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where there's a Wyll, there's a way

Commander / EDH* Chaos Dice UR (Izzet) Voltron

PinnedPhoenix


hi!

so a while back I built a Laelia deck. it's very good! a little too good for my playgroup. especially now that I've had some practice playing it. I win about half the time, and when you're playing with four or five people, half the time is a lot. I need a more whimsical commander to freshen up my local meta. Still, I want them to be fun to play and pretty good.

I've settled on Wyll, Blade of Frontiers. I fell in love with this card the moment I saw it. dice rolling is, to me, about as fun as a mechanic can be, and it's more supported than a lot of players realize. there are a few cards like Wand of Wonder, The Deck of Many Things, and Wizard's Spellbook, which create some special and over-the-top moments if you can get that illusive 20. Wyll rolls with advantage, so you have a nearly 10% chance of rolling a 20 on any given roll. not astonishingly good odds, but good enough that it's liable to happen once a game in a casual playgroup where games take longer to resolve.

this build splits the difference between fun, flavor-forward, and mechanically complex. I'll go through certain card interactions and explain in more detail below!

Wyll can never be a competitive commander. that's one reason to play him! competitive decks make your friends salty and lead to boring games if you're not matched with like-minded players, plus they're too expensive. these aren't concerns with Wyll; I'd be impressed if anyone could make something legitimate out of him.

yet Wyll does offer something a lot of competitive commanders also offer: bang for the buck. at two mana, he grants both a solid passive effect you benefit from simply by having him played--better odds with dice rolls. pair him with Sword Coast Sailor and we've got a self-buffing commander who can swing with near impunity. these two combined make him a frustrating board presence who people will rarely consider worth the cost of spot removal. because why bother? he'll be back for a measly four mana anyway.

all things considered, he makes for a sneakily powerful board presence your friends will have a hard time figuring out how to play against. he's annoying, but he's not scary. that's a dangerous thing for a commander to be! and most importantly, he's a lot of fun.

in the interest of circumscribing this question, it's worth noting that Wyll is essentially limited to blue backgrounds.

not that you can't build him in other colors. it's your life! but red and blue have way more to offer dice-roll decks. they each have 11 cards containing the text "roll a d20," whereas green, black, and white have only 7, 6, and 5, respectively. and that's not even counting cards like Brazen Dwarf and Feywild Trickster. the support blue offers Wyll, compared to all other colors, is incomperable.

so it's between Candlekeep Sage, Clan Crafter, Dungeon Delver, Feywild Visitor, Shameless Charlatan, and Sword Coast Sailor. Candlekeep, Crafter, Delver, and Charlatan are all cards you have to build around explicitly to get what you want, and since Wyll's the same way, they're basically non-starters; there's not enough space in this build for two themes. Feywild Visitor, on the other hand, offers a good effect, provided you can assure you're hitting your enemy. it could be a good background for Wyll, at the cost of dedicating a lot of deckspace to cards like, well, Sword Coast Sailor, and I don't want to do that. so instead, it's in the 98!

that leaves Sword Coast Sailor. for two mana your commander becomes unblockable, with a caveat which only helps your build along: that it only works if you attack the opponent with the most hitpoints. this is great. this is the best thing about this card. because it gives you something to blame when you swing at a given opponent. "sorry, man. you've got the most life! what can I do?"

in general, EDH is about politics as much as anything. especially at the level most of us play at: casual, but we know what we're doing. in these kinds of settings players can pull ahead in the early-to-mid game, but rarely to such a degree that they avoid getting stomped on by the whole table in response. thus, getting some damage in with your commander, while having plausible deniability as to why you're attacking a given player, gives you a lot of political leverage. it lets you get ahead without looking like you're getting ahead, if that makes sense. Sword Coast Sailor is a brilliant card that way.

and it works well with Wyll! before too long, you'll be rolling a lot of dice, at which point Wyll's a serious threat. Sword Coast assures he'll hit his mark whenever you choose to swing.

it goes without saying that dice rolling's the most important mechanic in a well-built Wyll deck. everything he does revolves around rolling dice to buff and swing with him.

