Zur the Enchanter

Zur the Enchanter

Legendary Creature — Human Wizard

Flying

Whenever Zur the Enchanter attacks, you may search your library for an enchantment card with converted mana cost 3 or less and put it onto the battlefield. If you do, shuffle your library.

Zur the Enchanter Discussion

Mana_Mythic_Legendary on Pursuing Perfection, Part 10: Selesnya …

1 week 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.

Lifegains

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.

Lathiel, the Bounteous Dawn

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.

Trelasarra, Moondancer Direct, though the scry is a nice touch. This is a commander made for some sort of evasion, the Soul Warden cycle, and a pile of tokens. Like, maybe March of the Multitudes. Hehehehe…

Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice … 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.

Counterplay

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.

Trostani Discordant 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.

Gaddock Teeg 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.

Yasharn, Implacable Earth 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.

Dragonlord Dromoka

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.

Sigarda, Host of Herons 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.

Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist 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: Karametra, god of the harvest

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!

Prior Articles:

Gruul

Rakdos

Dimir

Azorius

Green, with links to the other mono-colors

Maaloufler on whittling down Stax

3 weeks ago

Hey cool list here I see lots of fun cards. I've noticed you're running cards that limit how many spells players may cast per turn but also running Aetherflux Reservoir. This seems a bit meh in my opinion as you would limit yourself to gain only 1 life from the Reservoir a turn and 2 from your general.

Given the enchantment heavy nature of the deck you might want to bring in Zur the Enchanter and try to cheat out as many options as possible.

I also noticed you're running Telepathy but can't see the benefit to it other than knowing what's coming up.

I'd consider putting Tainted Remedy in the board. You can't guarentee someone is going to be gaining life other than yourself.

Finally, your spells with x in the cost can probably be cut as there isn't much mana excelleration in the deck. Yes, you have amazing spells, yes they are game winners, but the mana cost there is high.

Overall, your deck is amazing to me.

Necrosis24 on Cards that benefit from Solemnity

1 month ago

I am working on a Zur the Enchanter deck which is centered around Solemnity. I don’t want it to be a stax deck so I am looking for abilities that benefit from not gaining counters. So far I have come across cumulative upkeep, vanishing, undying, and persist.

Dammjan on My first own deck

2 months ago

Thank you for your advice once again. I decided to add Zur the Enchanter and Dimir House Guard since I think I ve enough enchantments which cost 3 cmc or less. Further more I decided to add Sygg, River Cutthroat to the deck, since I am sure I will often do more than 3 damage and hopefully my oppononents do it too. And he is a pretty cheap card too. I decided to remove Conclave Tribunal since I don t think it was a fitting card in the first place. I decided to remove Ugin, the Ineffable but I am not sure if it is the right decision but I don t know what to remove otherwise. Maybe you can tell me. The last card I removed was Diabolic Tutor since Dimir House Guard seems to be the better choice to find Zur the Enchanter in my libary. Thank you.

DreadKhan on My first own deck

2 months ago

On a budget, I guess Underworld Connections might make the cut. If you find your hand is consistently tiny, Midnight Oil isn't as bad as people think, you just need to be able to play both cards you draw consistently. Castle Locthwainis another option that works if your hand is always small, and War Room might be a bit of life, but Alela has lifelink. Dawn of Hope could work if Alela deals damage often. Faerie Formation is reasonable if you want a 1/1 faerie and a card, and a 5/4 flyer is pretty beefy. Sygg, River Cutthroat is probably good enough to consider, Court of Grace and Court of Cunning both give you the Monarch, which means a card, and the bodies you generate might make it harder for people to take it from you, and 1/1 flyers going wide will always be getting it back. The Blue Court can actually be a backup win con if people can't take the Monarch from you due to Pillowfort effects.

Zur the Enchanter isn't quite card draw, but it is card advantage, possibly multiple turns worth of it. He can find removal, or potentially card draw, so Zur seems like good value for mana if your deck runs enough enchantments he can find. If you want to find him (or any other card), you might consider Transmute cards rather than card draw. If you always want to have access to Zur (or any 4 MV card) you can Transmute Dimir House Guard into that card, and it's cheaper than Diabolic Tutor while not being a spell, and thus being much harder to interact with. Transmute cards exist at other values as well, mostly 0-6 and 9, and they are always in U or B, which Alela has access to.

Hope some of this is helpful! I will probably build an Alela deck at some point myself, so it's neat to see what other people put together

enpc on I need help choosing another …

6 months ago

Galvanic Blast is also another option. While it by itself can take down Witherbloom Apprentice , if you have enough artifacts then it can also help you take down bigger stuff like Zur the Enchanter .

enpc on None

6 months ago

Bastion of Remembrance + Ashnod's Altar seem much easier. And you just win the game on the spot. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with teh comob you listed. But needing 4 cards for a combo makes it much worse than needing 3 cards for a combo.

Plus at 3 mana, you can run a sans red deck and use Zur the Enchanter to tutor up 2 of the three peices :P

PartyJ on Devotion to the Gods

7 months ago

I like your take on a god deck. I am paying a god deck for quite some time now, you can take a look on my profiel to find it. It takes a whole other route. I stopped going here and doing stuff, but your deck really made me curious about the route you took.

Based on my experiences and looking at your deck, I would suggest to take a closer look at these cards:

Good luck and godspeed!

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