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Budget Commander #56: Building Hans Eriksson in EDH


Hello folks! I hope that you are having a lovely day today!

Today I want to continue last week's combination of two series I've been working on. This is my 10th Commander deck in a row using a leader from Commander Legends. This is also the 56th iteration of my Budget Commander series that takes a hard look at the price of a deck, and each deck must come under the price of the previous one, which was just $32.33 and we'll have to be below that.

Calculating a budget can make these take twice as long to write as normal article, so I've taken some time off to hack it out, but I have that time over break so I've knocked out a couple in a row here to get caught up and punching again.

These are my previous decks in the Commander Legends series.

  1. A few weeks ago, I built a fun Jund midrange deck around Yurlok of Scorch Thrash that plays a little pillow forty, a little nice to everyone, with some fun dragon win cons. Check it out here.
  2. Then I built an enchantment-based Mardu deck around Ghen, Arcanum Weaver that combines the enchantment loving of White with the graveyard filling of Black. You can find it here.
  3. The following week I built a deck around Blim, Comedic Genius that gave away things like Rogue Skycaptain, Rainbow Vale, Sleeper Agent, and other Rakdos cards to help give away so you can ratchet up that life loss and card discard. You can grab it here.
  4. The next week built a deck around Amareth, the Lustrous. This awesome dragon wants you to build around one permanent type. Which did I choose? Probably the hardest: planeswalkers! Want to check out this Bant Buddies Build? It's here.
  5. Then I turned to Tuya Bearclaw and I built a nasty power matters decks in Gruul around Phyrexian Dreadnought and Illusionary Mask. It's pretty powerful. Wanna check it out? You can find it here!
  6. After I build the nasty Vintage combo around Tuya Bearclaw, I turned to the infamous Lich and his Disk, Nevinyrral, Urborg Tyrant. I built this control Zombie deck that wants to sweep the board over and over again, save for your stuff, and then win the game. You can check it out here.
  7. Then I turned to Golgari and Belbe, Corrupted Observer. I created a life-draining deck that has some synergies with the Group Slug archetype in Rakdos in order to trigger Ms. Belbe many times for that sweet mana. You can find it here.
  8. After Golgari's Belbe, I moved to Simic and Gor Muldrak, Amphinologist. I am running a number of ways of turning my foes' stuff into Salamanders so you can be protected, such as Imagecrafter and Unnatural Selection. Want to see it? It's here!
  9. Then I turned to Budget Commander and built a mono-blue scry and flying matters deck around the partners Eligeth, Crossroads Augur and Siani, Eye of the Storm. It was fun! You can find it here!

There you are!

At the end of this article, you can find an Appendix of every Budget Commander deck I've done! It's a whole lot of fun!

Now... which card from Commander Legends inspired me?

Hans Eriksson

It's this fun boy! Good ol' Hans Eriksson! He does a few things weirdly. He's 4 mana for a 1/4 in Gruul, which is a rare body size in that combination. Then he has a swing trigger which will possibly put the top card of your library onto the battlefield tapped and attacking if it's a dork and then it fights Hans. Note that the dork stays around this isn't just a one-of and then it dies or gets self-bounced. Hans is also good because he's cheap, just $0.49 near mint for the cheapest version.

Now, what do I need for this guy to really work well?

