Force of Will

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Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Archenemy Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Highlander Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Pauper Legal
Pauper Duel Commander Legal
Pauper EDH Legal
Planechase Legal
Premodern Legal
Quest Magic Legal
Vanguard Legal
Vintage Legal

Force of Will


You may pay 1 life and exile a blue card from your hand rather than pay this spell's mana cost.

Counter target spell.

Niko9 on WOTC announcement - All Commanders …

1 month ago

You know, this is exactly the kind of thing that I really like in magic. Not necessarily the format that this makes, but just wotc doing an event just because it's fun for players, that's something I haven't seen for a good bit : ) I could definitely build something fun out of what I've got laying around and have a good time with this.

That being said, I think it would make a terrible format, but a great event. Imagine somebody playing 5 color Heliod, Sun-Crowned and Walking Ballista combo that could hold up Fierce Guardianship and Force of Will to protect the combo. Or Yawgmoth, Thran Physician with an undying partner for a command zone combo.

I like that it's a fun event, it's a theme that just works great for me, and I don't know, I think it's kind of nice to see wotc saying to players, fun is playing the game, after so long of them saying, fun is buying the game.

Niko9 on Are Free Spells Becoming Too …

1 month ago

I think the flares will probably be less powerful than Fierce Guardianship but decks will have access to both, and it does feel very snowballey in nature. It's like, Monologue Tax is much worse than Smothering Tithe but many decks can just play both.

My main problem with 0 cmc interactions is that having a lot of them makes board assessment less and less possible. You could usually look at somebody tapped out and say, well, at most they have one Force of Will so odds are they don't have it, but when there are enough 0 mana interactions in enough colors, it becomes impossible to reason out your best plays.

Part of me thinks that the problem stems from how relatively limited bans are in commander. The RC really wants to have rule 0 do most of the work, and then by having a lot of probably problem cards in the format interaction becomes a premium, and then wizards uses it as a selling point. Hey there are new 0 cmc interactions, or better board wipes, or new tax or punish effects like Orcish Bowmasters. They are kind of bandaids that aren't anywhere near as needed in other formats because they are much more active in bannings.

Personally, I worry about these new cards, just because I'd much rather play a format with too many problems rather than too many answers. Like, I can think, I should run more artifact removal or something, but I can't think, oh I should not play big spells whenever people might have free counters if there are too many free counters.

rckclimber777 on Build a Deck with Me …

1 month ago

Sometimes when I'm deckbuilding, I focus less on the commander and more on an interesting concept/combo that I want to use or exploit. This is the case with one of my favorite decks in my profile and actually one of the first commander decks I ever built. This deck began years ago when Magic finally started caring about the EDH format. It was a more simple time then, Rhystic study was $1.27 (exactly the price I paid for mine over 10 years ago), Cyclonic Rift was a bulk rare, and demonic tutor could be found for $10.

The combo that I was interested in was Palinchron and Deadeye Navigator. The latter was my favorite card at the time and is still one of my favorites. It was a great tool and with all the ETB effects that were out around then it was an underrated and uber powerful card. In fact, the entire blink mechanic was and is a very powerful strategy.

When I built this deck, I played a few times in shops and was quickly told that edh is a casual format and interaction of any kind is not fair (was told this by a land destruction deck...) So this deck is definitely more on the competitive side, but it would be the distant fringe of cedh. Alright with that let's get into it.

Initial thoughts

So we have a combo that we like Palinchron and Deadeye Navigator, but we don't even have a commander yet and going mono-blue seems not great, so we want to figure out what color(s) to add and what commander to choose. In a combo deck, there are generally three things that I like to make sure I include beyond the normal ramp, and card draw. That is redundancy, the ability to tutor up my combo pieces, and ways to protect my combo. So when thinking about tutoring up my combo pieces, I generally like to have the best tutors. Those are in black. So things like Wishclaw Talisman, Demonic Tutor, Vampiric Tutor and Imperial Seal (if you have money to burn or your playgroup is fine with you proxying the best cards so you can obliterate their precons j/k I proxy all my expensive cards and put them in a binder in case someone has an issue).

So we have Blue and Black and we can certainly add another color if we wanted to, but at the time I liked Dralnu, Lich Lord because Snapcaster Mage was in standard and flashback was cool. So I stuck with it when I revamped it, but decided that I wanted something that could ensure I can protect my combo from any threat and then also use it to win if I wanted to. The answer came in the form of Ertai Resurrected. He can counter basically anything from spells to activated abilities (which will come in handy) or he can take a threat on the field at the cost of letting your opponent draw a card.

So now that we have our commander, how to build the deck?


