Commanders that create an interesting and new dynamic

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on Jan. 18, 2020, 2:04 p.m. by griffstick

So I have a strong desire to build decks around commanders who are not your typical commander.


I recently built a mono black deck around Kagemaro, First to Suffer called First to suffer: demon tribal click the link if you want to see it.


What had me interested in Kagemaro was holding a board wipe over people's heads for only one mana. What makes me love this deck so much is how it impacts the way people play. This "new interesting dynamic" way to play is so intense. This has quickly became a new favorite deck of mine.

My question to you guys and girls is. What commanders like Kagemaro have created this new and fun way to play around. A political type of way of building a deck. Knowing that what you have in play, changes how people play the game.

Additionall questions. How has your experience been with that and how did you have to change the way your deck is built?

Did you enjoy building a deck around this?

How has it changed your opponents playstyles and decks?


Also share some ideas on my deck please

triproberts12 says... #2

I think the biggest thing to avoid, in my experience, is relying on too narrow a strategy to make a deck "unique."

I built a Dragonstorm deck under Kess, Dissident Mage , but every game followed the formula of draw/tutor cards, cast rituals, win or die immediately after being punished by removal. I built Tatyova, Benthic Druid as druid tribal, but it inevitably ended with me digging into Cyclonic Rift or Craterhoof Behemoth every game.

A unique strategy needs enough singles to fill the 99 that it doesn't play out the same every game, or else it will be miserable to play and to play against.

January 18, 2020 2:12 p.m.

So, I have a similar deck with a creature from the same cycle: Adamaro, First to Desire . It’s quite entertaining and the deck is full of free, no-downside draw for my opponents to keep him big, followed by Fling -ish spells or spells that deal damage equal to cards in hand. It’s rather fun watching my opponents try to get hellbent to make him smaller, which only helps a mono-red deck not lose horribly.

January 18, 2020 2:28 p.m.

Tromokratis is also a fun commander I have. I save it for the more casual pods and it gets very political of “should I swing at anyone and risk getting smacked for 8 commander?” My deck is built rather strangely though because Tromokratis is the only creature in the 100 cards.

January 18, 2020 2:30 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #5

Child of Alara and a sac outlet, lmao

January 18, 2020 3:06 p.m.

DrukenReaps says... #6

Hmmmm I think the ones I play that change how the game works the most are Mairsil, the Pretender and Queen Marchesa .

Mairsil uses the exile zone in a way very little else does and makes life really hard for my opponents. They want to remove my AEtherling and my Staff of Domination and this and that. But the only thing they can actually get at is Mairsil which is tricky because of things like Aetherling. I play with some newer players who really struggled to understand how he works. I did my best to explain it over and over. It got frustrating for me and them at times but I think it caused them to become better magic players quicker. I have left a few of the strongest things out of the deck. Laboratory Maniac just doesn't belong at my table for now.

I know Marchesa is a rather well known commander but she adds the Monarch to the game. At this point no other commander does that. The Monarch of course can go from being under my control to someone else's to yet another persons, etc etc. It can create an environment where people attack with creatures when they might not otherwise. People take bigger risks for a little bit of draw. It caused me to build a rather well made pillow fort deck. But to also know when to leave the door open to small attacks to enable other synergies.

January 18, 2020 3:42 p.m.

dingusdingo says... #7

Fumiko the Lowblood . Creates an interesting dynamic on the board every time your commander is out. Lots of neat effects to pair it with, whether you go for untap restrictions like Smoke or Static Orb , or just want to cause games to end quickly with things like Furnace of Rath

Also a big fan of Horobi, Death's Wail . Pack it full of every single death black effect you can find, like Death Match Death Pits of Rath , Mindslicer Pestilence and whatever else you can find. You'll win far more games than you imagine as you create a board state so toxic no one can develop properly. You don't even need free target effects, but it helps.

Kaervek the Merciless is another general that allows some unique building imo. Stuff yourself full of board wipes like Pyroclasm Anger of the Gods Toxic Deluge Earthquake and similar to keep the board clear while you build up to 7 mana. Stuff your deck full of fatties who can survive small red sweeper effects, and punish players with the Kaervek trigger and your fatties.

For a serious competitive answer, look at Tasigur, the Golden Fang . Highly political deck with a strong color identity, and lots of different infinite combos available as your means of winning. The GY recursion allows you to play control in a format that is traditionally hard to play control in.

January 18, 2020 4:07 p.m.

Ruffigan says... #8

I second Kaervek the Merciless . I have mine built as a basically creatureless group slug deck with lots of boardwipes, draw, mana, and slug cards. Kaervek isn't necessary to win but he fits into the deck perfectly and is easy to ramp into. It makes the game very political and people hold off on playing their expensive cards in fear of taking lots of damage or losing important creatures.

January 18, 2020 6 p.m.

griffstick says... #9

Ruffigan and dingusdingo agree fully with Kaervek the Merciless I had one of those decks before and it's really fun. Especially if the player to your right is winning. And you play Kaervek the Merciless and say to the table. "Dont worry I will direct all the triggers towards the winning player to the right of me." Yea Kaervek the Merciless is one that is fun and wins.

January 18, 2020 7:22 p.m.

griffstick says... #10

I think another one is Doran, the Siege Tower

January 18, 2020 7:23 p.m.

Suns_Champion says... #11

Varchild, Betrayer of Kjeldor . Politics, deals, threats, forced attacks, dynamic shifting abilities, and voltron snipes.

Tons of fun.

January 18, 2020 10:48 p.m.

Gleeock says... #12

Thantis, the Warweaver - similar to others above. Just make sure tutors don't have the combo temptation. Oath of Druids is one of the best cards ever

January 18, 2020 11 p.m.

Mj3913 says... #13

Isperia the Inscrutable ìs fun. I went the flying toolbox route, but there are several ways you could go. Voltron, stax, flying tribal, flying + Tribe - tribal (Angels, Spirits, Birds, oh and of course Sphinx).

There's also Tangarth, First Mate and Xantcha, Sleeper Agent if you want super weird.

January 18, 2020 11:46 p.m.

Out of mine, gotta be Vaevictis Asmadi, the Dire . Interesting how much a game changes when each player gets essentially Chaos Warp -ed each turn.

January 19, 2020 2:42 a.m.

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