  1. Creatures. Hans Eriksson's trigger will only net you a card if it was a creature at the top of your library. You won't draw it if you missed. The best way to ensure that happens? We need to have a big density of creatures. Expect this deck to overload them.
  2. Haste. We need to attack to get our trigger. The best way to make that happen is to run things that will give our leader haste. Some are too pricey, like Lightning Greaves, but we'll find enough cheaper options to make it work.
  3. 3 power or Less. Note that Hans has a big but. We need to make sure that most of our dorks won't kill Hans on arrival to the battlefield. We want smaller dorks in size that will keep Hans trucking. Also, no deathtouch so no Acidic Slime or similar card should be in the deck.
  4. 2 toughness or More. We cannot be dropping dorks that Hans will kill on arrival, as that will be a problem as they'll die to removal. I might be okay with it with a key ETB trigger like Elvish Visionary.
  5. Unblockable. If we attack with Hans, and then the fight trigger happens, it'll be easy for our foes to block and kill Hans. We need ways to ensure that our leader can slip through defenses easily enough to avoid other issues.
  6. Top of the Library Manipulation. Since Hans Eriksson's trigger looks at the top card of your library, running ways to manipulate the top card are ideal. The problem? Most of the obvious ones like Sylvan Library, Mirri's Guile, Scroll Rack and Sensei's Divining Top are beyond the budget of this series. The best I can do on this budget? Scry!
  7. Indestructible. One of the best ways to make this work is to give Hans indestructible with cards like Darksteel Plate and Shield of Kaldra as well as That Which Was Taken. These are way too pricey for this build, but I am on notice looking for other effects that might do the same cheaply in Gruul. Note that many clever things, like Stonehoof Chieftain, are also too pricey.
  8. Double Attacks. We are in the color of Relentless Assault in Red. We can get multiple attack triggers in a turn with them. That's not a bad place to lean!
  9. Enrage. Since the creature arriving to the battlefield is being dealt damage by Hans, you'll want to net sweet triggers from those Dinosaur triggers.

Now...what was the first card that popped into my head when I saw I was building a budget brew around Hans?

Hunting Moa

It's this bad boy! Look at how awesome the Hunting Moa is! It meets all your qualifications. On arrival it'll just deal 3 damage to Hans, and you can give a +1/+1 counter and it won't die. When it does, you can toss another counter on your leader or elsewhere as you need, and giving Hans +2/+2 permanently can help keep him alive...

How could I not run Lhurgoyf here? It's a bulk rare, and it's the card that mentions him from way back I Ice Age. It's not on theme per se, mechanically. But it's a flavor hit, right? Right!

Needletooth Raptor
Ranging Raptors

Look at these bad boys with the enrage fun times. Needletooth Raptor will shoot something for five damage when it arrives via a Hans trigger. That's better than Flametongue Kavu's four damage. It's just a 2/2 so it won't die or slay either, giving you a powerful trigger. It'll trade with dorks when it swings or blocks that have up to 7 toughness which is pretty good as a force in combat. Ranging Raptors will also give you a cool enrage trigger and not bother with killing Hans or dying with that 2/3 body. It'll ramp a land when it's enraged, and you get that from the Hans trigger as well as combat damage. It's a great chump blocker, as it works like Sakura-Tribe Elder which blocks and then sacs for the land. However, this can trade with dorks as it deals combat naturally.

Anara, Wolvid Familiar

I could only find one way to give Hans indestructible on a budget, this cheap uncommon from Commander Legends will give your leaders indestructible on your turn, which is when Hans triggers so it fits here! Note that it'll normally kill Hans with its size, but Hans will get that indestructible and won't die to it. Good stuff, right? Right!

Since I couldn't spring for indestructible effects, I went with regenerating ones that were repeatable. The bulk common Regeneration can be used to enchant Hans and then you can spend a mana to save him when his trigger would otherwise kill him. And then you can equip Hans with the Ring of Xathrid. You can spend 2 to regenerate him when the same thing would happen. Plus, the Ring will survive multiple deaths of your leader and is the better card over time.

You won't have to worry about regeneration or indestructible effects if Hans is wearing Slagwurm Armor. He'll be a 1/10. He'll survive anything this deck can throw at him. This common is pretty cheap despite not being reprinted because EDH doesn't really care much about toughness outside of toughness matters builds around guys like Doran, the Siege Tower. But here it does yeoman's work.

Kodama of the East Tree

Do I want to spend roughly 10% of my budget on this one lone guy? I do! The synergy is strong with this bad boy. Sure, he'll kill Hans on arrival, but he'll also double your creature trigger as you get the free dork from Hans and a free permanent from your hand. The power here is nasty strong. I only have 3 instants/sorceries in this deck as everything else are dorks, enchantments, planeswalkers, lands or artifacts. That gives you a big chance of getting a cheap enough card to have something to drop when Kodama of the East Tree triggers off Hans. Or you can just cast a permanent the old-fashioned way and then get another one for free.

Joraga Visionary
Generous Stray

We need all of that card flow so I tossed in every budget friendly creature that draws a card on arrival. Hans's free trigger getting a free Generous Stray that gets you a free card is pretty cool. We have cards like Joraga Visionary that won't die, won't kill Hans, and provides a solid body for the battlefield. The card flow is strong with this creature heavy deck.