slightly less obvious: it goes both ways. cards whose potency relies on a dice roll are fickle by nature, but they're a lot less fickle with Wyll on the board. for example: Delina, Wild Mage. Normally, she'll only create a second token 30% of the time, which means she's lackluster--a 3/2 novelty act who gives you an extra creature or two for a turn, three if you're incredibly lucky, before promptly getting her can handed to her by Timmy's Mr. Orfeo, the Boulder. with Wyll on the board, her chances of getting a second token shoot up to 51%, and a third or fourth aren't foregone conclusions. She's not so much a novelty act as a threat, here.

this is all the more the case for cards which are mediocre unless you roll at least a 10. Cone of Cold is a great case study. if you roll a 1-9, it's a lousy use of four mana, opening enemies for an attack without granting you any coverage during the turn cycle. that's 45% of the time without some help. on the other hand, 55% of the time it's fantastic, like Sleep if Sleep hit all your opponents instead of just one. Wyll's presence boosts that 55% to 79.8%, turning Cone of Cold into a great piece--still a risk, but a 1 in 5 risk instead of a slightly top-heavy coin toss.

then there's the elusive nat 20. Wand of Wonder, Wizard's Spellbook, The Deck of Many Things, as well as more durdley spells like Sword of Dungeons & Dragons and Critical Hit, all reward 20s with emphatically increased card value. it only happens 5% of the time, unless you've got Wyll. at which point it happens a little less than 10% of the time! nothing to bet your savings on, but still twice as common as usual. Wyll makes hoping these Hail Marys land feel worthwhile. the increased odds make every dice roll exciting.

and that's not even counting the less statistically demanding cards like Sword of Hours, Arcane Endeavor, Ebony Fly, and Netherese Puzzle-Ward. the smaller the die, the more likely Wyll can skew the results in your favor. or cards like Barbarian Class and Pixie Guide, which hedge your bets further still. the amount of synergy around dice rolling here is dizzying. an often losing bet turns into a consistently good time.

this deck wins with a few massive artifacts, creatures, and spells. I gave them each their own little section!
and one enchantment!
Fiery Emancipation - a downright silly spell. triples Wyll's damage, turning him from a nuisance to a Voltron threat. drop it with Kediss, Emberclaw Familiar on the board to end the game instantly. but play it at your own risk! at the wrong moment, it can easily turn on you and draw a lot of attention from opponents.
The Deck of Many Things - bit of an odd duck, here. the fact that rolling a nat 20 only proccs its ultimate effect if your hand is empty makes it a frustrating and extremely unlikely win condition. but. but. if it happens it's so cool. basically the coolest thing that can happen in a magic game. worth including here for that reason alone! outside of that fringe case, it's a solid card draw engine, and will keep you puttering along until you draw into your bombs.
Wand of Wonder - can and absolutely will win you the game, if you're lucky enough to exile a win con. also, almost more importantly, a lot of fun. opponents will often be as curious to see what Wand of Wonder does as you are. it's unlikely to draw removal for the simple reason that it's such an exciting and bizarre card.
Wizard's Spellbook - this card is good in most decks, but it's nuts if you can skew the odds in your favor, which is what we're doing. you have a solid 80% chance of being able to play an instant or sorcery from any graveyard at instant speed for one mana at instant speed, once per turn cycle. aside from the ability to bomb opponents out with their own spells, the counterplay this affords us is bonkers. For example, if you've got Mystic Confluence in your graveyard, being able to resummon that spell and counter an opponent's win con, bounce their attackers, or draw three cards, all for one mana? that's so good. then, on the offchance you roll a nat 20 after having used this thing a few times, you'll probably just win the game. Wizard's Spellbook is awesome, and it's definitely the favorite target here for Vexing Puzzlebox and the nat 20 effect on Treasure Chest.
Ancient Copper Dragon Ancient Gold Dragon - these cards are massive threats without any help skewing the odds of the roll. with that help, they're liable to fix your mana or card draw such as to win you the game.

the danger here is that, if you play them and wait a turn to swing, there's a solid chance you'll invite removal. Barbarian Class, Swiftfoot Boots, and Delina, Wild Mage can all help, here. the tokens Delina creates let you swing with at least one dragon on the turn they're cast, whereas the other two cards offer haste. an immediate attack is harder to prepare against, so consider waiting on one of these cards if the stars align!

lastly: note the synergy between Ancient Silver Dragon, the final tier on Wizard Class, and the ultimate on The Royal Scions. potential game winners!

