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Why Are Uncommon Commanders So Good for Voltron??

Commander / EDH Budget Enchantment Primer Protection Voltron WB (Orzhov)


Yargle, Glutton of Urborg , Valduk, Keeper of the Flame , Grunn, the Lonely King , Danitha Capashen, Paragon , Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist and Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh - what do they all have in common? They're legendary creatures at uncommon that are fantastic for voltron style commander decks. The goal of a voltron deck is to suit up your commander with a ton of upgrades, and then attempt to do 21 commander damage to each of your opponents. And now, a new legendary creature steps in to carry the torch for surprisingly powerful Voltron Uncommon Legendaries. Introducing,

Killian, Ink Duelist applause here

Now Killian is special. Not only is he significantly cheaper than a few of the legendaries listed above, but he also has not one, but 2 relevant keywords and ramps you in two significant ways. Not only does he make auras that suit himself cheaper, he also makes removal cheaper as well. And when I say cheaper, I do mean cheaper - 2 mana is quite a significant mana reduction. Lastly, remember that Killian is ONLY 2 MANA. THE VALUE, AAAAAHHH.

Ok so now that you're rip-roaring and ready to go for this, in my opinion, insanely powerful commander, we can get to the deck breakdown. Before we do though, I want to talk about this deck's budget. I am building this deck somewhere in the $25-$35 range, and that's because I think building budget is a lot more fun. It not only gives creative restrictions, but it also makes a deck so much more satisfying when it works really well on a budget, and it allows anyone to play it. I think budget is completely viable at most commander playgroups (save the most competitive ones), and you can always upgrade the deck later if you like it or come into more money.

Alright, onto the deck breakdown!

Breakdown by Category:

This deck runs a fairly standard ramp package, and it's not even half-bad on a budget thanks to recent reprints. The ramp package isn't huge, and that's mainly because we don't need a ton of mana for this deck. Killian provides a pretty huge cost reduction and makes even our most expensive spells around 3 mana. This means ramp is still necessary, but not a huge amount of it. Danitha Capashen, Paragon is run because she's a good alternative to suit up if something happens to Killian , and she reduces Auras and equipments. I chose not to run cards like Transcendent Envoy or Starfield Mystic because they're not effective enough to warrant being included over other pump or protection spells. Danitha Capashen, Paragon , however, is more versatile so she is included.

Category Standouts: Sol Ring , Orzhov Signet , and Danitha Capashen, Paragon - 2 fantastic ramp spells and a cost reducer/alternative voltron.

Here, we get to one of the three pillars that make this deck function - Pump, Protection, and Removal. Pump is anything that makes our commander bigger, stronger, and harder to block. While I have included a "WinCons" section, that's just because Silent Arbiter doesn't go anywhere else. This section is really what will help us win because at the end of the day, this deck needs 21 commander damage to the face. This is how we do it.

Category Standouts: Sage's Reverie , Ethereal Armor , All That Glitters , Spirit Mantle - any effect that stacks with how many auras we have or how many auras are attached to Killian is nuts, and these 3 just happen to be the best (Sage's Reverie draws so many cards that for 2 mana it's disgusting). Spirit Mantle is included because protection from creatures makes Killian unblockable, which is the road to a pretty fast win. It's not the only one of those effects but it's probably the best.

So obviously Killian is important to our game plan, and that means we want to protect him at all costs. Sometimes that means an instant speed save like Dark Dabbling or Karametra's Blessing , but more often than not it means more permanent protection in the form of auras. We're choosing auras over equipment for protection and pump because while they are riskier (auras die when the creature dies), they also target creatures upon entering. Equipment don't, which means only auras get the cost reduction Killian offers. While auras are risker, if we stack up enough indestructible/protection/hexproof/regeneration auras, it's almost impossible that our commander will die, taking all his auras with him.

Category Standouts: Swiftfoot Boots , Indestructibility / Gift of Doom , Blessing of Leeches , Spectra Ward - Boots is obviously a staple in the archetype, and GoD and Indestructibility give our commander the big daddy of keywords. Blessing of Leeches is 1 mana with Killian for INSTANT SPEED REGENERATION WHENEVER WE WANT. FOR 1 LIFE. ON ONLY OUR UPKEEP. This card is so insanely underrated in commander, and it fits perfectly in this deck. Lastly, Spectra Ward is a nice way to finish off our pump package once Killian reaches at least 11 power (2 hit kill) or 21 power (1 hit kill) - we can't target him anymore once we put this on, but neither can anyone else and he can't be blocked by colored creatures so it's pretty much a guaranteed win if we can knock out our opponents before they knock out us.

The last of the three pillars, this decks runs a LOT of removal because it, like our protection and pump spells, is made cheaper by Killian . We're running a few spells like Yawgmoth's Vile Offering , Eat to Extinction , and Faith Unbroken that typically aren't played because they're not super efficient for their mana cost. However, with a 2 cost reduction, they become a lot stronger (I especially like Faith Unbroken , it pumps Killian and it synergizes with effects like All That Glitters ). These cards are also great because they're budget, as they're not played in many other EDH decks due to their cost.

