pie chart

Alena and Halana - Kessig Guardians v1.3

Commander / EDH RG (Gruul)



Updated - 8/27/21

Proxies - Fabled Passage

Sleeves - Dragon Shield Matte (Olive Green)

Deck Box - Ultimate Guard Boulder 100+ (Clear)

Playmat - Ultra Pro - Double Masters : Exploration (Showcase)

Hello and welcome to my deck based around Alena, Kessig Trapper and Halana, Kessig Ranger! These two characters are from the plane of Innistrad and became fan favorites after appearing in the Shadows Over Innistrad story "Under the Silver Moon" and a section from the Eldritch Moon story "Emrakul Rises" entitled "Depths of the Ulvenwald". Both stories are great and inspired me to build this deck!

I've been playing Magic for about two years now, with about a year and a half of that being mainly Commander. I was getting ready to start visting local game stores when the pandemic hit last year. Because of that, I've only ever played Magic at home with my brothers using various commander decks that I thought were interesting/they would find interesting. This is the third commander deck I've decided to make public because I think that the combination of Alena and Halana hasn't gotten enough attention and has tons of cool interactions that people just kinda gloss over. They only have about 115 decks on EDHREC! Crazy! Also, this deck may not necessarily be "budget" (another nebulous term), please do not recommend overly expensive cards such as Gaea's Cradle. They are far out of my price range. With all that being said, let's get into the deck!

***Note : All cards choices came from research using Scryfall, EDHREC and here on TappedOut.


This deck has the most Gruul gameplan of all time. Ramp into big things and then smash. That's basically it. We can accomplish both with our partner commanders! Alena, Kessig Trapper is the one you want to play first most of the time. With her out, you can add equal to the highest power among creatures you control that entered the battlefield this turn. We use her to ramp into big things and then ramp into more big things. Imagine tapping her for TWELVE mana once Ghalta, Primal Hunger hits the field. Or if something "smaller" like Rampaging Baloths hits the field, you "only" get SIX! Insane value!

With Alena being the ramp half, Halana, Kessig Ranger completes the Gruul philosophy by being the stomping/removal half. (Which is odd as both of them have roles generally reserved for their partners color.) With Halana out, any other creature entering the battlefield triggers a "Pay and Rabid Bite something" effect. This coupled with our massive creatures, such as the ones mentioned above, mean we can play less creature removal as we have it built right onto one of our commanders!

How do these two come together? A basic turn with both of them out looks something like this :

1 - Play big creature. Say, Thorn Mammoth. It ETBs and you get its own trigger and Halana's trigger.

2 - In response to Halana's trigger, tap Alena to activate her mana ability. You now have six red mana.

3 - Use two of it for Halana's ability and kill whatever is most threatening.

4 - Thorn Mammoth's ETB then has it fight something, removing another threat.

5 - You still have FOUR RED MANA leftover to spend on whatever!

They're really a great pairing and I've come to like this deck nearly as much as my Rebbec/Glacian deck.

I wanted this deck to be fairly symmetrical (Spoiler alert, I failed) color wise, so I picked out two planeswalkers, one for each color, for this deck.

Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast from IKO is probably the most relevant mono-red planeswalker for this deck. All three of his abilities care about creatures, which is what we're all about. His +1 helps to find creatures and helps us cast them. His -2 lets us replace a token or a redundant mana dork to hopefully find something bigger. His -7 can be game ending if we have a board big enough. (Ghalta, Omnath, Terastodon etc.)

Vivien, Monsters' Advocate is another card from IKO that synergizes really well with creature theme of our deck. Her static ability, like Lukka's +1, helps us find creatures and cast them. Her +1 makes us a 3/3 beast which can be used for Lukka's -2, or as a blocker or whatever you need it for as it comes in with a choice of keyword counters. Her -2 is insane. It lets us tutor for a creature with a lower CMC than the next creature spell we cast and put it STRAIGHT ONTO THE BATTLEFIELD. This has insane synergy with both of our commanders, letting us ramp and remove at the same time.

Xenagos, God of Revels not only adds haste and trample, but it also DOUBLES the power of a creature for a turn. This can net you some pretty massive amounts of mana with Alena if timed right.

Toralf, God of Fury   lets you deal excess noncombat damage to another target. If Halana has, say... Ghalta, fight something, Toralf can take that excess damage of Ghalta stomping something and redirect it to another creature which can then deal the excess damage to another creature which can then... You get the idea. If timed right with a big enough creature, Toralf could basically be a board wipe. Or, you know, you could hit a player with the excess damage. That's less fun, though.

Omnath, Locus of Rage, Rampaging Baloths and Quartzwood Crasher all are beefy creatures that make equally beefy tokens.

Ilharg, the Raze-Boar and Etali, Primal Storm both help cheat out big creatures.

