Maybeboard


enter image description here

Just a note before I begin, I know I am certainly not the first person to make a deck similar to this, but I would appreciate it if nobody copied this deck card for card, or something along those lines. Obviously I can't stop you but I would deeply appreciate it if you didn't. If you do, please give me credit for the decklist, I have worked long and hard perfecting it. Thank you!

Welcome to... Double Trouble!!!

This a pretty simple (but very effective) Voltron deck, using an underplayed Voltron commander that works much better than many would typically think. Many people diss my commander deck, saying it's not "proper Voltron" but they tend to think differently after they get recked. Anyways, my goal is obviously the same as any other Voltron deck, but rather than basing it on Auras, Equipment, Counters, or anything like such, my goal is much more of a speedy win.

I tried Aura decks and equipment decks, but in the end, a combination of both of the above with instants/sorceries worked the best for me. I play ramp Spells, cast Rafiq of the Many (my commander) earlier than usual, and then give it all sorts of buffs and effects using instant and sorcery spells, along with the help of a FEW auras/equipment. The biggest reason it's so effective is that there are no specific cards you need to win, rather cards that can help you win faster, in most cases. It is a very simple deck, that doesn't see too much played on the board, and yet extremely fast. I understand its sort of an "all around theme" with nothing too specific, so I like to just think the theme of the deck is to kill all your opponents with commander damage (obviously) though I have no specific way of getting there. There are great lands that help, fun synergies, amazing pump spells, sweet unblockable spells, and of course the best ramp in town. Read on to find what makes this deck so efficient, because there is much more than meets the eye...!

Before I get into the deck, I wanted to answer a question I get quite a lot. Why Rafiq? Despite what it may seem, this decision was and is very thought out. I needed to have green in my deck, because my ramp section would be horrible without it, and I needed the speedy pump spells, both of which had the very best options in green. (I will talk in depth on each of those later on). So I needed a green commander. I also wanted unblockable spells, which were crucial for the speedy win I had in mind, and those were ONLY available in blue. Blue also gave me the option for counterspells which I find helpful. Now white I was a little more hesitant about. Its main use in my deck is removal and disruption, though it has also proven useful in my pump section. Personally, I would have preferred black, but there weren't many good Sultai () Voltron commanders that could work with the theme I was going for. So what about Temur? () The main option I could have done with this was Animar, Soul of Elements. However by delving into him I would be basing the deck more around creatures and counters, leaving much less space for the stuff I was going for. That said, the only combination left was Bant, () and as I investigated this I found the one and only Rafiq! He has a worthy mana cost, and gets double strike on HIS OWN, not to mention he also has exalted. With all of this, there was no theme that I had to base it around for him, allowing me to use my speedy win theme. Many people prefer Aura and Equipment Voltron decks which are indeed very effective, but they also take quite a bit longer. Once you get into the game they dominate, but for me, I invoke the essence of speed. This is why, ladies and gentlemen, I chose Rafiq.

So lets jump into the deck! This is by far one of my favorite parts about this deck! Lands are ramp and just so fun they- sorry. Its weird. Don't ask. But anyways, let's start off with lands! I have all three Bant filter lands: Wooded Bastion, Mystic Gate, and Flooded Grove. Personally (prepare yourselves) I don't really like the signets. gasps. screaming in audience. I know, I know, they are pretty good and useful, but personally I just don't like them. I prefer the filter lands :). Anyways, I also have all the three Bant shock lands Hallowed Fountain, Breeding Pool, Temple Garden, though I do wish they could become Alpha lands insert crying sound. I have the three Bant fetches as well: Windswept Heath, Flooded Strand and-. Oh wait. I don't have Misty Rainforest yet because I don't want to spend that when it could be spent on other cards I still need to get. Plus, with my luck as soon as I get it, it will become like 20 bucks. But oh well. I have the three Bant check lands: Glacial Fortress, Sunpetal Grove, and Hinterland Harbor (though if you check my future cuts, they will be cut for other lands), as well as the three Bant fast lands, Razorverge Thicket, Seachrome Coast, and Botanical Sanctum. Last but not least I have the three horizon/pain lands, Adarkar Wastes, Horizon Canopy, and Waterlogged Grove. Gee that was a lot. Oh wait- I'm not done. I have some other helpful multi lands too! Ancient Tomb is a staple and a must-have for most decks, as well as the typical Command Tower and Exotic Orchard. Similar to the orchard I have Reflecting Pool, as well as City of Brass and Mana Confluence, my personal favorites. Gemstone Mine is sort of a cheapISH version, but I use it because I don't typically need it more than three times, due to the fact that I tend to win fast in one turn and don't play TOO much on the board. Prismatic Vista is also a great fetch land allowing you to chose, yes from basics, but still, it comes in untapped and can be very useful in almost all situations. In my future cuts, I will be adding the two missing pain lands (Yavimaya Coast & Brushland) as well as a very handy Strip Mine. Once I decide to get Misty Rainforest it will be added in and a Forest will be cut, and a Plains will be cut if WotC ever prints a horizon land.