Combo decks need redundancy. If you don't get your two cards or one of them gets exiled, you need a backup plan, or scooping is your only option. Fortunately, there are some great redundancies here. We have Ghostly Flicker and Displace. Both of these will blink your creatures (ghostly flicker will also blink artifacts). Displacer Kitten can be helpful too, but I don't own it and it is a little more chaotic than I need it to be. Palinchron is great because you can return it to your hand and potentially play it again and create infinite mana through the use of High Tide, but a similar combo that has added benefits is Peregrine Drake, Archaeomancer, and Ghostly Flicker. This bounces both the drake and the archaeomancer untapping 5 lands, and returning ghostly flicker to your hand. Rinse and repeat for infinite mana. Archaeomancer also will help in returning key counterspells and tutors to your hand. Nothing like doing double duty. Mnemonic Wall and Great Whale also fit here. The great thing about this combo is that each component is useful in and of itself. Bring out your Great Whale early untap some lands and do some other stuff or play out the rest of your combo with the untapped lands. Cast Archaeomancer to grab a used tutor for another combo piece.

One note here, if you get Peregrine Drake (or one of the other two) paired with Deadeye Navigator and you generate infinite mana you can now draw your deck with Ertai as commander: Step 1: Bounce Deadeye, when he enters don't soulbond with anyone.
Step 2: Cast Ertai, don't choose anything or if you want kill one of your opponent's creatures. It doesn't matter.
Step 3: Soulbond ertai and deadeye. Step 4: Bounce Deadeye and while that is on the stack bounce Ertai. Step 5: Ertai enters the battlefield counter the Deadeye bounce on the stack Draw a card Step 6: Soulbond ertai and deadeye again rinse and repeat. Draw as many cards as you need. Which means draw until you find your wincon.


Since this is an infinite mana combo we need something to use all that mana. Obviously the activated ability on deadeye is great, but we need something to actually win with. I went with Commander's Insight and Blue Sun's Zenith. Both of these cards are useful even when they aren't being used to force your opponents to draw their cards. Blue Sun's Zenith works nicely because once you cast it goes back into your deck, which I showed above you can draw as many cards as you need so you cast it once, put it in your library draw again until you find it, cast it again on the next opponent, then again. You can also tutor them up or bring them back from the graveyard with the tutors or the archaeomancer/mnemonic wall from earlier. I like this more than straight damage, because if you don't have infinite mana these cards will still draw you cards.


This is a fairly simple step, we need some good tutors. There are a number of good choices in black so I won't belabor that too much. I don't have some of the standard ones and feel like the deck performs fine with the ones it currently has. I do have a Tribute Mage in the deck because nearly all my mana rocks are 2 mana and so is Wishclaw Talisman. I found that the consistency with the deck is vastly improved by being able to tutor up my ramp. Also with deadeye I can bounce it multiple times and get more rocks or the talisman.

Protecting the combo

So I needed to figure out how to protect my combo and do so in a way that is flexible or can be used as needed. So Counterspell. Honestly, this part was fairly simple, most blue counter magic is here. Only reason Fierce Guardianship isn't here is because I don't have it. Other than that we have the typical cards here Force of Will, Mana Drain, Cyclonic Rift, Force of Negation, Pact of Negation, etc.

I also have a couple other standouts. Venser, Shaper Savant is great here as it can be bounced with Deadeye Navigator to essentially boomerang my opponent's board and all their spells. Ertai Resurrected also protects the combo and with deadeye becomes a nice repeatable counter/removal spell.

glen_elandra_archmage can be bounced when she has her -1/-1 counter allowing her to be used again and again to counter noncreature spells.

Typical stuff

There is a lot of ramp in the deck, so Mana Crypt, Sol Ring, and other mana rocks including some larger ones like Gilded Lotus and Basalt Monolith to really get the ramp going, the sooner you can get to 7-8 mana the sooner you can combo out.

For card draw some key performers here are Rhystic Study, Black Market Connections, Phyrexian Arena, The One Ring. Mystic Remora. In my initial hand I want to have 3 lands, and one of these/tutor to find one or I typically mulligan.

Special notes

A couple other cards deserve mention here. Time Stretch and Time Warp. These are both repeatable with Archaeomancer and Mnemonic Wall and I can honestly say that if I'm able to resolve either of these, it is unlikely that I'm going to lose, especially Time Stretch. With the ramp in the deck or a well timed Dark Ritual/High Tide I can play this fairly early and get a huge advantage.


Since this deck tends to be fast, you don't want lands that come into play tapped, so this deck uses fetch lands, shock lands, and duals that have the ability to come in untapped. (there are a couple that come into play tapped, but they are fetchable so I fetch them only when I know that I'm not going to be able to use the mana and only on an opponent's turn.)