We need to manipulate the top of that deck as much as possible. Enter Crystal Ball as a budget-friendly way to do just that. Tap, scry 2, and make sure that a dork is on top, then swing with Hans and net your dork. I also ran this in last week's BC brew where it drew you two cards with Eligeth, Crossroads Augur on the battlefield, but here it does different work. Llanowar Empath is a solid addition to the deck as it'll net you a scry and then a free draw as well under the right conditions. If you have two dorks on top of your library (not that impossible with 48 in the build), you can draw one and Hans the other. Good stuff!

Samut, Tyrant Smasher
Domri, City Smasher

You can Smash both cities and tyrants with this duo! Domri is a buck and Samut is a quarter! Samut, Tyrant Smasher is great here as a cheap way to give the team haste, which it needs badly for Hans' trigger. You can -1 Hans and give him a bigger butt and haste (in case Samut dies) and you get scry to maybe put a dork on top of that library which makes Samut a great card for this build. I'm surprised that it's not on the EDHREC.com page for him given how hugely synergic it is. And cheap! Meanwhile Domri, City Smasher is from a Planeswalker Deck which is why you may not have seen it before. As you can see, that +2 will invest your team with a double bonus to power and toughness and haste for the turn. It can also Lightning Bolt a planeswalker or creature to answer it, although it's here's for the +2 more than anything else.

Footfall Crater

Look at this cheap uncommon that was just printed earlier in 2020. It's a cheap one-mana enchant land that can tap the land to make a key dork hasted and trampling for a turn. That's great for Hans. Don't need it? Feel free to cycle it for a single mana and draw something else. I also love this coming off a Kodama of the East Tree trigger. Drop a big beater from the deck that lacks trample? Drop this. Tap and trample over any blockers.

Ruric Thar, the Unbowed

Look at this stud! We have 48 dorks in the deck, so if you are casting it, you are probably fine for the damage trigger. But most of your foes aren't likely to have such a rich number of creatures in their build, so they'll be taking a face-punch each time they cast that Opt or Swords to Plowshares or Sol Ring or Vindicate. I love Ruric Thar as this deck is all about the creatures! His cheapest version is just $0.99 here which seems great for the value of him.

Wort, the Raidmother
Siege-Gang Commander

I have added some creatures that arrive to the party and bring some friends. They are all the Goblin persuasion. Siege-Gang Commander brings an entire team of dorks to the party and can serve as a sacrifice effect to Shock things as needed to add to this deck's reach. Wort also brings two Goblins with her to said party and will let you tap two dorks to Fork a spell, although with just 3 in the deck, that's not why she's here. She's here as a valuable way to make dorks and not kill Hans...

Goblin Marshal
Beetleback Chief

...speaking of not killing Hans we have this duo that also arrives to the battlefield with a pair of 1/1 Goblin Tokens. When Goblin Marshal dies, which includes not paying his upkeep, then you net two more small fry as compensation. Beetleback Chief brings 4 power and 4 toughness across 4 mana and that's a solid addition to the team as well!

Have you seen how well the couple of Alena, Kessig Trapper and Halana, Kessig Ranger get along with Hans? The former will tap and make some mana after Hans brings a creature to the battlefield, and you'll get all your mana as well as her tap. It's great stuff here! And the latter will regularly let you shoot down dorks as Hans' creatures (or himself) hit the playfield. She adds to the range of the build quite ably don't you think?

Ogre Battledriver

Let's look at one more card and we'll call it. I wanted another haste enabler. Enter Ogre Battledriver who will give your creatures haste and a boost to power when they enter the battlefield. It's pretty nifty and keen and cool right? Right! Its cheapest version is just $0.49 and that's nice and affordable.

And that's it! This deck has more of a mid-range Hans deck than the Gruul Ramp feel of the one of EDHREC.com, but that's fine and dandy.

Wanna see it?

Hunting with Hans | Commander | Abe Sargent

There we are!

What's my total budget? I had to come in under $32.33. Did I? Yup, by four cents, $32.29!

You could also toss in cards like Asceticism, Anger, Zealous Conscripts, Strionic Resonator, Lithoform Engine, Sanctuary Blade, Neyith of the Dire Hunt, Magebane Armor, Sylvan Tutor, Worldly Tutor, Vigor, Vivien, Monsters' Advocate, Sarkhan Vol or Domri Rade!