As for ramp, I have pretty much the average stuff. Noble Hierarch (which happens to have exalted which is nice for Rafiqi!), Bloom Tender (which taps for with Rafiw out), and the ever lasting Birds of Paradise for mana dorks. I do also have fun with Selvala, Heart of the Wilds, where I pump Rafiqi and then pay a green to add like 10 mana, and play even more stuff XD. In the near future I will be cutting the Sakura-Tribe Elder for a Sylvan Caryatid just to add to that list. The thing is, I also bought Pemmin's Aura for the deck, as it can protect, buff, and have a chance at getting Rafiqs damage through. However, Bloom Tender + Pemmin's Aura and Pemmin's Aura + Selvala, Heart of the Wilds give me infinite mana, which is a great addition to the deck if it comes up. One time use ramp spells like Explore and Nature's Lore are very helpful, as well as the more permanent ramp spells like Emerald Medallion and Sapphire Medallion, Burgeoning and Exploration (which have the chance o put Rafiw out TURN 2!!!), Sol Ring, and of course Arcane Signet. Exploration is not yet in the deck however, and it will eventually replace Sapphire Medallion. Bear Umbra also doubles as a pump/ramp spell! Untapping your lands can give you more mana to play pump-spells DURING combat which can be very unexpected and helpful in almost all games. In addition to this, at the moment I have Lotus Petal, but frankly it doesn't ever really help get Rafiq out faster, and I think it will be much more useful as something else, and thus will be cut for something we shall talk about later on! You can find all these cuts mentioned down below

You pump Rafiqi, than attack, but what happens if your opponents just block? Yes you could give it flying, but what if your opponents have fliers? I hated that about Voltron Decks, and since blocking was the main reason I continued to lose, I knew I had to do something about it. I would end up having so many pump spells, and then my opponents would just block, and I'd end up flipping the table. To avoid broken tables, I added a good deal of spells that can help Rafiqi give that Commander Damage without worrying about blocking. I understand these take up spots that could be well used in a commander deck for other cards, but having them can change the tides of most games. Again, the cards are pretty regular for unblockable spells, and you can check out the list under "unblockable". Shadow Rift and Slip Through Space provide very helpful card draw, which is always good in getting me the last pump spell I needed to kill someone in one turn, with a similar effect from Aqueous Form though not as immediate. Artful Dodge is amazing, because of its cheap flashback cost, which really makes it two unblockable spells in one. Veil of Secrecy just adds hexproof to the mix, and Giver of Runes can protect him from other spells as well. There are also some more unblockable spells labled under "Multipurpose", like Steel of the Godhead and Spirit Mantle which can give Rafiq other effects as well. The rest, (Distortion Strike, Infiltrate, Aether Tunnel, Cloak of Mists, and Invisibility) are pretty much just regular unblockable spells with some buffs. Believe it or not, having that one extra power point can really decide the winner of a game since you only need to get Rafiq to a 10 power to win (due to his own exalted and double strike triggers.) I am going to get Thassa, God of the Sea which for three mana can continually make Rafiq unblockable, which is pretty good in my opinion.

