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Snakes need wheels, they don’t have feet *Primer*

Commander / EDH Aggro Combo Primer RUG (Temur) Stompy Storm


Welcome to Xyris, the writhing storm.

Much like his name suggest, this deck will produce snakes in a storm-like manner. And when it’s raining snakes you better got some good windscreen-vipers (pun intended).

Xyris is an awesome and fun commander and seems to get a lot less attention than other C20 commanders, maybe my primer can help to show his potential and get people into it.

As all my other deck, this is my paper deck too.

I hope you enjoy it!!

The deck aims for storming off the turn after Xyris hits the field and in rare cases the turn it hits the field. After some refining and tweaking the deck performs nice and consistent and really is explosive like hell. Protecting Xyris is key for the win but that’s not too easy here. Counterspells don’t work too well for that since you can’t keep them in your hand until you need them. The constant wheeling prevents you from saving one up. Permanent based protection works pretty well here but I need to add some more in the future like Spellskite which I can cast already before Xyris hits the field.

You will enjoy this deck if:

  • You like explosive turns

  • You like chaining together almost storm-like turns

  • You like strong synergies

  • Messing with your opponents long term plans is your thing

  • You like cycling through your deck really fast

  • You like the ramdomness of wheel effects

  • You like a deck that gets stronger the more opponents you got

  • You enjoy to make like 50 tokens and 100 mana per turn and opponent

Maybe you should play something else if:

  • You like to keep your turns simple

  • The randomness of wheels is not your thing

  • You want a deck thas doesn't get a lot of attention from your opponents

  • Temur isn't your color-combination

The deck plays pretty straight forward. Early game you start to ramp an bit, play some stuff from your hand as usual and try to get your commander out early. There should be enough fast mana and ramp to play Xyris turn 3 pretty consistently, turn 2 if you’re lucky.

Once your commander is on the battlefield its time to start the fun. Play some wheels, force everyone to get a new hand while producing a ton of tokens. Usually you draw into another wheel and can do that again. The fast mana rocks you draw into help you to keep the chain going.

Cards like Earthcraft, Xenagos, the Reveler, Gaea's Cradle, Battle Hymn or Phyrexian Altar turn the snakes you get from your wheels into more mana to play even more wheels. This produces absurd amounts of tokens and mana and you scroll through your deck really fast to find a wincondition.

After your engine is running, you dig through your deck really fast while producing more tokens and mana. From this point you got several ways to win and close the game:

For your starting hand you want like 2-3 lands, a wheel and some form of ramp. With just that you will have a great start. In addition to that you’re looking for Earthcraft or Phyrexian Altar or ways to tutor them. Some form of protection also doesn’t hurt, preferably stuff like Steely Resolve or Spellskite. You can play those already before Xyris hits the field.

Once you start wheeling you have to think about what to play. If you got a draw 7 wheel in your hand or anything like Windfall that doesn’t care about your handsize, feel free to play whatever you want before playing the next wheel as long as it helps your gameplan, but never play any stuff you don’t need just because you can. If you got a wheel that draws as much cards as you wheeled away, hold back on casting. Cast only stuff you really need, maybe refill your hand with Xyris atacking or by clamping some tokens before you wheel. You want to draw enough to draw into the next wheel.

If you got one of your extra land drop cards like exploration, hold back on that extra drop until you can’t continue without it. You draw a ton of cards and it’s likely that you see a Gaea's Cradle sooner or later and you really want to have a land drop up for that. Beside cradle you got quite a few cards that produce as much mana as you got creatures. They all immediately produce more mana than they cost if you wheel into them, this helps you to continue your storm-like play. From this position you’re now looking for a wincon to finish the game.

Most cards are in for pretty obvious reasons. I’ll list some here that may be not so obvious, if there are more cards you wonder about just let me know and I’ll add them.

  • Drift of Phantasms: It can grab you wheels or even more important Phyrexian Altar. Altar is a key piece for storming off since it provides you with the needed mana to do so.

  • Chord of Calling: It can fetch you Purphoros, God of the Forge or Whirlpool Warrior on the field. With Trophy Mage it can even tutor Phyrexian Altar to your hand. So either a wincon, another wheel or a combo piece. So far pretty simple. However some people seem to overlook that you can tap your snakes even for the green mana in its cost. You can grab any creature you want without spending mana just by tapping a few snakes as you cast it, making it basically a free tutor on the field.

  • Chromatic Lantern and Dryad of the Ilysian Grove: Both are there mainly for Earthcraft which is another strong combo piece. They allow earthcraft to produce mana in any color with just 1 basic on the field, so you don’t need 1 basic of each color anymore.

  • Steely Resolve: Its a good piece of protection. I just wanted to point out to name „Leviathan“ as the creature type. This way you can still use Skullclamp on your snake token and your commander is still safe.

  • Minds Aglow: This card is pretty underrated in my opinion. You spend 1 mana to cast it and only invest mana to make everyone draw if it resolves. At this point it’s too late to counter it or to respond to it until it has finished resolving. So in case of a counterspell you lose only 1 mana. If it resolves you can spend as much mana as you want. In a 4 player game you make a lot of tokens and with cards like Earthcraft, Phyrexian Altar, Xenagos, the Reveler, Gaea's Cradle etc you get 3 times as much mana back as you invested. In the worst case you lose 1 mana, in normal cases you produce a ton of mana while also making an army of tokens, drawing a ton of cards and likely drawing into a wincon like Goblin Bombardment. Sounds pretty awesome to me!

  • Rhystic Study and Mystic Remora: First blue deck i have that doesn't like these cards. The card draw is really not needed and i did cut them for more ways to keep the wheel-chain going like Battle Hymn and such.

  • Mana Echoes: Colorless mana doesn’t do too much in this deck and we already got enough ways to generate crazy amounts of colored mana.

  • Library of Leng: With only 4 wheels that actually discard your hand, this card is too situational and a dead card most of the time

  • Wheel of Misfortune: The problem here is that opponents can and will chose 0 and don’t draw any cards. While drawing a new hand for you for 3 mana and 1 life isn’t a bad thing, it’s still worse than basically any other wheel. Other wheels give you a new hand, 21 tokens and make you 15-39 mana in the progress.

Thx for reading so far, i hope you like the deck. Let me know if you need some more information about specific card choices or something else. Feedback, Card suggestions, Comments and Upvotes are appreciated.


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