Random Commander Again!!!!
Hello folks! I hope your day is going well.
Magic can get old fast. Same formats. Same decks. Same metagames. It’s time to break out of that funk!!!
Aren’t random challenges fun? I love them! I really enjoy when I can build something different and push my deck-building muscles.
I really enjoyed my random challenge two weeks ago that grabbed Kefnet the Mindful, and then became a Budget Commander series too! So let’s do this random thing again!
I just hear over to ye olde Gatherer and hit the random button, and we’ll dance with the first legal option.
Random Card Time!!!
This is my first card. It’s funny as I just pulled this cycle of slow lands from Tempest from Abe’s Deck of Happiness and Joy just a few weeks ago. Check out my Spring Cleaning article here!
Not bad! Not a Commander, but it’s a fun card. The rest of my top five?
No Commanders in sight. The rest of the top ten include Crucible of Fire and Ruins of Trokair. Another ten cards melt away, including some classics like Eureka and Birds of Paradise. There’s both Corrupt and Tendrils of Corruption there. Someone wants me to play Mono-Black control….
Breath of Darigaaz, Evincar's Justice, Apex of Power, Preordain, Bear's Companion, lots of fun cards ebb past. Mouth // Feed. Greater Werewolf. Venser, the Sojourner. Ego Erasure. Narrow Escape. Knight of Meadowgrain. Soul Summons.
Then it arrives roughly 60-70 cards in. My first legendary creature.
All right, we are running Nissa, Vastwood Seer!
So, you can see a few things here in Nissa’s text that inspired my deck-building, namely these themes:
1. Basic Forests Matter.
She searches for a Basic, and then when I drop a land, she flips into her Sage Animist form. Her +1 to reveal the top card is strong if it’s a land, and pretty good if it’s not. Either way you are getting a card from her, Her -2 to make an Ashaya token is basically a one trick pony that you can repeat, not unlike Tolsimir Wolfblood’s ability to tap and make a Voja Wolf token.
2. Flavor Matters
Where to go?
For my 3rd deck in this series, I randomly hit Toshiro Umezawa, a Mono-Black dork that cared about death and spells. He’s fun. I did not feel a flavor-loyalty to him per se, and included cards like Oathkeeper, Takeno's Daisho, which is wielded by his enemy in the story, but works on him incredibly well. So, I gave it him. I wasn’t feeling a fidelity to Toshiro’s flavor
However, for Nissa, for some reason, I am. I am not going to grab off-flavor cards that work very well in this deck, like Garruk, Caller of Beasts.
I consider the COB version of Garruk to be one of the best mono-Green ‘walkers ever printed. Because he can reveal cards and put a ton o’ dorks into your hand and drop them for free, he’s amazing in this shell. But I don’t see Garruk and either Old Pre-RetCon Nissa or New Post-RetCon Nissa getting along with him.
Let’s pause and remind you of who Nissa is/was.
The first Nissa was so pro-Elf and anti-anyone else, that she was Green and Black, and didn’t care for anyone else. She freed the Eldrazi so they would leave her plane and head elsewhere, not caring for what happened to others, with only her fellow Elves mattered. Pre-RetConNissa wouldn’t work well with Garruk, as she barely works well with Sorin and others trying to stop the Eldrazi on the same page. Post-RetCon New-Nissa certainly doesn’t feel very Garruk to me either. So I am not including Garruk in this deck, nor am I using Garruk themed cards that would work here, like Garruk's Horde.
For similar reasons, sick creatures like Patron of the Orochi that would be amazing in here aren’t making an appearance as they aren’t sufficiently Nissa-ish.
However, there are some non-Garruk folks that I think Nissa would get along very fabulously with:
Freyalise is an auto-include. Either version Nissa would like the pro-Elf and pro-Forest Freyalise. Her +2 to make Llanowar Elves tokens is pretty cool, and she can -2 and pop off artifact/enchantments you dislike as well as drawing a ton of cards.
Vivien in another I think Nissa will work with. Both are animists that are connected to the land. Both are also very active at doing stuff, and aren’t quiet little shaman that sit behind the scenes. Instead they mix it up with one hunting and the other scouting, as seen in the Arkbow of Vivien and the Sword of the Animist for Nissa.
We have some non-walkers that Nissa would resonate with as well.
Yeva? Absolutely! Elf? Shaman? Rides a big old Bear? She’s awesome.
Both Verdeloth and Multani are natural, protect the Forest, and have a habit of rising up against nasty enemies, much like Nissa has done against the Eldrazi and others. From the Phyrexians to the Cabal, they have fought wars. They also both work in my deck as ramp-esque forces that can be useful in the mid- or late- game as well.
What about Kaysa and Nylea? Sure! The first is an Elf who pumps your team, and the second is a God who, again, likes to mix things up. Let’s join the squad.
Both of these cards love Basic Forests. Gaea's Touch gives you a free basic Forest each turn, and Nissa's Pilgrimage is a better Cultivate or Kodama's Reach in this build as you could put both lands into play.
There are some strong Forest matters cards I’m including as well, such as these two. Each will single-handedly create an army on its own, and the Beacon will return with the chance of being drawn and re-cast later. They are great additions to my squad!
