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Commanding Hidetsugu, Devouring Chaos


Hello amazing people! I hope that your day is going incredibly well!

Today I want to look at one of the legendaries previewed from the Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty set. We'll build a Commander deck around our good friend!

So, which new commander am I building around?

Hidetsugu, Devouring Chaos

This fun Rakdos colored 4-drop 4/4. As you can see, Hidetsugu Take Two has two dials. The first is that, for a single Black mana, he can sacrifice any dork, including himself, for a scry 2. A sacrifice engine in the Command Zone is quite useful. The other dial is you can tap him and three mana to exile the top card of your deck. You can play it this turn, and if was a nonland then a target will take damage equal to its casting cost. Good stuff! I like the potential here a lot!

I'll be looking for things with expensive costs with alternate ways to cast them, ways to sculpt your library and then cheaper cards to be able to cast easily with the free card per turn. I'll also be looking for good ramp in Rakdos, like Treasures, that can help us cast key cards after the three mana exile effect. I won't be playing into much of an Aristocrats build with a bunch of sacrifices and triggers, although maybe I can include a couple of cards here and there like Reassembling Skeleton. For mana I'll be adding in things like Ancient Tomb, Cabal Coffers, and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.

Now let's take a deep dive into all things you can do with this on curve Ogre Demon!

Toralf, God of Fury // Toralf's Hammer

Let's start with this God and his Hammer. I started with a God and his Sword from Kaldheim last week in my random Mono-White equipment matters brew and we'll lead off with Toralf this time around. As you can see, this 4-drop 5/4 trampler is on curve. As your team deals excess non-combat damage to somethings face, it deals that excess damage to another target. For example, suppose you reveal a six card with your leader and deal 6 damage to your foe's 3/2. You kill it. Then you can deal 4 to another foe's 3/3 and then one damage to their face. It's great here!

Rakdos, Lord of Riots
Neheb, the Eternal

Check out this powerful duo! Each of them wants to smash with Hidetsugu in the pre-combat phase. Rakdos is a 6/6 flying trampler that will reduce the cost of your dorks by a single generic mana for each life your opponents have lost this turn. We are running 30 dorks including your leader. Neheb will turn damage you dealt into an amount of post-combat mana phase Red mana to cast your exiled card with. Great pair together as well!

Dockside Extortionist
Jeska's Will

I don't normally run obvious Commander staples like this duo, but I am making an exception here as the first will ramp a ton of Treasures on arrival to the battlefield and the latter sorcery can easily net you three or four mana from its three mana cost for a big spell this turn. Also, it adds to your exiling card advantage. I usually don't run staples like these since they're expensive on the secondary market and obvious inclusions, but in this case they are essential.

Treasonous Ogre
Prosper, Tome-Bound

More mana please? 'K, thanks! The Ogre is a 4-drop 2/3 with dethrone which doesn't matter. Then you can spend three life to make a red mana, so if you need another mana or two for your spell you can rock it all day long. Prosper was the first card that came to my mind when I built this brew. As you can see, when you play a spell from exile, such as from Hidetsugu, then you can make a Treasure token for reducing your overall cost. Also, this 1/4 has deathtouch to play keep away and at the end of your turn you exile and have a full turn to play it. I also added in support cards from its Commander deck like Wild-Magic Sorcerer which gives your first exile cast spell cascade. It works quite well here.

Chandra's Incinerator
Twilight Prophet

The Incinerator is another card that wants you to shoot a player in your first main phase with Hidetsugu. This six-mana 6/6 with trample costs five generic mana. For each noncombat damage dealt this turn you can drop this cost by a generic mana, and this could easily be a 1- or 2-drop. When you deal non-combat damage to a foe you will also deal that damage to something that foe controls, which is a pretty nasty good spread. When you get ascend, note it. The Prophet is a 2/4 flyer for four mana. At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have ascended, you will drain your foe's life, and gain it, equal to the top card's mana value then you'll draw it. Given that we are already building around mana costs and losing life elsewhere in this brew, this plays into the same synergies.

