Attempting to make the perfect Minotaur Commander.
Posted on Oct. 3, 2021, 1:14 a.m. by TypicalTimmy
Minotaur are a very tricky tribe to play with. They have a good amount of Lords. For just having merely 95 creatures to their tribe in total, they have six Lords. They are:
- Anaba Spirit Crafter
- Felhide Petrifier
- Kragma Warcaller
- Neheb, the Worthy
- Rageblood Shaman
- Sethron, Hurloon General
Now, while this may pale in comparison to the total number of Lords for, say, Vampires or Zombies, you need to consider the population density. Roughly 15.83% of the Minotaur base is tribal, which is quite powerful. Meanwhile, Zombies appear to have 16 true Lords, with 17 being if you include The Scarab God. Those being:
- Bladestitched Skaab
- Cemetery Reaper
- Death Baron
- Diregraf Captain
- Dreadhorde Twins
- Eternal Skylord
- Gleaming Overseer
- Hordewing Skaab
- Lord of the Accursed
- Lord of the Undead
- Narfi, Betrayer King
- Risen Executioner
- Tomb Tyrant
- Undead Warchief
- Vizier of the Scorpion
- Zombie Master
16 Zombies in total that act as true Lords (Being defined as a continual boon to all creatures of that type, not an activated ability for just one of them) out of 522 is only a population density of 0.03%.
So the question is, how do we maximize the potential for Minotaur, despite the lower physical number of Lords - even though they contain more percentage-wise?
Simple: We need to be able to create tokens, tutor or have graveyard effects. This makes Sethron, Hurloon General actually a very well-designed Commander, in terms of tribal support. He can be activated multiple times per turn, has a flexible activation cost, and gives you a token with each successful ETB. But the issue is that he doesn't get you the Lords in play, nor does he assist you once they are removed.
So, we need something that does that as well.
Mortha, Ancestral Shaman
Legendary Creature - Minotaur Shaman
Minotaur you control have haste.
You may cast Minotaur creature spells from your graveyard by paying life equal to their mana value in addition to paying their other costs.
, discard a card: Create a 2/3 red Minotaur Spirit creature token. If that card was a land, create two 2/3 red Minotaur Spirit creature tokens instead.
Exile four cards from your graveyard: Search your library for a Minotaur card and reveal it and put it into your hand. Shuffle your library.
Being a Haste Lord means your Minotaur are always ready to charge in for their attacks. Giving a means to cast from your graveyard is extremely important as you will want to ensure replayability. The token option means you will always have a base ready to fight with, and having the discard payment means you can pitch a Rageblood Shaman to make a 2/3, then pay + 3 life to get the Rageblood Shaman right back and swing with the 2/3, who is now a 3/4 with trample that very same turn. Alternatively, because Rakdos has limited ramp, you are rewarded with an extra 2/3 token if you pitch a land - which objectively sets you back in the game. Finally, you have a means to merely get the Minotaur you are looking for, by paying a very hefty price - exiling four cards from your library. However, her discard cost means you should always have the ability to do this. With instant / sorcery removal as well as combat trick spells, you should always have a full yard, ripe for exploitation.
When her engine is rolling and online, you can do the following:
- Exile 4 cards to tutor a Cow
- Pitch the Cow for to get a 2/3 token with Haste
- Cast the Cow for it's casting cost + life
Each ability feeds into the next ability, and they can be used multiple times per turn. You could actually exile 16 cards and tutor out 4 Lords if you really want to and have the ability to. Then on your end step dump your mana and discard since you're probably above 7. Now you have a bunch of 2/3 tokens. Next turn, bring the lords into play and swing.
It's not a very competitive deck, but Minotaur aren't a very competitive tribe. But what it does do is apply and maintain the pressure at all times, which is something that is important - especially in Rakdos.
This is great commander but I'm not sold it's ability to recur minotaurs just doesn't feel on theme for minotaurs. But your right minotuars are not a competitive tribe and I don't think they need to be, even if you go Jund or Mardu they're still not that competitive (Though green being green Jund is defiantly the most viable for competitive though I personally like going Mardu more).
