Creature — Rhino Monk
If you would gain life, you gain twice that much life instead.
|Have (2)||orzhov_is_relatively_okay819 , bigred2728|
|Want (2)||YouKnow , Guistruction321|
Combos Browse all
|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
Rhox Faithmender Discussion
1 month ago
Your deck would make people run for the hills... With Mindcrank in mind, I have some suggestions:
1 month ago
Every dual color up until now has been some sort of aggressive, negative experience for other players, and Selesnya certainly has the potential to be no different. Combining Green’s predilection for quality with White’s penchant for quantity (AND stacking board buffs) makes for a lethal pairing in the combat phase. Rhys the Redeemed, Captain Sisay, and Gaddock Teeg are just a few commanders with justifiable appeal for power gamers. And don’t forget the enchantments: Aura Shards, Mirari's Wake, and Hunting Grounds all have singularly disruptive board presence, and that’s just a few on a stellar list.
And yet, undeniable potency aside, this is an almost grandmotherly pairing: you don’t so much play Selesnya to ruin someone else’s day as to ensure you have the best one. A properly built deck in these colors should wrap around its pilot like a blanket fresh out of the dryer, basting you in a pervasive feeling of shelter, growth, and self-promotion. Another good analogy might be a garden tended by someone with an emerald thumb, game-breaking fertilizer, and the patience of Saint Francis. In summary, players running these are very much there to do their own thing without interruption: the problem is, once they’ve done their own thing, opponents find out that the “game-breaking fertilizer” is typically their own mulched remains.
It’s also oddly human-centric.
Ok, enough poetry. Now to the really fun bit: we’re here to talk thematic commanders, so let’s dive into that roster. Today, we’re discussing the Selesnya themes of Lifegains, Counterplay, and “Don’t Look at Me!”. As always, please bear in mind that our focus here is not necessarily competitive but rather on thematic, archetypical commanders. Just don’t judge me harshly for including a lot of beasts.
I spelled with an "s" for a reason. Yes, as covered in a past article, Black has a more intimate relationship with the life total. Yes, Black both drains life and spends life. BUT… there is a profound difference between eating cookies and baking them. Black is the undisputed cookie monster (and a bit of a baker, to be fair), but Selesnya could, to continue the analogy, take any bake off by storm. Prize money, people: Selesnya’s about not only baking that cookie, but getting prize money for it. In other words, crossbreeding these colors gets you a thematic trend toward gaining life AND triggering something whenever you do. Think combotastic crap like the Accomplished Alchemist and Rhox Faithmender, or Heliod, Sun-Crowned and Spike Feeder. The possibilities are… well, a little scary.
The Oprah of lifegain. Who needs general damage when you can drown your opponent in creatures the approximate size of your life hack? Smack them with the Angel of Destiny, or… wow, there are a lot of relevant angels. Gather it. Just bring your lifelink and enjoy.
… Sheesh. I mean, I’ve had this built on and off, but… still, sheesh. If you’ve never heard of the Phyrexian Processor, enjoy the pearl I just gave you. Green-White is token central: hell, their own private keyword about it is right on this commander. This is a definite instance of the Green penchant for chunks being over-synergized with the white predilection to breed like rabbits. Or, in this case, Phyrexian Minions.
I’ve covered stax twice by this point, once in White and once in Azorius. I don’t deny that the potential for oppression is there: one of my favorite cards in Selesnya is Glare of Subdual. However, I can’t help feeling that it’s coming from a different direction in this slice of the pie. While Blue and White are geared toward inflicting stagnancy, Selesnya’s stax are angled toward preventing thematically negative effects, kind of a mercy mission for your opponent’s resources. I think Quakers would like it here.
Mind control pervasive in the local meta? Not anymore! Second Trostani is actually a rather inoffensive commander for everyone who’s not a thief, offering both board support and considerable political clout. Other players may even go out of their way to keep her up and you in the game, just to screw over that one guy.
Ah, the man himself. I never found him especially oppressive, leaning more toward creatures by disposition. Not everyone will feel the same way. He cuts most conventional boardwipes out of the mix, and God help super-friends. You can almost picture the little hobbit raising his hands and saying “Let’s have a nice, simple game, shall we?” Which isn’t something you expect in a typical game of Commander, now that I think about it.
Land fixing is nice, but this is where things are downright hostile. Those may look like tusks, but those are really two giant middle fingers pointed at black decks.
“Don’t Look at Me!”