Ogre Battledriver and Aggressive Mammoth both give relevant keywords.

Gruul Ragebeast, Terastodon, End-Raze Forerunners and Thorn Mammoth all have great ETB effects mainly for removal.

Spellbreaker Behemoth stops that pesky blue player from countering our stuff and has some impressive stats to boot.

Ghalta, Primal Hunger may cost as little as in some games. For a 12/12 with trample? Easy include. Synergizes REALLY well with Alena.

Kogla, the Titan Ape synergizes well with both commanders, being able to save them from spot removal or a board wipe. Has a secondary benefit of keeping himself alive while doing so, too. Oh, it also has big stats and removes enchantments and artifacts. It basically does everything. It's an auto-include in any Alena/Halana deck, in my opinion.

Woodland Bellower and Fierce Empath are a tutor duo that can do some pretty stupid stuff. Timeless Witness and Eternal Witness help with recovery of key cards.

Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma (and the rest of the mana dorks) are for ramp. Goreclaw also gives trample, which is great.

Garruk's Packleader, Soul of the Harvest and Battle Mammoth all help with card draw.

Zendikar Resurgent may be costly, but it doubles mana and draws you cards. Definitely worth.

Asceticism is great for protection. Hexproof AND regenerate? Yes, please!

Warstorm Surge, Where Ancients Tread and Sarkhan's Unsealing all synergize well with big creatures, which we have plenty of. Flameshadow Conjuring deserves a special mention as you can pay an extra when a nontoken creature ETBs to make a copy of it. This extra mana is easy to make using Alena. Cast big creature, make mana with Alena, make copy and then take out TWO creatures with Halana's triggers. Value all around. A key card in the deck.

Guardian Project, Elemental Bond and Garruk's Uprising are for card advantage. Uprising also provides trample to all your creatures and possibly has an ETB card draw effect when you play it. Another key card in the deck.

Rhythm of the Wild is another card to stop pesky blue players from countering our stuff. Also gives creatures haste or a +1/+1 counter. Usually best to go with haste as it enables Alena's mana ability so she can use it from seeing herself ETB!

Aggravated Assault combos with Savage Ventmaw and also synergizes really well with Alena and her ability to make mana. Can close out games if played right!

Most are for ramp or removal. Not much to say here other than "Use whichever ones you prefer." Some especially useful ones include Return of the Wildspeaker, Heroic Intervention, Hunter's Insight and Skyshroud Claim. Deflecting Swat is an incredible piece of protection.

Shared Summons and Time of Need also help to find useful creatures. Time of Need is especially great as it lets you nab Goreclaw if you need cost reduction or Ilharg if you need to cheat out something big or even Ghalta if it's time to stomp someone out of the game.

Not too many artifacts in this deck. Mainly ramp. Panharmonicon is a key card in the deck, though. It allows us to double up on ETB effects which makes a lot of our creatures twice as good, especially Halana!

Fabled Passage is the deck's only proxy only because I'm currently using all the copies I have in other decks and didn't feel like buying another one. Game Trail is in mainly for Innistrad flavor.

Would not be opposed to using fetch lands, but same as Fabled Passage, all the ones I have are in use elsewhere.

This section is here to spotlight some cards that I think should be staples for this deck. If you want to build your own Alena/Halana deck, these are some cards that you should absolutely add :

Ilharg, the Raze-Boar


Thorn Mammoth / Gruul Ragebeast

Ghalta, Primal Hunger

Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma

Kogla, the Titan Ape

Warstorm Surge / Sarkhan's Unsealing / Where Ancients Tread

Flameshadow Conjuring

Rhythm of the Wild

Time of Need (If using above legendary creatures)


Haven't played any games with this deck yet, just lots of playtesting. Will update with results once it sees action.

That's about it. Thoughts, comments and recommendations are welcome but please remember that I've never played commander with anyone outside my own house. lol



Updates Add

OUT - Sakura-Tribe Elder, Firemind Vessel, 1x Mountain, Momentous Fall, Rampant Growth

IN - Aggravated Assault, Savage Ventmaw, Heroic Intervention, Fires of Yavimaya, Wayward Swordtooth


92% Casual


Top Ranked
Date added 3 months
Last updated 2 weeks

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

8 - 0 Mythic Rares

41 - 0 Rares

20 - 0 Uncommons

14 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 4.05
Tokens 3/3 G Token Creature Beast, Copy Clone, 5/5 Elemental, */* G Token Creature Dinosaur Beast, 4/4 Beast, 3/3 G Token Creature Elephant, Timeless Witness 4/4 B, C Emblem City's Blessing
Folders 1 - My Decks, Commanders, Cool Stuff
Ignored suggestions
Shared with

Revision 4 See all

2 weeks ago)

+1 Aggravated Assault main
+1 Heroic Intervention main
-1 Mountain main
+1 Wayward Swordtooth main