Blasphemous Act
Greater Gargadon

Check out this pair of pricey cards. This gives you a way of showing what I am doing. The former card is a 9-drop sorcery, so that is nine damage from a Hidetsugu trigger! Then it probably sweeps the board with its 13 damage to everything. It costs a whole lot less to cast though. If you don't want to cast the sweeping removal, you can skip it and just get the nine damage. The latter card is a 10-mana dork that is 9/7. You can suspend it for a single mana and then wait around 10 turns, or sacrifice things to get it out quickly. As a reminder, suspended dorks arrive to the battlefield with haste.

All right let's shift to my planeswalkers.

Liliana Vess
Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire

The best planeswalker that I added to this brew is the original Liliana Vess. As you can see, this 5-drop 5 loyalty Liliana is pretty strong. Her +1 to force a discard is pretty good card advantage, but she's here for the -2 to tutor your library and toss a card onto the top of your library, which you should do on your pre-combat main phase, and then activate your Commander and get that spell to cast now and get a nasty trigger as well! Great for the brew! I also tossed in Vampiric Tutor which is a one-shot Liliana -2 at instant speed. Check out Varragoth. As you can see, he can, once per turn, Vampiric Tutor for two mana if his 2/3 body swung. I tossed in Rogue's Passage so that might happen reliably. I also have Expedition Map here to tutor for a nice land like Cabal Coffers, but if you need the Passage since you control Varragoth and you need some recursive tutoring or someone has a low life to kill off, don't ignore it.

Chandra, Torch of Defiance
Chandra, Bold Pyromancer

Let's turn to our two Chandras. As you can see, each Chandra has a +1 ability that makes two Red mana, which is why they are here. The Torch iteration of Chandra can also +1 to exile and cast a dork, and if you don't, you'll shoot your foes for 2 damage each good card flow for when you don't need the mana. Also note the -3 for a Lightning Blast of a dork. Her Pyromancer version can shoot a player for 2 damage when you make mana with her, which is nice. You can also, like the Torch, -3 to Lightning Bolt a dork or planeswalker. Good pair!

Sorin Markov
Ob Nixilis Reignited

Check out this Mono-Black pair. Can you see why Sorin is here? Sure, his six mana is a bit pricey and his starting loyalty of just 4 is low and his +2 to drain a target for two is a bit underwhelming (although don't sleep on it). But he is here for that -3 that can cut a foe's life to a place where Hidetsugu can kill. Ob is just here for card flow and to act as a backup creature control with his -3 to Murder. Good pair!

Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast

Check out Lukka! As you can see, he is a 5 loyalty five-cost planeswalker with a +1 to exile three cards from your library and you can cast the dorks that were exiled. With 29 creatures in the deck, that's probably going to average around one per activation. But that's not why he's are here. He's here for that -2 to exile a dork you control and then fetch up a more expensive one from your deck. You have a lot of pricey creatures, and turning a smaller dork that has already done its thing into a bigger dork is pretty good. We are not running any reanimation stuff either, other than the occasional self-reanimator, so we are fine with the exile. It's really strong here!

Sensei's Divining Top
Scroll Rack

This deck really cares about the top card of your library for effects like Hidetsugu or the -2 ability of Lukka. Enter this duo. As you can see, the first Top is an ideal 1-drop that can change the deck. A one-mana activation can put the best card on top of your deck to exile with Hidetsugu. You can also scry two with your Commander's sacrifice activation and with that you can put two bad cards on the bottom of your library and try again with the activation here. Good pair! You can also tap the Rack to swap cards from the top of your library to reload your hand and then put cards from your hand back in any order. If you draw a card that you want to self-exile with a big cost, you can put it on top of your library and keep on keeping on. Great pair of deck manipulation!

Bolas's Citadel

Check out Bolas's legendary artifact. This six-mana card is pretty regularly seen at the kitchen table but it's rare to make the cut in my brew. It's good here though. You can see the top card of your library, which is good for knowing when to scry it away with Hidetsugu or to self-exile. You can also play it if you pay life equal to its casting cost, and since we have some cheaper cards to cast easily with your leader that should be another avenue for good card advantage. You can sacrifice 10 non-land permanents to force everyone else to lose 10 life, but that's probably not happening here. You can safely ignore it most of the time.