When we were little, my brother would build cereal box walls between us as we ate breakfast, then stare at me over them. Whenever I eyed him like the nutcase he was, he’d scream “DON’T LOOK AT ME!!!”
I don’t think I need to explain the point.
I always liked the aesthetic of Dosan the Falling Leaf, but not enough to make him a commander. Dromoka, meaty beast of two colors that she is, has a bit more appeal. All but guaranteeing an uninterrupted turn, combo players could do worse.
A 5/5 with flying for five would be nice. Hexproof on a general is competitive. Putting a kibosh on all offensive-sacrifice decks ever tagging you? Downright savage. I like this card a lot.
So… commander damage is a tried, true plan. Lots of people try it. Lots of people won’t be particularly offended by Mirri’s soft push for it. All the token-fiends out there, though, are going to flip their collective gourds when they find out the Silent Arbiter got legendary and started playing favorites. Word of advice: NEVER give her vigilance.
And, for a personal favorite:
As readers know, I like ramp. However, even I think this is broken. I genuinely feel guilty whenever I think of building it again. While she doesn’t approach the misery of Zur the Enchanter or Purphoros, God of the Forge, the power dynamic here is shattering. One turn with a Whitemane Lion or anything similar will secure you a lead. One turn with whitemane lion and a Lotus Cobra? Amulet of Vigor? Tireless Provisioner? God have pity on your tiny, shriveled soul, because your opponents won’t. At least, if they ever manage to catch up under what I assume will be a deluge of ETB and blink effects. There are so many degenerate, savage combos encouraged by this reaping wench that I couldn’t list them all and reasonably expect anyone to finish the article. Let me just close this by saying she turns any card with landfall into a gamechanger, and there are a LOT of good landfall cards.
That's it for this round. Thoughts and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed it, and will come back soon for Simic!
2 months ago
3 months ago
5 months ago
Here’s something interesting: while there are over 120 mono-colored legendary creatures, there are less than fifty to each color pairing. As the pool has grown limited, we’ll need to shake up the format of these articles going forward. I’ll be grouping playstyle-linked generals where possible, but where that's not an option we’ll instead discuss generals who match the color pair’s themes overall. And today, we discuss Azorius!
Maybe you came here to build a deck build around flying. Maybe. Assuming you’re not Peter Pan, you probably came sniffing after a combination of White stax and Blue control. Maybe this is about enchantments for you. Maybe this is about blink. But in summary, this pairing has a general slant toward prevention and manipulation rather than offensive power.
White, when played defensively, comes across as a big, solid castle that central catering forgot to stock with anything but a vat of sour cream and the world’s blandest potatoes. Thick walls, but comparatively little offense or subtlety. This ties into stax in part, but also touches on themes which weren't covered in the white article: potent life-gain a la Rhox Faithmender and friends, shockingly powerful barriers such as Solitary Confinement and sweeping control of the board like the Aven Mindcensor . One of White's inherent disadvantages, however, comes to mind: besides a handful of "I win" cards like Felidar Sovereign and Near-Death Experience , white has no teeth outside the combat phase, and relatively little draw to dig for them. Test of Endurance and Celestial Convergence are made more reliable by white's fine pile of enchantment tutors, but personally I'd rather not depend on cards that give your opponents time to prevent your win.
Blue, on the other hand, isn’t so much defensive or offensive (in one sense, anyway), skipping that spectrum in preference of sidestepping problems until you can strategery your way to victory. It's great, in theory, and generally in practice. Blue, so long as we're lampooning, is a brilliant, twerpy engineer. A pest so frail they’d crumple under a breeze, so agile you’ll never tag them, and so annoying they’ll leave you begging for the clean killing blow they're too reedy to actually fetch you. The glaring problem, though, is that if an opponent can ignore a blue player's tricks and actually land a few hits, said blue player is probably screwed.
Combine them, though... Combine them, and they shore up one another's weaknesses in a big way. Combine them, and you potentially have the most solid, strategic defense in the game. Suddenly you have all the draw you could want for your Approach of the Second Sun , your Sphere of Safety will have an Enchanted Evening , and you can actually, feasibly win with Azor's Elocutors ... which will probably see you dying alone, unloved, and undoubtedly quite pleased with yourself.
For today, we're discussing Blink/Flicker, Control (again), and the Miscellaneously Themey. As always, please bear in mind that our focus here is not necessarily competitive but rather on thematic, archetypical commanders.