That being said I feel that minotaurs in general are missing some major things and that a commander helping some of these would be good (For Rakdos colors).
Access to Trample, Haste and Menace: This is the most minor thing, but these are the 3 keywords that I think of when someone says Minotaurs, and come on these are huge beefcakes in the most literal sense. They should be able to stomp over most creature, I can't image a 1/1 bag of bones or hell a fully armored knight being able to stop a charging minotaur (at least not without a big ass shield and are a beefcake in their own right), and seeing a minotaur charging at is terrifying which is why Menace would work so well flavor wise, though I suppose Fear or Intimidate would work as well basically being the same thing as menace, in that it conveys the fear of seeing a wall of beef coming at you but since those two are mainly black keywords, and IK they mainly in color and that there a good chuck of mono black ones, but I get the feeling that black is the secondary color while red is the main, so menace is the more on color pie theme one and flavor theme.
Mana ramp: I now Rakdos isn't exactly a ramp color minus ritual effects but since there are few 3 drop minotuars no 1-2 drops with most being 4-7 (with 4-5 being the most common) drops you need more ramp, Neheb, the Eternal and Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion help in that regard but I think a few more can't go wrong. Maybe less focus on combat ramp, and more sacrificial ramp? IDK but we need a few more, though I don't feel like it should pure ramp (No just tap and get mana)
More tokens or better Creature: This goes with needing much explanation but with such a limited number of decent minotaurs either make new ones that are ok or better (70% are not good are only being used because the limited selection) or have more cards that make tokens, as of right now the two minotaur token makers are Sethron, Hurloon General and Flurry of Horns and Flurry is bad, yes it makes 2 tokens with haste and they are beefier tokens compared to most, but 5 mana for it is too much when I rather spend that mana on a minotaur that cost the same but is bigger and has more board presence.
Double Down on their tribe theme: For a while Minotaurs just kinda meandered around than the OG Theros came out and made them a highly aggressive mid-range tribe (they are some the most aggressive mid range decks I've seen.) and than Amonkhet continued this trend. Than Theros Beyond Death came other and split it into a sacrifice theme which I think fit the theros minotaurs because well even form older flavor texts they seen as more savage. But it split the tight focus and identity that the minotaurs had going but that is not a bad thing but we could meld them together to keep it more focused and tighter. Instead of out right sacrifice (though having some shamans in particular doing that is fine as TBD has established them) have instead deal with creatures dying in combat (so just dying in general, it's similar to sacrifice but not quiet the same) this would help it's already establish mid-range aggressive identity.
More Support: IK many tribes are lacking this (looking at you Phoenixes/Devils/Drakes/Weirds) but it doesn't stop this from being any less true. It has an ok creature base but they lack enchantments, instants sorceries and artifacts that are tailored to them. IK they are some like Didgeridoo but they are few and they need more.
Sorry about this rant i guess you could call it? But if you think of a commander that could deal with some of these than that would be awesome but again I DON'T THINK THIS IS A BAD COMMANDER!!!! And it certainly helps them.
October 3, 2021 11:14 a.m. Edited.
TypicalTimmy you seem to have made the mistake that so many of us do when designing; you put too many effects on one card.
Mortha could easily just have the discard and reanimate abilities (my picks), but adding TWO MORE to her is simply overkill.
October 3, 2021 8:26 p.m.
There's no way you could fit all that text on a card lol. Try messing with mtgcardsmith to give yourself an idea of what will physically fit.
I'm with previous posters that casting minotaurs from your graveyard feels very off for the tribe specifically even if it feels Rakdos.
October 4, 2021 5:47 p.m.
I think it's a bit counterproductive that you say to maximize utilization of tribal synergies you list you need either A, B, or C and then decide to put all three on a card. There's rationale and creativity in restraint.
I think Minotaurs as a tribe has a fundamental issue in being too new (too few cards) at the moment. Just stacking one card, especially a Commander, is unlikely the way to go. It would be more beneficial to the tribe to expand on their grand selection rather than a single card.