I've heard of "The Wall" by Pink Floyd, but a deck of mostly walls???

Hey all, this is my Arcades, the Strategist deck! We only got 10 legendary creatures in Core 2019 (Dominaria and Battlebond spoiled me with how many new commanders there were to brew with), and out of them there were a few notable standouts. This is certainly one of the guys who I knew I was going to build a deck for immediately after seeing him ( Nicol Bolas, the Ravager  Flip is one that just needs to happen). This guy is immediately pretty similar to Doran, the Siege Tower , a commander I'm a pretty big fan of. Arcades is a bit less open ended in the sense that the creature needs to have defender, but that's actually not a bad thing. Creatures with defender have pretty high toughness in relation to their mana cost a lot of the time, and the fact that our commander allows all of them to attack is pretty rad. What's more fun than just hitting your opponents with walls? He also gives us card advantage, every defender we play replaces itself with a new card from our top deck. I'm into it. Let's dive into this deck tech!

  • Under Construction

Our walls are gonna be pretty good right off the bat thanks to Arcades, Wall of Denial is effectively an 8/8 with flying for 3 mana. Sounds stupid good, and it replaces itself! I wonder if there's any reason we shouldn't make them even better though? Let's do some construction! Brave the Sands gives all our walls vigilance and lets them block an additional creature, they are walls after all we don't want our opponents to actually get a hit in. Spidersilk Armor will buff our toughness a bit and give all our walls reach, seems pretty good for 2 mana. Oathsworn Giant kinda splits the difference between the last two cards, buffing out bois and giving them vigilance. Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite and Sight of the Scalelords fall into this category pretty nicely as well. Assault Formation is mostly in here as redundancy, but also because it can buff all our creatures if we need it to. Stalwart Shield-Bearers also does some good buffing action. In addition to those more permanents effects, we also have stuff like Bar the Door and Tower Defense for a little one and done action. Also Belbe's Armor is pretty fun in a deck like this.

  • Evasiveness

So we have nice, big walls now. I wanna swing them at people's faces. Only problem is all those meddling creatures on their field. Let's make it a bit harder for them to block our incoming face smashes. Personally, I like Archetype of Imagination . All of our walls fly now and none of your stuff does, better hope you have a good way to deal with that quickly! Polymorphist's Jest is also a pretty fun way to get rid of fliers on your opponent's side, or make their blocks/attacks feel a lot worse. Venser, the Sojourner makes all of our creatures unblockable, which I'm never upset about. Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa is insanely good in here, don't block me bro. Profaner of the Dead is a card I really like in here, huge tempo play, happy to exploit a wall for that. Meekstone is such an obvious include that if you don't have it in this deck, you're a fool. Angel's Trumpet is also a very satisfying way of creating openings to attack, we're attacking every turn, but that's alright because our field has vigilance. Our opponents get the same buff, but they're swinging into our beefed up walls so they won't be able to enjoy it for too long. And finally, Bident of Thassa gives us more card draw and can make our opponents swing all in, paving the way for us to deal some major damage.

  • Draw at High Noon

Bident of Thassa leads us into our next category, which is card advantage. Arcades, the Strategist gives us great card advantage by replacing every defender we play. Let's not stop there though, what about Abundance so that when we draw our card off him and at the beginning of our turn we can choose whether we want another creature or something a little spicier. To that token, here's another card that triggers when we draw: Words of Wind is one of the pet cards I have in this deck that I'd be legitimately surprised to see other people running. Personally I'm a huge fan. Play a wall, pay one to bounce that wall back to your hand and then your opponent returns a permanent to their hand as well, and then we play our wall again, rinse and repeat. It's gonna get annoying pretty fast. Lifecrafter's Bestiary gives passive scry, which is my favorite kind of scry, it can also draw us cards. Lorescale Coatl really wants us to draw so he can grow up big and strong. Wall of Omens and Carven Caryatid give us double the card draw as they enter the battlefield, which is nice of them. Abzan Beastmaster likes creatures with big butts, and we like him because of that. Give us those extra cards dude. Eladamri's Call is a tutor, 'nuff said. Congregation at Dawn is pretty good if all the creatures you're putting on top are cheap and draw you your other cheap creatures, good way to load up the field.

  • Removal

We touched on evasion earlier, but I'd also like to include a section about removal because I feel like it's important, considering a lot of our creatures are pretty vanilla, you know cuz they're walls. There's also a lot of fun removal that's basically one sided, take Dusk for example, really good and very satisfying to play. Maybe my favorite one is Slaughter the Strong , although Fell the Mighty and Wave of Reckoning are also good. AEtherspouts and Cyclonic Rift are good tempo plays that are sure to make your opponents furious. Swords to Plowshares is great for one-off instant speed removal and Curse of the Swine is just hilarious. Also Wrath of God because why not?

That's a summary of some of the themes I went for in building this guy up, probably not a finished product yet, but I think he's pretty fun so far. As always, any feedback is apprenticed and I hope you're as excited to smash face with walls as I am!


Updates Add