Delina, Wild Mage - her own, peculiar beast. remember that the attacking creature she summons was never declared an attacker, so "when X attacks" effects don't trigger. a bummer for when you'd like to abuse on-attack effects, but necessary--otherwise, Delina would go infinite with herself. that said, ETB effects do trigger, and triggered effects worded in other ways as well.

the best cards to use her with are as follows:

  • the two ancient dragons, for reasons mentioned above
  • Brazen Dwarf, Feywild Trickster - if luck's on your side, you can do a lot of damage or generate a lot of tokens with either of these two
  • Dockside Extortionist - mucho, mucho treasures
  • Farideh, the Devil's Chosen -potential to stack card draw and generate a lot of menacing flyers
  • Karlach, Fury of Avernus - hard-hitting, plus that first-strike makes Delina herself harder to kill, which means you might get to do it all again during your shiny new second combat phase
  • Kediss, Emberclaw Familiar - double, triple, even quadruple the damage Wyll does to everyone he doesn't swing at
  • Pixie Guide - a stretch to say the least, but if you can land that first 15, you get to roll four dice going for the next one, then five, then six, and so on. if you get your dice high enough, you can effectively go infinite, as the odds of you rolling X d20s without getting 15+ sink below 1% once X = 13, and they only get smaller the more successes you land. swing with an infinite army of dice-loving pixies and call it a day!
  • and lastly, most hilariously, Wyll, Blade of Frontiers - the same combo you can do with Pixie Guide works on your commander! granted, the chances of it going off are considerably lower without the pixie, so consider holding off, unless you've somehow got a free swing arranged for Dalina. worth noting: even if you only get, say, four Wylls or Pixies off, that's still a heap of dice you have at your disposal till the end of combat. a great time to tap your Wand of Wonder, Wizard's Spellbook, or The Deck of Many Things!

yeah, Delina's a blast. definitely a fun commander unto herself, but she has enough toys to play with here that she's unlikely to go to waste, and with Wyll around, she's liable to get the most out of them! I ended up including Gamble in the build to make the fun things she does a little more likely.

Expropriate, Insurrection - two of the cheesiest, most gonzo sorceries ever printed. classics of the "end the game with one card" genre. absolute board bombs par excellence. not much to say about these spells except that they're good and fun.
some little things to help this deck run more smoothly!

  • make sure to keep careful track of your dice rolls and Wyll's +1/+1 counters. 10 of the spells in this deck proc a dice roll once, 16 proc them recurringly, and 6 more have seperate effects which proc on dice rolls. and that's not even counting Wizard's Spellbook, which can turn your one-offs into recurring effects! the upshot is that you'll be rolling dice constantly, which is great, but you'll only get the full benefit if you're keeping careful track of Wyll's power, as well as side-effects like damage from Brazen Dwarf or card draw from Farideh, Devil's Chosen. pay careful attention, because a lot of small card interactions are happening in your favor here, and they add up if you make sure to account for them all!

  • if you're about to draw a massive amount of cards, but don't have an unlimited hand size yet, avoid playing a land in case you draw into Reliquary Tower and, if possible, keep a bit of mana open for Wizard Class or Thought Vessel. why throw away cards you could've kept with a little bit of foresight?

  • plan your turns carefully. unless you need a dice-roll effect to happen this instant, taking the time to get pieces like Barbarian Class and Netherese Puzzle-Ward online can win you the game; conversely, casting dice roll spells willy-nilly, without considering how to get the most of them, can lose you the game. for example, you'll wanna get Feywild Trickster and Brazen Dwarf out before Chaos Dragon, since otherwise you're wasting a chance to ping the whole table and generate yourself a chump blocker. this is a durdle build, but it's a pretty subtle one, so it's worth playtesting before trying it out in a real game, just to get a sense of its peculiar rhythm. having tested it a couple dozen times I can attest that it feels weird. a little practice helps!

  • sometimes a bad roll is a good roll. unintuitive, but if you whiff a roll with Cone of Cold early in the game, opponents might not take the Wand of Wonder you play later so seriously. in casual play, perception wins games; I've seen middling builds come out on top because people underestimate them. this deck can definitely lean into that!