In addition, to the spells, I also have some dorks that care about Forests too. Nessian Game Warden can fetch a nasty, size-able creature on arrival, and the Kalonian Twingrove can create 2 powerful forces of Forest-driven strength to winnow at your enemies’ life total. Strong stuff!
For flavor, check out Sword of the Animist!
I do want to pause and discuss this trilogy of cards. Nissa's Encouragement is fine as a Forest tutor, but will also get a planeswalker in Nissa, Genesis Mage and the Behemoth as well, so it’s a triple-tutor. You have to respect what this group is bringing to the table!!
Given who Nissa is, I am sure that you can see why I am including these two Zendikar cards. They are also perfect fits here, as one will double your mana and net you a ton of cards while the other is a nice way to make a lot of dorks. Because our Commander has a built-in land-fetching mechanic on arrival and then a +1 that can toss them onto the battlefield, you’ll likely have enough mana for bigger things while also Roiling in the Creatures.
Just like the above two Zendikari style enchantments are perfectly themed, these are strong as well. Note that the Vernal Bloom does pump mana created by your foes, so it’s a little giving to them. But in this build? It’s so much stronger!
Your leader ramps and searches the library. We have a number of land-fetch effects as well as some other searching of libraries such as Green Sun's Zenith or Nissa's Encouragement. Given that, doesn’t Panglacial Wurm make a lot of sense? You are likely to have the seven mana free at some point when you are searching, and a free 9/5 trampling beater is perfect. Card advantage is married to face-smashery with this Wurm!
All right! Ready to see my random Nissa deck?
Nissa’s Path to Victory | Commander | Abe Sargent
- Commander (1)
- 1 Nissa, Vastwood Seer
- Creatures (34)
- 1 Acidic Slime
- 1 Arbor Elf
- 1 Avenger of Zendikar
- 1 Baru, Fist of Krosa
- 1 Beast Whisperer
- 1 Brambleweft Behemoth
- 1 Budoka Gardener / Dokai, Weaver of Life
- 1 Dungrove Elder
- 1 Eternal Witness
- 1 Gaea's Revenge
- 1 Greenwarden of Murasa
- 1 Hornet Queen
- 1 Hunting Cheetah
- 1 Kalonian Twingrove
- 1 Karametra's Acolyte
- 1 Kaysa
- 1 Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar
- 1 Multani's Acolyte
- 1 Nessian Game Warden
- 1 Nylea, God of the Hunt
- 1 Omnath, Locus of Mana
- 1 Panglacial Wurm
- 1 Paragon of Eternal Wilds
- 1 Quirion Ranger
- 1 Reclamation Sage
- 1 Regal Force
- 1 Reverent Hunter
- 1 Scavenging Ooze
- 1 Scryb Ranger
- 1 Seedguide Ash
- 1 Verdeloth the Ancient
- 1 Wood Elves
- 1 Woodland Bellower
- 1 Yeva, Nature's Herald
- Planeswalkers (5)
- 1 Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury
- 1 Nissa, Genesis Mage
- 1 Nissa, Vital Force
- 1 Nissa, Worldwaker
- 1 Vivien Reid
- Sorceries (12)
- 1 Beacon of Creation
- 1 Gaea's Bounty
- 1 Green Sun's Zenith
- 1 Howl of the Night Pack
- 1 Mwonvuli Acid-Moss
- 1 Natural Order
- 1 Nissa's Encouragement
- 1 Nissa's Judgment
- 1 Nissa's Pilgrimage
- 1 Nissa's Renewal
- 1 Ranger's Path
- 1 Tooth and Nail
- Enchantments (8)
- 1 Elemental Bond
- 1 Gaea's Touch
- 1 Growing Rites of Itlimoc
- 1 Lost in the Woods
- 1 Song of the Dryads
- 1 Vernal Bloom
- 1 Zendikar Resurgent
- 1 Zendikar's Roil
And there you have it! One random deck, for your enjoyment!
Was there anything in here that jumped out at you? Anything I missed? Just let me know!
Thanks for your time.
Random Commander Appendix:
Did you like this random challenge? Want to see more? Of course, you do! After all, you’ve always struck me as a person of taste.
- For my first challenge, I hit on Random Gatherer Gwendlyn di Corci from the set that introduced legendary permanents. I create a discard-matters deck around her. https://www.coolstuffinc.com/a/abesargent-11132018-return-of-the-random-commander
- I flip over one of the original Elder Dragon Legends that the format was initially named after – Arcades Sabboth. I decide to build around a non-Red and non-Black Dragon theme. Get ready! https://www.coolstuffinc.com/a/abesargent-11202018-random-commander-strikes-back
- The Random Fairy Strikes Again! This time it lands on Toshiro Umezawa, one of the major protagonists of the Kamigawa Block storyline. Check out my spell-based fun time deck! https://www.coolstuffinc.com/a/abesargent-11272018-random-commander-the-third
- My submission of the random button finds the vanilla The Lady of the Mountain. Inspired by one of the few Commander options legally printed as a common, I decide to create a Pauper EDH deck for you! https://www.coolstuffinc.com/a/abesargent-12042018-random-commander-ladys-choice. Let me know what you think!
- I hit the random button and got Kefnet the Mindful. I turned him into a budget build for fewer than $33 as part of my Budget Commander series. Enjoy! https://www.coolstuffinc.com/a/random-kefnet-budget-commander-46