Now pump spells are as you may have guessed, pretty much the most important aspect of the deck. They are all relatively cheap, which is what makes them just so powerful. The average ones are Blessing of the Nephilim, Briar Shield, Might of Old Krosa, Seal of Strength, Favor of the Overbeing, Might of the Nephilim, Phytoburst, Groundswell, Titanic Growth, and Might of Oaks. Might of oaks is actually all you need to kill someone if Rafiq if unblockable, making it quite helpful if you have the mana. Shield of the Oversoul and Bastion Protector are also extremely good, especially if you have Berserk. If Rafiq has indestructible when you play it, you won't even need to lose Rafiq at the end of the turn, making Berserk a 1 mana double Rafiqs power. Invigorate and Mutagenic Growth are also some of the most overpowered pump spells, allowing you to cast them virtually at any time even without mana. Your opponents might never see this coming, and it can provide a VERY speedy, unexpected win. Blossoming Defense and Vines of Vastwood can pump and protect Rafiq, which is always important against heavy removal decks. The remaining cards are the more pricey ones, Umezawa's Jitte and Finest Hour. These are more "longer game" cards, because if you need Rafiq pumped and the speedy win didn't work, it's always important to have some cards that last a bit longer, and are more beneficial over time. Hunt the Hunter is sort of removal and pump spells, and can help remove any blockers if you don't have an unblockable spell, which is great at most times. Thus, that said, there are no more pump spells left to talk about, (maybe besides one that we will mention later), but there are still MANY more important parts of the deck! Read on to find out what they are.

Pump and unblockable spells make up the core idea of the deck, with of course ramp to help you make the journey smoother. But there are many other fun synergies that make this deck effective. Lets take a look at those.

Stoic Angel and Silent Arbiter are some of the most synergistic cards with Rafiq. Not all decks revolve around attacking, but many do, and these can GREATLY help reduce your opponents gameplan to ashes. It can also disable blocking with more than one creature, which is just another way to ensure Rafiq stays safe. I love having these cards in the deck and I hope they continue to serve me well at my local game store.

Another point I want to make is card draw! My deck doesn't have too much of this, but the ones I do have included are very though out. Let's check out some of those. Hunter's Insight is AMAZING for me. In the average swing, Rafiq deals from 14-28 damage in one hit That's a HELL LOTTA cards in one turn. With all these cards you simply take the best pump spells, an unblockable spell or two, maybe some removal (more on that in a second) or anything you happen to find. After this happens, there's almost no stopping Rafiq. Hunter's Prowess is virtually the same thing except it also pumps Rafiq, and costs quite a bit more mana. These are both very efficient cards. Another factor is when you run out of cards. It happens to everyone, but in this deck it happens FAST. The average mana cost has stayed under 2 for very long, and there are very few huge cards. When this happens you just hope you can swing in with Rafiq and not die. OR NOT. Day's Undoing (will be added in, in return for Lotus Petal) and Diminishing Returns are a HUGE part of this deck that I really love. When you have only 1-2 cards left in your hand, get a refresh, and possibly ruin your opponents hands too. Love it! It's amazing. You can also swing with Rafiq and THEN play Days, because it automatically ends the turn. On a side note I have Sylvan Library and Mystic Remora in here too, because why not! They are great! And I have a couple copies of them in real life so I thought why not throw them in here. They've proven to be extremely helpful, especially if you can time Remora right. To aid all of these above cards, I have a Reliquary Tower, which can get SUPER synergistic. Before I get into the next idea, I also have Mystical Tutor to search for any of the above, including Pump Spells, Unblockable Spells, or removal, depending on the situation. Yet most of the time, I tutor for a good ol Hunter's insight.

On too Removal! I hate to say it but I don't think my deck is fairing to well in this category, and I would appreciate any thoughts on it. For direct Removal, I have Generous Gift and Swords to Plowshares (Path to Exile was cut) and sadly that is all. I do however have a board wipe that synergizes with Rafiq! Divine Reckoning, which is soon to be cut for Cataclysm. These allow me to keep Rafiq, and occasionally a mana dork or something might be lost, but for my opponents, the price is usually much worse, so those are both pretty nice. The rest of my removal section (see above under disruption) isn't exactly removal, but rather things that disturb the game into my favor (hence the name disruption.) Orim's Chant is very good against most people, because it can pretty much stop them for a turn. By the time it comes back to me I can send Rafiq out to deal with them, and problem solved. Very useful in many situations. Teferi's Protection (which is going to come into the deck and Grand Abolisher will be taken out) is along similar lines, protecting me, Rafiq, and other permanents for a bit until I can recuperate and get my game going. Maze of Ith is very good in this deck, because I can target Rafiq, and save him from any Combat tricks, or I can use it on an opponent, and save me from taking damage. Both end with me in favor, though Maze is mainly in the deck to protect Rafiq. Since it does not produce mana, it is not under my lands section. Counterspells are also quite useful, and I have a Swan Song in the deck, as well as the common Counterspell, which is soon to be cut for Fierce Guardianship. My removal section is going to undergo some additions I hope when I find cuts, in the near future.