  • get yourself a few sets of dice you like! you'll need them!

Sword of Hours is really cool and good, and synergizes so well with Wyll, I couldn't resist running it. that said, I'd be cautious about playing it too early.

if it's in your opening hand, you can easily have Wyll equipped with it and swinging unblockably by turn 4. he'll only do 2 damage on that swing, so you'll almost certainly double the counters on him after that dice roll. which means Wyll will be a 5/5 by the end of turn four. similarly, he'll swing for 6 damage, and you'll probably roll above a 7 with two d12--75% of the time, in fact. Wyll is now a 13/13 unblockable Übermensch, your friends are mad at you, and you just put a massive target on your head.

just something to be careful of, here: Sword of Hours is too good, too fast. it can easily ruin your game by angering the table by turn 6. remember to metagame--that all EDH decks are control decks, in that we all have to control how our opponents perceive us!

I resisted running Gamble because it's quickly become my favorite Magic card, and I try not to have too many of those. but its flavor in a dice-roll deck is too on the nose. I couldn't resist!

as always, a great card. it does well here on a few fronts. first: use it to set up the Pixie Guide and/or Wyll, Blade of Frontiers + Delina, Wild Mage maybe-infinite combo. second, it's wonderful insurance for those times you're drawing hella cards and don't yet have infinite hand size established. it can help make that happen, and the fact that you're drawing so many cards minimizes the chance of accidentally throwing the necessary card away.

lastly... I dunno, it's just about the most fun and versatile card ever printed? whenever you're in a situation where a card comes to mind--"gee, there are a lot of artifacts on the board and I really need mana. too bad I don't have Dockside Extortionist in hand," or, "it's getting to the endgame! where's my Expropriate??"--Gamble can get it done! at the risk that you might throw it away and cost yourself the game. it's really such a wonderful piece, and I find it impossible not to include.

Sword of Dungeons & Dragons - the one straight up illegal card in this deck! also a lot of fun, and solid but by no means game breaking. in a thoroughly non-competitive deck like this one, I don't feel bad running it.

compare it to the other "Sword of X and Y" cards. protection against rogues and clerics is nowhere near as good as protection from any given two colors. the +2/+2 effect is rate, and so is the dice roll effect. with Wyll, that dice-roll effect becomes a good bit more convincing. but even if you land a 20, it's not quite as good as Sword of Feast and Famine. in all, I have no qualms running it. it's not bad, it's not good. it's solid and flavorful and funny.

compare, lastly, to Steel Squirrel. that card would be downright scary in a Wyll deck. this card, by contrast, isn't. it's just good enough, and it's a lot of fun. unless your group has a hard ban on silver-bordered cards, consider including it!

some more tutors wouldn't be amiss. Mystical Tutor and Personal Tutor would do well here.

aside from that, at the risk of pushing the deck into Voltron territory, equipment cards which proctect Wyll, like Commander's Plate, Champion's Helm, and Hammer of Nazahn, would probably make this deck a little more failsafe. and again, there are a lot of lower power cards we could remove to make room for them.

I haven't made these changes, not because I can't, but because I don't want to. I've worked to make this deck flavorful and silly, only cutting dice rolling cards when they're just plain bad, like Spiked Pit Trap and Arcane Investigator. if they're even okay, I've included them, because the flavor and theme here is more important than the deck's performance.

this is a durdle deck, and I'd like to keep it that way. all that said, if someone has fun and flavorful improvements they'd be interested in seeing implemented, please let me know!

so that's it! a Wyll deck. it's fun. it's silly. and it might just win a game or two! suggestions welcome, give it a +1 if you like it!

(background: the Platonic Solids, the shapes dnd dice are based on!)

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44% Casual

56% Competitive

Top Ranked
  • Achieved #19 position overall today
  • Achieved #16 position in Commander / EDH today
Date added 6 days
Last updated 1 hour
Legality

This deck is not Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

9 - 0 Mythic Rares

37 - 0 Rares

25 - 0 Uncommons

9 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.16
Tokens 4/4 O Token Creature Dragon, Copy Clone, Faerie Dragon 1/1 U, Spirit 1/1 C, Treasure
Folders Uncategorized, Commander
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