Category Standouts: Darksteel Mutation , Price of Fame , Feed the Swarm , Faith Unbroken - Darksteel Mutation is obviously a format staple because of its usefulness in taking out enemy commanders. Price of Fame fills a similar role and is, I think, a criminally underrated card, especially in graveyard-based decks. Surveil 2 is a really nice bonus, and in this deck it's 1 mana to take out a commander and 2 mana to take out any other creature (that value tho). Feed the Swarm is a really nice card that I'm happy black got because it desperately needed it, and Faith Unbroken allows us to remove a threat and pump our commander, all for 2 mana. Overall, the removal package gets so much stronger with the cost reduction from Killian .

The card draw/card advantage package for this deck is a little lackluster, but that's the price that we pay for budget decks. It's definitely not bad, but fair warning that nothing flashy like Necropotence is going to be appearing here. While there are a few repeatable sources of card advantage, most of these are one-time lump card draw spells. Spectral Steel is interesting to note - it doesn't draw cards, but if it ends up in the graveyard it can buy something else back, which I really like. Dregs of Sorrow is also a notable inclusion. I ordinarily wouldn't even think about running this card, because 5 mana is such a steep starting cost to do... nothing. No amount of mana after that makes this card worth it. However, with a 3 mana starting cost it becomes a lot more appealing and can remove a few threats and draw a few cards for 5-6 mana, which I think is fairly strong.

Category Standouts: Sram, Senior Edificer , Mesa Enchantress , Sage's Reverie - the first 2 are obvious, considering they're the only repeatable sources of card advantage and that's usually better than one-time large numbers of cards. Sage's Reverie is both a really strong pump for Killian , and also can draw a huge amount of cards. Sometimes one-time is good enough, when the number of cards is huge.

To join our large removal package, we have a rather large board wipe package. We want board wipes because the less creatures are opponents have, the less they can block our commander and the less damage they can do to us on the back swing. However, we also don't want cards that would destroy our commander since, well, we need him. Luckily, there are a nice niche section of board wipes that allow Killian to stick around while the rest of the board gets wiped. Single Combat is nice because not only does it only leave 1 creature out ( Killian has menace so that's a guaranteed swing if an opponent only has 1 creature), but it also prevents our opponents from deploying blockers, at least for a turn. Slash the Ranks is an interesting one I hadn't seen before, and even though it's probably the weakest board wipe on display here, it's still a nice budget board wipe and feels about right at 5 mana.

Category Standouts: Divine Reckoning and Winds of Rath - these 2 are obviously the best of the bunch. Divine Reckoning has a 4 mana cost so it's initially the cheapest out of the group, and it has flashback so later game when we have the mana to spare, we can pop it again. It does give our opponents a bit of flexibility but that's worth it for the other strengths that it brings to the table. Winds of Rath is even better, as its almost guaranteed to knock out everything except Killian , leaving us free and clear for a potentially game-ending swing.

There are only a few tutors in this deck, and they're mainly used to grab our best auras like Indestructibility , Sage's Reverie , Spectra Ward , etc. Open the Armory can also grab Swiftfoot Boots or Loxodon Warhammer , which is nice. I'm not running Diabolic Tutor just because the double black is a pretty steep cost for an effect we don't really need. Totem-Guide Hartebeest , it's important to note, is really expensive and I may cut at a later time if I decide it's not really pulling its weight. That being said, Killian 's cost reduction makes whatever aura we grab cheaper, so it's not all bad.

Category Standouts: Open the Armory - 2 mana to grab a 1 to 2 mana spell that can shift the game completely in our favor? Yes please!

So this is a weird section - technically, the Pump category is really the way to win because our main win condition is 21 commander damage from Killian . However, this is an interesting card because it prevents our opponents from swinging at us too aggressively, and because Killian has menace, it effectively makes him unblockable. Combine that with Killian 's lifelink and we effectively have a soft-lock that wins us the game if our opponents can't respond to either Killian or Silent Arbiter . It's not an auto-win but it's a neat card I wanted to include, and I don't think it fits anywhere else. Alpha Authority is the card I really wanted to include because combined with Killian 's menace, it would be arguably the best card in this deck. Alas, color identity.
This is a pretty simple, budget mana base. Because of recent reprints a lot of nicer lands are able to be used in budget builds now, which I'm really excited about! Caves of Koilos , Temple of Silence , and Command Tower are 3 lands that I would never have considered adding to a budget deck a year or two ago, so that's awesome. As for utility lands, however, we are running none. I might recommend Hall of Heliod's Generosity as a nice utility land upgrade but it's definitely not necessary, and it's the only utility land I would consider upgrading with later.

Before You Go!!

Before you depart, might I recommend that you check out some of my other decks on TappedOut?

Oooo, a Chainer That Doesn't Need Oracle Text

This is a fun alternative to classic blue control in EDH - you can still control the board and make all your friends hate you with a unique red-black discard deck!

Chase that Roil Baby

A hybrid of classic big spells decks like Jodah, Archmage Eternal and wizards tribal, using what I think is a pretty underrated and unique commander.

Thank you for checking this deck out :D


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90% Casual


Date added 1 month
Last updated 1 month

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

21 - 0 Rares

27 - 0 Uncommons

20 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.92
Tokens 2/2 C Creature Morph, 1/1 W Token Creature Human Soldier, 1/1 C Token Creature Shapeshifter
Folders Uncategorized
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