Another quick mention is Lightning Greaves which can be nice if you have a Sol Ring or Ancient Tomb, and can both speed up the game AND protect Rafiq, making it one of those must-haves.

That about sums it up for the "Other" section. Hope you enjoyed- but I'm not done yet! A couple more things I'd like to say, and I would deeply appreciate it if you finished this primer! I worked long and hard on it :)

This deck is extremely fast and strong, yet it has a number of enemy themes and enemy cards that can completely lock down the game for me once and for all. Decks that are heavy on removal can completely shut me out, because if you can never play Rafiq there's basically no way to win. This is why I tend to like getting him out early, while people are still setting up their gameplan. Another thing to trick them with is really the fact that you don't see Rafiq coming. He is typically played in equipment decks, so when you see him you don't think of him as a threat, but all of the sudden with a couple of instant speed pump spells that can all completely change. This is what makes protection cards like Blossoming Defense, Giver of Runes, etc so powerful and necessary in decks like these. Cards that don't let Rafiq untap or attack (like Encrust), or even get played (like Meddling Mage) can be a huge stopper for me, and they can completely ruin a game both fun-wise and winning-wise. Without Rafiq there's no real way to win, and I can't afford to remove cards for other win conditions, it ruins Rafiq's speedy theme. Thus, any decks or commanders that can directly harm or disable Rafiq tend to be my greatest enemies, which can sadly happen VERY OFTEN in cEdh.
Thanks For Reading! If there are any questions or advice on the deck, shout it out below, I would love to know what people think! And if you want help on your deck, also feel free to comment it down below or mention it under my profile, I don't mind helping out people! If anyone wants to know how to style their deck like this, include backgrounds, and use pictures behind your dropdowns, just ask! I'll show anyone how to work the CSS, though I did not create or learn it myself, though you can go down to my helper shrine to see the true masters behind this decks styling. Below, I have some future cuts I will make, and up above I have a list under the maybeboard that I would love feedback on. Any advice would be much appreciated. Now also, I'm sure I'm not the first one to make a deck like this, but I've worked very hard on it and thought each individual detail out, so I'd deeply appreciate if nobody recreated my deck or proxied it, and if you do I'd appreciate if you gave me credit for it. Obviously I can't stop you, but I would value and appreciate it if you did.

Also feel free to check out some of my other decks!

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

  • However, if you did happen to enjoy this deck, there's a special surprise for you right below, at the end of this description! Or rather, it would end up being a special surprise for me but you can ignore that. :) Then again, if you've actually read this entire thing you deserve something too! I'll gladly upvote and give help to anybody who read this far, simply let me know you read this, and I'll gladly upvote your decks. Just make sure to read to the end!
The Excellently Eccentric Extra Exotic Special Thanks Section! I think I should add exhausting to that name, because its a mouthful. But I really did want to thank....

Drumroll....

Some more drumrolls...

Even more drumrolls...

king-saproling! For his CSS/HTML help with the backgrounds, images, etc that I have now used on EVERY one of my other decks! Check out his decks!

Also check out Oloro_Magic, who helped me figure out and set up the panel images you see right now! Check out their decks!

Last but not least I want to thank Wihito for his amazing card styles deck/article, which I have used upon this deck as you can tell!

Suggestions

Updates Add

Comments

Top Ranked
Date added 1 year
Last updated 1 day
Key combos
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

4 - 0 Mythic Rares

48 - 0 Rares

17 - 0 Uncommons

24 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.00
Tokens 2/2 Bird, 3/3 Elephant
Folders My Decks, Rafiq, Bant, ..., Bant, BANT EDH, Deck references
Votes
Ignored suggestions
Shared with
Views

Revision 43 See all

2 days ago)

+1 Blessing of the Nephilim maybe
+1 Explore maybe
+1 Fabled Passage maybe
+1 Lightning Greaves maybe
+1 Might of Old Krosa maybe
+1 Mutagenic Growth maybe
+1 Rafiq of the Many maybe
+1 Reliquary Tower maybe
+1 Swords to Plowshares maybe
+1 Vines of Vastwood maybe