What did you think about my deck? Anything in here that I missed or that you were excited by? Just let me know and have an awesome day!


If you enjoyed today's Hans Eriksson deck, great! Here are the first 55 Budget Commander options for your wallet-friendly happiness and joy:

  1. We kicked things off with Brion Stoutarm came in at $37.71
  2. Next up was Ghave, Guru of Spores, with a budget of $36.48, is a lot of fun!
  3. Talrand, Sky Summoner - $49.37. I increased the budget for this project due to the nature of the challenge, and it's the only entry in the series where the cost is increased rather than decreased.
  4. Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius is the next for our list rocking that $36.37 pricetag.
  5. Princess Lucrezia and Riven Turnbull feature in this fun throwback Commander deck that is just $35.68.
  6. Roon of the Hidden Realm demonstrates one of the Commander 2013 dorks in a $35.29 shell.
  7. Vhati il-Dal runs the table for just $35.17. It's also one of the more unique entries in this project.
  8. With all of the latest draconic lovin', Bladewing the Risen comes just a few cents less at $35.13. http://www.gatheringmagic.com/abesargent-042114-budget-commander-8-budget-bladewing/
  9. Lu Xun, Scholar General may not be a powerhouse, but there's enough utility under here to spark a very interesting EDH deck for just $35.07.
  10. Bosh, Iron Golem was a fun mono-red artifact centric deck that hits $35.06. That's right, one cent cheaper! It's a fun and different take on artifacts than good ol' Brago will be next.
  11. Brago, King Eternal is featured with a different artifact theme and a $35.04 budget.
  12. Let's finally get below that $35 mark with Lin Sivvi and her rebel horde! $34.98 for the witness.
  13. Wedges are cool. So is Teneb, the Harvester! $34.94 gets us a deck that wins and has fun.
  14. Who likes Surrak Dragonclaw? Who likes making a face-smashing deck for just $34.83? This guy!
  15. Tolsimir Wolfblood? $34.73? Selesnya aggro? We've got it in spades!
  16. Alesha, Who Smiles at Death is ready to bring some serious recursion, beats, and a modest budget to boot at $34.62.
  17. Want to Dragon up your deck? Why not roll with Dragonlord Kolaghan for $34.47.
  18. Who's thumping those mono-green beats with the Yeva, Nature's Herald stylings? Who clocks in at just $34.39? This article!
  19. Want to donate some stuff, play some politics, and draw a ton of cards? Then check out this Zedruu the Greathearted deck that came in at $34.29.
  20. I have a notion that a Five Color deck would be a fun budget challenge. Horde of Notions is a blast of Elemental fun that clocks in at $34.17. Check it out!
  21. Five color doesn't have to end with tribes. There are so many options that this Five Color Cromat deck with a bit of a smash-y board presence is ready to introduce itself to the red zone, and to winning. It also is just $34.20.
  22. Sometimes it's really nice to see how far we can push a popular commander with a cheaper budget. That's where this Nekusar, the Mindrazer deck comes in, clocking in at $34.03
  23. With a budget of just $33.98, this Daxos of Meletis deck is pretty cool without being too expensive. Check it out!
  24. We have a Snake flavored Kaseto, Orochi Archmage deck with a lot of fun, Snakes, and budget goodness at $33.91.
  25. Nahiri, the Lithomancer is calling for an equipment and Solider focused mono-white build that's just $33.85.
  26. Who's Born to be Wild? Mina and Denn are! Check out this Gruul Smash deck with lands and fun for just $33.75.
  27. Gods are cool, especially when they make you berries, fruits, and tasty veggies. Karametra, God of Harvests might fetch you a lot of lands and good times, but she won't set back your wallet. Check out her budget build, clocking in at $33.74
  28. She beats with auras and fun, sailing over her foes. It's Bruna, Light of Alabaster! She's bringing a strong game at a cheap $33.69.
  29. Rosheen Meanderer at $33.63 clocks in with a bunch of X spells and activations with a different take on the classic Elf-Ball deck.
  30. We take a look at a very old school sort of guy, Boris Devilboon, from the original Legends set, and then build a $33.58 deck around our good demonic friends.
  31. It's time for a bit of an Orzhov Control loving, built around Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts and featuring a ton of removal, control, and more, all for the low, low price of $33.56.
