter over the course of the game.

Thada Adel, Acquisitor: What's that? You didn't open with Sol Ring? That's fine! This is one of those cards that has utility at every point of the game. Early game you can snatch Sol Rings, mid-game you can steal Mindslaver's or Gilded Lotus, and late you can see who's playing Blightsteel Colossus. But how does it fit into this category? Simple: using her costs us nothing, yet strips our opponents deck of valuable artifacts that they may have planned on fetching later. You can also gut Artifact-based combo decks such as Breya or Sharuum of certain vital pieces without needing to cast them, as Thada exiles the artifacts she steals if you don't cast them. On top of that, it would be foolish of us not to take note of everything in our opponents deck.

Baral's Expertise: My favourite card to come out in Aether Revolt. This is capable of creating massive tempo swings and has been flashed back with Jace, Vryn's Prodigy  Flip on more than one occassion, putting the deck simply out of reach.

Paradoxical Outcome: This is how we save ourselves from boardwipes when our opponents can't resist. Everyone else will be set back by a Day of Judgment while we protect our resources, draw a lot of cards, and likely hit our opponents for a substanial amount of life. Overall a very solid card for the deck.

Cyclonic Rift: Because Cyclonic Rift.

The Deceivers Show

"Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception."

Fitting our colours, we are a very deceptive deck that uses politics and trickery to our advantage. We have three opponents, and we will have to crush them beneath our heels at some point.

Rite of Replication: The trick everyone falls for at least once... This is our trump card. When kicked targetting Vela, the stacked triggers of six Vela's seeing five leave play at once causes each opponent to lose a whopping thirty life. Only cast when you can either win with it, or you have to in order to preserve yourself.

Grave Titan: This card draws boardwipes like shit draws flies... little do our opponents know, that's exactly what we want. When they do boardwipe, they're going to take an unholy amount of damage from Vela. If our opponents aren't keen on us chunking their life total with their own Wrath, we'll either do it ourselves, create an army by swinging and cloning the Titan, or tutor and use Dire Undercurrents to strip them of their precious cards.

Snapcaster Mage: Snappy is already an incredibly strong card, but in this deck him returning to our hand is an inevitability and thus we get WAY more utility out of him that most other decks.

Cloud of Faeries: A simple flier and flexable cycler... that is also a combo piece. Infinite flickers with Deadeye Navigator turns into infinite damage with Vela, draws out everyone's decks with Dire Undercurrents, creates infinite mana in some circumstances, and is overall very flexible as we can cycle her away when a combo win with her isn't likely. On top of that, flying makes her an excellent Ninjutsu fodder creature. Overall, this 1/1 flier for two is capable of putting in a ton of work without anyone realizing it. There is also a very powerful combo I will get into later that isn't infinite...

Muddle the Mixture/Dimir Infiltrator: Now this deck is all about flexibility, and these two cards embody that. Though they seem very simple, our ability to transmute them into a variety of powerful two drops is keys. Up against creature based decks? Turn Muddle into a Jitte and make mince meat out of their creatures. Don't have anything to Ninjutsu? Turn Infiltator into a Blade of Selves and prepare to put yourself so far ahead it isn't funny. Need to reuse a boardwipe or a tutor to go for the combo kill? Fetch Jace and flash back what you need.

Dire Undercurrents fits under this category too, but I won't list it twice.

Combo's Show

"He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command."

Deadeye Navigator + Palinchron : A ubiquitous infinite mana combo. In this deck, it turns into infinite flickers which in turn becomes infinite damage with our commander.

Cloud of Faeries + Deadeye Navigator : Not necessarily an auto-win button like above, as we must already control our commander, but that's a simple enough condition to meet. Still, there are ways to abuse this combo even if we don't have infinite damage.

Cavern Harpy + Dire Undercurrents : Absolutely disgusting. Your opponents don't need their hands, do they? Might as well part them from it while drawing a disgusting amount of cards.

Dire Undercurrents + Grave Titan : As I said above, your opponents don't need those cards anyways.

Cavern Harpy + Cloud of Faeries + Dire Undercurrents : Like the combos I listed above, only on steroids. It's hard to lose when you get this far ahead of everyone.

Blade of Selves + Vela the Night-Clad : In a four person game, a single swing from a blade wielding Vela strips each opponent of six life before they can even declare blocks. If there are more players, this combos lethality potential increases exponentially.

Blade of Selves + Gray Merchant of Asphodel : This is in a similar vein to the above combo, only it's often less dynamic but gains you life to keep you alive. Just be careful as to who you swing at.

Rite of Replication + Vela the Night-Clad : Our greatest trump card. I've already explained how this works above, so I won't repeat myself here.

There are many more interactions and synergies in the deck, it'd take me forever to list them all. Curious as to what they are? Build the deck yourself and find out!

Maybeboard Inclusions Show

Faerie Artisans: Vela pings each opponent as the tokens exile themselves, making our opponents wary of what they play and when they play it. However I dislike not having control over which tokens I have. Thoughts and cut suggestions are appreciated.

Merciless Executioner/Fleshbag Marauder: Both are solid, early game cards that provide and nice edict effects. Lower curve options and I'm on the hunt for cuts.

