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Real-Life Commander — First Is Fumiko


We all feel this way. We look around and realize we need to build some more decks. I need some more stuff!

Fumiko the Lowblood
I need some more decks for real-life play. I currently have around seven or eight sixty-card builds, around five Commander decks, and then Abe’s Deck of Happiness and Joy. I want to add some new decks to my roster. That way, I can add a few more tools to my deck boxes and selection.

What’s first?

Today’s real-life deck is inspired by a decklist I created for an article a short while ago, when I built a Commander deck around Fumiko the Lowblood. Of my various Commander decks that I write in all of these columns, I could easily play many of them happily night after night. But a few have really sort of struck me as really interesting and useful.

Most of my articles and decklists are provided as a jumping-off point for you. Obviously, your card stock, metagame, and personal preferences are going to be different and will result in a different deck. Even if you want to build one of my decks largely wholesale, there will still be differences. And this casual Magic concept of deck-crafting goes back long before I was dreaming of being an Internet writer for the game. Countless writers created sample lists to showcase various ideas and concepts.

Some of my decks are real-life decks, and thus, I like to talk about them here and now. So I want to construct the Fumiko deck in real life. But all real-life projects have restrictions that my lists don’t have. Do I have the cards in my card stock? They might be in decks already, or I may not have extras of what I need.

The basic idea of the deck is simple enough. Force people to attack, and if they attack me, punish them for doing so. Then, swing on newly open boards with the good red stuff you have.

Some of the cards that were used in my first decklist, like Al-abara's Carpet and Snow Fortress, aren’t exactly world-beaters in most players’ stock of cards they use to pore over to construct decks from, you know?

So here’s what I have:

So let’s take a look at the deck and what it does.

Fumiko is a fun card that changes up combat by forcing opponents to bring the heat. But if you are shuffling up against multiple opponents, you can’t force folks where to send the attack. So by tossing up some difficult things to swing through, you can increase the likelihood of punishing folks by having them attack each other. Meanwhile, you layer in effects that punish creatures for attacking you, such as Circle of Flame and tapping Ben-Ben, Akki Hermit.

Goblin Wardriver
The goal here is to keep folks swinging and then use cards to blow through stuff. Then, after folks keep swinging away and keeping their defenses open, you can swing away with your stuff and bring the heat. I layered in a lot of cards that pump up attacks, such as Signal Pest, Instigator Gang, and Goblin Wardriver. That way, you can close more quickly despite the lower power of some of your stuff.

Since you are swinging anyway, let’s layer in some Dragons and such.

We have a few fun cards I want to highlight here. Warmonger Hellkite is great as a backup Fumiko threat. It forces everyone to attack, and you can churn in multiple pumps. It’s awesome. Grand Melee is another sort of backup plan as well. And remember that if people swing at you, you can get a lot of nasty stuff, such as multiple Ogre tokens from Kazuul or doling out damage from Snow Fortress. The Hellkite and Melee help Fumiko really bring that heat home.

I also love Forgestoker Dragon. You swing (which is the plan constantly) and then shoot something and force it to not block as well, in case someone has something he or she just played, or something with defender or vigilance and would normally be able to block. Nothing stops you from layering damage onto one creature. Also note that the creature you hit for damage doesn’t have to be controlled by the player you attack. You can swing at Marco because he’s open, and then shoot down Paige’s creature.

Moonveil Dragon will also pump your whole team when it firebreathes.

Stalking Yeti enters the battlefield and can fight anything, and we have plenty of ways to bounce it back with snow mana. Don’t also forget that we have a bunch of ways of dealing damage here and there, and you can shoot stuff down. The damage Thundermaw Hellkite (and tapping), Goblin Charbelcher, Staff of Nin, Leonin Bladetrap, a Chandra, and more will all quickly add up and shoot stuff down.

Oathkeeper, Takeno's Daisho
There are a few little Samurai tricks in here. You can equip Fumiko with Oathkeeper, Takeno's Daisho and not only pump up your leader to a respectable amount of damage, but you can bring her back if she dies. You can also use Godo, Bandit Warlord to grab an Equipment and toss in onto something. Tenza, Godo's Maul and Oathkeeper are both solid choices for Fumiko Fun Time. Godo swings at someone’s open space, and don’t forget you gain his attack trigger, you make another attack step, and your Godo or Fumiko untaps for another round of damage-doling.

As you can see, I had to make quite a few swaps to get the new deck up and running. Among them are some key cards that I just don’t have any extras of, such as Caltrops, Watchdog, Bloodmark Mentor, Urabrask the Hidden, Al-Abara's Carpet, Scarecrow, Dolmen Gate, and Savage Beating. But you know what? There are still enough cards here to matter; plus, we’ve layered some new stuff as well . . . 

One new addition I have added and am interested in trying out is Crown of Doom. You can give it away to folks and then amp up your own attacks. It seems it’d be a really good card for the deck, and I want to see it roll.

Another new addition is Dragon Throne of Tarkir, and we can give it to something good and sizable and then tap it to pump a whole bunch of pumpage. That sort of massive pumping is something I look forward to unfurling on various tables as needed.

Thundermaw Hellkite
Without some of the tricks that the deck normally runs, like Caltrops, I looked toward enhancing my tapping fun. The deck always had some tricks around cards like Rimescale Dragon, which is brilliant at locking down cards, keeping them from bringing major heat via Fumiko and Friends, or at tapping down potential blockers. Cards I added included the aforediscussed Thundermaw Hellkite and Barl's Cage. The Cage is a great keep-your-stuff-locked-down-after-they-swing-or-are-tapped card. It really strikes hard at folks.

I have a stack of real-life cards that I like a lot and that were close to making the cut. I always pull more cards than I needed. Then, I can swap the in and out of the deck project as I gain some experience playing the deck in real life. In that stack of cards, I have stuff like Inferno Titan, Soul of Shandalar, Scrap Mastery, Bullwhip, Neko-Te, Embermaw Hellion, Jaws of Stone, Mogg Maniac, Greater Stone Spirit, Vow of Lightning, Aether Flash, Earth Servant, and Eldrazi Monument.

I really want to add in some classic cards like Caltrops, Watchdog, and the Mentor. I can swap in Pentagram of the Ages for Horn of Deafening or get Maze of Ith as a nice addition.

So now that Fumiko is done for now, with the obvious stipulations that I’m looking for cards to tweak it, what’s my next project? I do like the idea of real-life-ifying another decklist from my articles that really resonated with me.

So what’s next? What do you want to see?

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