  32. Captain Sisay leads a fun, legendary infused deck that has a lot of great cards and synergy, but a light price, checking in at $33.46.
  33. Ertai, the Corrupted sacrifices creatures and enchantments to counter spells. For $33.35, we have a great control-esque deck with some groovy sacrificing love.
  34. With a modest budget of $33.32, Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis have a fun event and morph focused theme, without running a bunch of cards from their Commander 2016 Appearance. Check them out!
  35. Built around the Old-School combo of Prodigal Sorcerer and Fungusaur, this Commander deck features a number of cards that deal damage to your own creatures so they get better. It clocks in at a humble $33.26.
  36. With a Golgari Toughness-Matters theme, this Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper deck won't hurt your budget, but will do some damage for $33.15.
  37. Grenzo, Dungeon Warden goes all crazy with graveyard and deck restocking shenanigans for a cheap $33.12. We even have an infinite combo in here!
  38. Commander 2017 brings some powerful new options for Commander players everywhere. I put together a multiplayer-friendly control deck around Mathas, Fiend Seeker for just $33.10.
  39. Don't you love the Izzet madness of Arjun, the Shifting Flame? No deck has more card drawing, or card drawing triggers, than this one! It clocks in at $33.04.
  40. It doesn't have to be Halloween for you to enjoy the Monster Mash. Here we have a Grusilda, Monster Mash deck that enjoys mashing your dorks together, but not mashing your budget. It clocks in at $32.98
  41. Don't Shatter your Budget with this build of the Shattergang Brothers, who's sacrificial ways won't sacrifice wallet, and just cost $32.94.
  42. I saw Muldrotha, the Gravetide and I just fell in love with that face. Who wouldn't? Here's a graveyard abuse deck that won't break your bank, just your battlefield. And maybe some friendships. It was $32.89.
  43. Who likes some Saprolings and having Fungal Fun? I do! Slimefoot, the Stowaway leads this cheap, flavorful deck that clocks in at $32.80. Every addition to the deck has to support the flavor of the Fungal concepts!
  44. Who wants to untap and en-creature Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle? Who wants a fun budget build that's just $32.77? ME!
  45. Next up is a budget build of Emmara, Soul of the Accord which is cheap and clocks in at $32.77. Check out it's token majesty!
  46. I randomly selected Kefnet the Mindful for a random Commander challenge, and was inspired to combine my two series and build a Budget Commander deck around card-drawing and fun times with Kefnet! Check it out and it's $32.73 glory.
  47. Let's build a fun graveyard and Mono-Green build around my second Portal: Three Kingdoms leader - Hua Tuo, Honored Physician. I really like this build, and for just $32.65, I hope you will too!
  48. I built a fun budget Burn and Life gain deck around Firesong and Sunspeaker for a price tag of only $32.57! Want to check it out?
  49. I built a fun deck around the partners Gorm the Great and Virtus the Veiled. This deck ran some cool cards, including the old school Basilisk and Lure combos. But it only cost $32.51. Don't you wanna check it out? Of course ya do!
  50. For my 50th Budget Commander article, I decide to do something crazy! Let's build a Warrior themed deck around a very expensive Najeela, the Blade-Blossom, rather than my normal way of a budget leader. We come in at $42.45. You know you want to read it...
  51. Want a Naya Gold deck? Literally? Built around the multicolored loving Rienne, Angel of Rebirth. It clocks it at $32.39. I know you want to find out how I ever could do that! Check it out!
  52. I built a fun +1/+1 counter and enchantment-matters build around Eutropia the Twice-Favored for $32.33. Don't you wanna check it out?
  53. I took the Skirmish deck I designed, Defy Death, and turned it into a Commander deck featuring Tariel, Reckoner of Souls for $32.28. Take a look and see what you think!
  54. I created a fun token creature deck around Akim, the Soaring Wind from Commander 2020. It came in at $32.27! Enjoy it here!
  55. I built a Mono-Blue scry and flying matters deck around the partners Eligeth, Crossroads Augur and Siani, Eye of the Storm, that came in under $32.23. It was fun! You can find it here!
  56. That's this article, goof!

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