Gratuitous Violence
Fiery Emancipation

Check out these heavy, Red enchantments! The former will double the damage that your dorks deal. In a deck with a massive damage source coming from your Commander, and since it's a creature based source, this will double your damage from that activated ability. The latter one with triple everything from Hidetsugu's ability to Sorin Markov's +2 to Chandra's +1 to your 30 dorks' combat damage. Good duo!

Leyline of the Void
Nihil Spellbomb

I don't care that much about my graveyard as we'll be playing a major graveyard eating ability we'll look at later. As you can see, the Leyline will force your opponents to exile stuff as it hits their graveyard from anywhere. It can also arrive earlier than turn four if you have it in your opening hand. We also have the Spellbomb which we can sacrifice with some Black mana to Tormod's Crypt an opposing graveyard. It'll replace itself. I also tossed in Bojuka Bog. This triad will smash graveyards with aplomb, which are heavily abused in this format.

Crowded Crypt

Check out this mana rock! As you can see this Crypt requires three mana to drop and enters the battlefield untapped and ready to rock. It taps for a Black mana. When your stuff dies, you can toss a corpse counter on this and you can sacrifice the Crypt for a bunch of 2/2 Zombies equal to your counter count. Good mana rock!

Witch's Clinic

Let's check out a single land, okay? It's Witch's Clinic! This is the first time I've run it in one of my Commander brews. As you can see, it arrives to the battlefield untapped and ready to tap for mana so there is no tempo lost in running it. You can tap some mana and give your Commander lifelink for the turn. Might I suggest using this before you tap him for his ability? Because that would be a nice amount of life, right?

Chainer, Nightmare Adept

Check out the power of Chainer here! This 3/2 4-drop is a bit behind the curve, but he has two abilities to make up for it. You can discard a card, like an extra land you don't need, to cast a dork from your graveyard for the turn. But he is here for the second ability. As creatures arrive to your battlefield, if they weren't cast from your hand, then they gain haste! That includes two major dorks. The first is your leader from the Command Zone. Haste is very important on tappers, so I also tossed in the expected Swiftfoot Boots and Lightning Greaves and even a land in Flamekin Village. The second are the load of things from your exile zone!

Now let's finish with two cycles of cards I dug deeply into that are pretty pricey.

Ingot Chewer

This is the first mechanic that I added to the deck. These are dorks with evoke. As you can see, these are creatures that have enters the battlefield effects like the Chewer's Shatter and the 'Maw's Terror. You can exile them with Hidetsugu or other effects and smash someone for five life, but you can cast them for the cheaper evoke cost, in the Chewer's case just a single Red mana, to get the Shatter effect but the dork will head to the great bin in the sky. The final Elemental is a Flametongue Kavu for one more mana that adds double strike and the ability to spread the damage. Here that can also be cost for just exiling a Red card from the hand to get it cast for free if you need to removal some targets, but all three are fine as five mana dorks

Tasigur's Cruelty
Sibsig Muckdraggers

Our other ability to drop the cost of something with a high mana cost is delve! I don't have that many delve cards here since that would be counter-intuitive. This is the graveyard hungry ability I referred to above. As you can see, this triad of fun times has delve. The first one is the first delve dork, and with a 5/5 flying body for eight mana it's only a little more expensive than you want to pay (which can be a boon when casting it for a reduced cost after exiling it with Hidetsugu). The second delve card is a sorcery that forces your foes to sacrifice two dorks each, like a Barter in Blood that skips past you. It's actually not that bad at six mana since Barter is four, and you would have to figure that one that only hurts your foes would likely cast at least five mana. You can easily cast this from your hand for mass removal without delving. But you can also delve if you want. The third card is a very pricy 3/6 Gravedigger for a nasty nine mana. That's one of your best hits from Hidetsugu in here and just imagine how good that would be with lifelink or with its damage boosted. Nasty. You can delve to reduce its cost all day long. And all night as well!

And there we go! Ready to look at my first deck around a dork from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty? I hope so!

Commanding Hidetsugu | Commander | Abe Sargent

As you can see, we have 38 lands and two modal lands in Hagra Mauling // Hagra Broodpit and Malakir Rebirth // Malakir Mire. What did you think of my build? Anything in here that suggests itself to you? Thanks for reading and have an amazing day today!

Commander HQ: Decklists and Strategy for Kamigawa Neon Dynasty's Legendary Creatures!

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