ETB effects are wonderful, wonderful things. You get a body, sometimes even a good solid one like the Sun Titan and some nice, tasty effect that hopefully makes said body only the icing on a fine, fine cake. The classic example would be Palinchron : pair it with something repeatable like Deadeye Navigator and you have infinite mana. Then you can Meteor Golem the table's collective psyche straight into the nearest mental ward. Or, if you really want to emotionally cripple someone, blink their commander whenever they try to attack, attach some voltrony wincon, or... well, anything.
With White providing the protection keyword, Blue shelling out unblockable, and flying sourced from both, this pairing inarguably has the best evasion. Brago may not have the muscle to kill someone as is, but there are some great options for fixing that. Not that you need to: if you have a board of flickerhappy boyz, Brago's a great pick for commanding your blinking battalion.
Upon reading this card you may feel a great disturbance in the force, as though millions of token decks cried out in terror and were suddenly detained. Ask yourself: how many permanents cost less than 4 mana in a game? Assuming you're not playing an entire meta of leafy green lunatics, the answer is "most." This was my wife's first deck. Lavinia had herself a Conjurer's Closet , or something like, most games. I was grateful when she switched to slivers.
I like this guy. I like spirits. Rewarding the blink life with a swarm of tokens and supporting a neat mechanic with a number of good cards, Ranar's a great choice for someone who wants it all.
Turtle up until you find your win, you spineless wart. Or, as Sun Tzu would say "Attack is the secret of defense; defense is the planning of an attack." Ghostly Prison AND Propaganda anyone? Nobody buys time like Azorius (blue extra turn shenannigans notwithstanding). The best spread of control options are tied up in these two colors, maintaining a proper hold on the battlefield to ensure you can, eventually, uninterruptedly, shamelessly legalese someone to death.
Simple. Direct. Rude. Terse? Resentful? Me? Absolutely. Do. Not. Want.
I have seen Gaddock Teeg a few times, to my discomfort. This feels like Teeg playing favorites. For someone labeled as a renegade, Lavinia certainly abides by this pairing's preference for smacking people in the kisser with a banhammer. Opponents can't cast anything large. Opponents can't cast anything free. Those fond of Izzet spellcasting combos must HATE this card. Hell, as someone who plays Rashmi, Eternities Crafter , I hate this card and haven't even seen it played.
Taking a step back from going wide, Gwafa reminds me of that scene in Robin Hood: Men in Tights where the sheriff tries to laugh his way though delivering bad news. "Your creature is worthless, haha. But you draw a card, hoho, isn't that nice? Hehe, aren't I nice?" Go to the darkest, dankest, smelliest hell, Gwafa.
Most of the removal tied to artifacts and enchantments works off of destroy effects, not exile, so if your focus isn't on commander-based synergies but rather your board state, Hanna may serve you well, especially considering how often tossing an artifact will get you a new one.
If you really want to flyspam, Kangee is a solid pick: blue-white has a whole mess of options to hose down the opponent with an airborne death swarm. Top marks if you manage to regularly play Dovescape and know the pleasure of watching your opponents try to process all their cool stuff turning into birds.
You like auras? Here you go. Avoid stuff like Reliquary Tower , overload your hand with goodies like Steel of the Godhead and All That Glitters , then gloat when you slap Bruna down and get everything you discarded into play without the bother of paying for it. Hell, put your auras on the creatures that tutored them. Bruna doesn't mind. She'll take them anyway, from anywhere. Thank God she doesn't have haste.
And, for my personal favorite...
This guy is a fantastic face to put on a political deck. Nobody wants to smash the guy who gives out free cards and life! At least, not until you find Mind Over Matter , or something like. You won't deck anyone thanks to this wascally wabbit's wording, but you'll have your entire deck in hand. That should be all, folks. The only reason Kwain doesn't have a deck in this house is because Rashmi and Pramikon got here first and stole all the good stuff.
That's it for this round. Thoughts and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed it, and will come back soon for Dimir!
6 months ago
Karlov of the Ghost Council is an INSANE card for a deck like this when you combo it with ajani. its pricey, but kicks major ass. I'd look into cheaper dual lands like Caves of Koilos and Temple of Silence . They both work pretty well for me
Kaya's Guile and Mortify are super strong here too. perhaps consider ditching Vampire of the Dire Moon and Vizkopa Vampire for Gifted Aetherborn or Vampire Nighthawk since those 1 drops are easy targets for cheap removal.