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Shoot that Adamaro: Adamaro EDH Primer

Commander / EDH* Mono-Red




A detailed look at a mono red EDH deck built around an underplayed commander; Adamaro, First to Desire .


This deck is designed to make the table play fun and fair to compete in 3-4 player pods at a local gamestore standard. It's designed to compete and win, but not at all costs, and it aims to support fun, interactive games.

It runs a suite of artifacts and wheel effects that encourage card draw and punish opponents for holding hands of cards.

It does not run any land destruction and tries to run cards that tax all opponents equally but it doesn't prevent anyone doing anything. It does this by running cards like Stranglehold and War's Toll that discourage playing on other people's turns, and limits opponents' ability to take advantage of the extra card draw. It also runs Teferi's Puzzle Box to disrupt tutors and linear strategies, and Torpor Orb to shut down infinite ETB triggers.

It defends on a narrow front through cards like Crawlspace and Maze of Ith encouraging opponents to attack elsewhere.

It also uses Soldevi Sentry and Solemn Simulacrum as cheap early blockers

It builds its mana base and then reacts to the board state to win through the following win conditions.

Pings from opponents drawing and holding cards: Iron Maiden , Ebony Owl Netsuke, Skullcage , Psychosis Crawler

Resolving an Eldrazi: Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

Turning the tables with Insurrection or Mob Rule

Direct damage via Repercussion + Blasphemous Act, Rolling Earthquake or Chain Reaction

Resolved Vicious Shadows + a board wipe

Commander damage

Causes huge problems for control decks, decks that rely on instants, flash or playing on opposition turns. and decks that want to hold a lot of cards or play Reliquary Tower also struggle. It's a difficult deck to attack, and the late game of Insurrection, Eldrazi and the ability to win out of nowhere with direct damage make it a threat. It is also perennially underestimated, as it looks like a mono durdle deck.

It runs limited removal so has vulnerability to aggressive creature attacks and commander damage. It can be reliant on playing politics and other people appearing to be easier or more threatening targets. It's inherent chaos from wheels and Teferi's Puzzle Box means you need to respond to the cards in hand, rather than being able to tutor or create a linear strategy.

Why Adamaro?

I played in a pod once where somebody said "Wouldn't you be better off playing any other legend?". It's the obvious question. So apart from being cute in playing an unusual commander, what does Adamaro offer?

It's not a Voltron commander

When you look at Adamaro the first thing people jump to is it getting huge off opponents card draw. However given that it lacks in-built evasion or any other ETB triggers, there are limits to the value of a large vanilla creature. It's CMC is actually the key. In a typical multiplayer game it's likely to be at lowest a 3/3 or 4/4 for 3 mana but with an upper value of 7+ (likely more depending on the number of decks at the table). So it can recur at least twice while still remaining just about on curve.

What this gives you is a very cheap to recur vanilla creature in the command zone that deters opponents, can sweep up enemy threats and doesn't draw any heat. A large Adamaro is also a viable target for Chandra's Ignition.

Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre acts as a graveyard shuffler in the early game. It can be discarded to Anvil of Bogardan or Trading Post. This mitigates against the wheels and allows us to reuse cards.

Repercussion + Blasphemous Act or Rolling Earthquake or Chain Reaction: instant kill with the right board state

Soul of New Phyrexia + Nevinyrral's Disk: one sided board wipe


Depending on your playgroup's attitude to infect, you can sub in Blightsteel Colossus. It shuffles itself, and can kill the table via Chandra's Ignition


Updates Add

I want to try an experiment to free up funds for future decks. Can I cut expensive cards by finding functional replacements or by spreading the functionality over multiple cards?

Ideas so far:

Colossus of Akros + Elixir of Immortality for Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

Steel Hellkite for Batterskull

Harsh Mentor for Stranglehold

Universal Solvent for All Is Dust

Worn Powerstone for Thran Dynamo

arena of ancients for War's Toll

Mystifying Maze for Maze of Ith

Geier Reach Sanitarium for Mikokoro, Center of the Sea

Library of Leng for Anvil of Bogardan

Anybody got any other ideas?

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Revision 53 See all

6 months ago)

+1 Scour from Existence maybe
+1 Universal Solvent maybe
+1 Worn Powerstone maybe