I've had this deck for a while and it performs far better than any of my other decks. It always presents interesting lines that if followed will lead to surprising victories. As always let me know what you think in the comments and if you have a commander in mind that you want to see me build put it in the chat.

Here is the final decklist: Unlimited Power!

Niko9 on Fun Deck/Builds to try

2 months ago

legendofa That's very fair, and it's not like I'm really against the tried and true commander playstyle, I just think that proactive strategies are so powerful and popular that most EDH games have large gaps in the game where one person is having fun and the rest are just there, and there could be a game of four players constantly going back and forth and making deals and things.

Demonic Consultation into Thassa's Oracle is a good example because, while I think it's fine in cEDH, at anything casual it's kind of saying, everything you 3 players did so far really doesn't matter if someone didn't draw Force of Will I do really think that the formats should be split into commander and cEDH, just because being able to solitaire to a win should maybe not be casual, and honestly, splitting cEDH would probably be better for competitive too so they could get a real banlist.

And just to be clear, I'm not salty or anything : ) The only thing that actually makes me salty in EDH is people on their phones for the first turns, but I guess people gonna do. I really just think that if they are going to print cards to make one play style very strong, there may eventually need to be some kind of fan made format for people to play around with other builds. Maybe something as simple as, no artifacts that tap for mana, format. No fast mana, no rocks to fix, no treasures, I think it could shake out to be a shockingly different.

Goyfs-R-Us on Sliver Overlord

2 months ago

DoctorMunchiesPHD Crypt Sliver winds up being more mana efficient in board states without Training Grounds. Love Brood Sliver always have always will. Frenetic Sliver is more a last resort removal protection and more often then not is a blue card to pitch for Force of Will or used to get Dormant Sliver off the board if I need to attack to finish someone. Don't really need mana reduction from Herald's Horn and it winds up not discounting a number of important Slivers in the deck. I'm not the biggest fan of the tutors that put the card on the top of the deck and not in hand, Worldly Tutor was the closest to making the deck among your suggestions but I chose Vampiric Tutor over it, due to the greater versatility and not having to reveal the card.

mudkipdude on Card creation challenge

3 months ago

So, about traps. I actually made a cycle in my free time, for each colour, that were traps but also kinda like Force of Will in their casting, but hopefully more fair. I like the trap ideas for the rangers tho. I’ll post them later, probably. I like the idea of marking for rangers, but I’ve seen kind of a pattern in some of the leviathan cards, which is “whenever you deal 5 or more damage”. Did we get to a decision on hideout tokens for the rogues? On merging the rogues and rangers, we’d have to choose maybe two or three mechanics out of: marking, hideouts, recursion, survival, artifacts and traps. Given that snow and most of the things we are talking about are mainly new mechanics (with the exception of artifacts, recursion and big creatures) so maybe more like 30 new cards for each deck would be more likely. As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been more invested in matzoth than I have in this forum for the past year or so, so I’d really Like to see it prosper and maybe print the decks. I vote for merging the rogues and rangers, personally, and the mechanics being artifacts (hideouts as kinda part of that), marking and traps. I’ll post a couple cards later. The challenge is still to create a 30 foot eel leviathan.

ThassaUpYo@ssa on Issa Thassa

3 months ago


Love this list - reminds me of the second commander deck I ever built! Got inspiration from multiple FNM's back when I played standard around the time of RTR & Theros when mono blue devotion was popular.

What about High Tide to facilitate an insanely productive turn mid-late game and Force of Will given the ease you'll have casting it to counter a problematic response an opponent may throw out? Also, Master of Waves would be a solid add given how much devotion is likely to be present on your board. Mox Amber may be valuable here, too.

Just a few thoughts, and glad to see someone else had something very similar in mind when it came to constructing a mono blue Thassa commander deck.

DreadKhan on Legacy merfolk (Help)

4 months ago

I think in Legacy mono-Blue you really should consider running x4 Force of Will if you're trying to be competitive, if you're going for a more casual sort of deck then you probably don't need to worry about Force. Force is really useful to protect yourself from opponent's combos (and other unfair Magic stuff), is it a budget issue? I run budget brews in Legacy, so my Rack deck with only 2 Lilianas feels your pain if so!

I think if you're playing x4 Aether Vial in Blue you probably need to have some card draw to support it? I'm not sure if it's within your budget, but The One Ring is pretty decent card draw, especially if you add in Force. You could also add x1 or x2 High Tide if you add more draw.

It's technically a Merfolk, any reason you don't run any copies of Svyelun of Sea and Sky in here? It offers card draw and Ward, both are useful. I think it just got reprinted, so it's pretty cheap atm.

I'm not very familiar with Legacy Merfolk, but I hope some of these ideas help! Ask away if you have any questions.

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