Ophiomancer: A great card that can keep people off our backs early and late, though I fear I can't use it to its full potential.

Sidisi, Undead Vizier: A solid tutor option that pings when it exploits, though I fear I can't abuse her and my current tutoring options are superior.

Wretched Confluence : Holy balls I love this card. Need to work out cuts, but I really want to play around with it a little.

If you enjoy being aggressive and in control of the game from the outset, then this deck isn't for you. On the other hand, if you like the political side of EDH and enjoy the thrill of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, I couldn't reccomend this deck highly enough.

Updates

Comments

landofMordor says... #1

Love the name. Love it.

Maybe Chromatic Lantern out (since you're only 2 colors) for one of your maybeboard? And Jitte or the Top? I know those are power cards in the right deck, but this doesn't seem like that deck...that's just from a preliminary glance, but hit me up if I can help more!

June 10, 2017 12:02 p.m.

fragarach97 says... #2

landofMordor You're right about the Lantern, I sort of tossed it in because I had one I wasn't using and I had a few less impressive cards I wanted to cut. Once I get my hands on a better rock for the deck, I'll be glad to drop it. As for top and Jitte, I feel like Top just goes in everything due to the selection and how powerful that is... besides, I'm generally lacking in things to do turn one, so the question for me is more of a "Why not"?

Onto Jitte, I've had that question raised quite a bit, and it boils down to a couple things:

One- It builds into Vela's insane flexibility. It's a highly flexible equipment that gives me a variety of effects depending on the situation, and this deck enjoys being able to change gears on the fly, even if it isn't my turn.

Two- It's a meta call. I face a lot of Kaalia, Purphoros, Ezuri, Sram, and other small commanders that Jitte makes mince meat out of. I know Purphoros isn't small, but the lifegain really helps me stabilize.

That said, you've given me some stuff to think about and consider, so thanks!

June 10, 2017 12:24 p.m.

alvinthegreat says... #3

Perhaps Sakashima's Student instead of Phyrexian Metamorph? It fits the ninja subtheme and has an additional surprise factor, not to mention it usually will only cost you two mana.

June 10, 2017 9:52 p.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #4

Absolutely include Faerie Artisans. I use it in my keranos deck and it's wonderful. You're getting so many ETB triggers with it.

I'm curious about muddle the mixture. Black has so many unconditional Tutors, why use one with such limitations? I'd suggest Sidisi, Undead Vizier. Unconditional tutor and you'll get a vela trigger off him.

I'd also suggest Phyrexian Arena in place of Bident of Thassa. The arena slowly gives card advantage over the long haul. It's an Enchantment that tends not to get hated out.

If you're looking for cards to cut, maybe Grave Titan. Amazing card but does it really fit with the theme of the deck? It's either a good aggro card or a good token sacrifice card. You're not really doing either.

June 11, 2017 3:14 a.m.

fragarach97 says... #5

MegaMatt13 Thanks for the comment! You're right about Arena over Bident, and once I come into possession of one I'll be more than happy to cut one for the other. Bident CAN be more explosive, but it's more expensive and somewhat more conditional, so thanks.

Now you said you were curious about Muddle The Mixture, the thing is only use it as a tutor some of the time, mostly when it isn't relevant as a counter against some of the combo and spell-based decks I face. I run it for its flexibility and, while Sidisi is amazing, I don't think she can offer me the same level of flexibility as Muddle. Also, I don't want to primarily be a combo deck and would rather keep in my theme of flexibility, winning in the same way over and over again is boring to me. I didn't mention that in the description, so I thought I'd say that here.

Grave Titan is one such way to win, yes sometimes through just having an army of zombies and cloning him repeatedly, but largely in other ways. Him in tandem with Dire Undercurrents is retarded, curves well, shreds hands in half, and is retarded. The zombies get Intimidate too, making them excellent fodder to Ninjitsu over. The biggest thing, however, is how he simultaneously attracts and deters boardwipes in this deck. We'll fast have an army, making them want to, but when they do so they're gonna lose A LOT of life thanks to our Commander. Also because of that, Grave Titan is capable of turning our Wraths into kill spells. The final reason is that he just feels so good to both clone and slap a Blade of Selves on, and those are both things this deck REALLY enjoys doing.

That said, I will certainly add Sidisi to the maybeboard! My metas sort of edging away from the graveyard based strategies, so I feel like I'll be able to cut a couple things. Finally, what I'm mostly looking for is more ways to fill the bottom of my creature curve. Any cheaply costed creatures you think could assist?

June 11, 2017 12:08 p.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #6

Now you've explained Grave Titan, I totally see how it fits in here :)

Low curve creatures? I like Merciless Executioner and Fleshbag Marauder. They also will trigger your commander as you sacrifice them.

Also really like Ophiomancer. Great rattlesnake and if your snake token gets killed... Great.. Another Vela trigger for you.

June 11, 2017 4:53 p.m.

fragarach97 says... #7

MegaMatt13 How on earth did they slip my mind XD? Thanks for the advice, I'll work out cuts once I'm home.

June 11, 2017 8:16 p.m.

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