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Shrines and Superfriends


Hello Happy Readers! I hope that your day is as awesome as you are! Today, I'm going to do something a little different. I am going to build a Go-Shintai of Life's Origin deck just like fellow author Matthew Lotti did here (Go-Shintai! Go-Shintai! Go! | Article by Matthew Lotti (coolstuffinc.com)), but instead of a deep cut into an enchantment brew, I am going to run some enchantments in the Shrine category as well as a lot of planeswalkers that each provide loads of value over time. In real life, I have a Cromat Friends brew that also runs the Shrines, so I am familiar with that core concept and I know what works in it.


Let's do it to it!

Go-Shintai of Life's Origin

As you can see, this Go-Shintai is pretty good at enchantment recursion, spending one of each color of mana and tapping it to do so. It's a 3/4 creature, base Green so it's easy to cast, and you can get Shrine tokens when it or other non-token shrines arrive on the battlefield. There are 11,396 planeswalker brews on EDHREC.com (15th most) and 13,045 enchantment brews (14th most) so combining them shouldn't be that hard.

Ready for my deep dive?


Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God

Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God is pretty slick. This five-mana 4-loyalty dork can copy the abilities of every planeswalker out there, yours and your foes'. I have 20 planeswalkers in this brew, plus what others are running, but it's a bit hard to cast, so it may not come out on the fifth turn, barring something like Chromatic Lantern. You can +1 to draw a card and force your foes to exile discard which is massive card advantage, and you can -3 to Murder a dork or a planeswalker. Good card for the masses!!

Let's turn to some game-winners!

Sorin, Grim Nemesis
Angrath, the Flame-Chained

Check out this pair. This is my only Sorin, and he can +1 to reveal the top card of your library, force your foes to lose life equal to its mana cost, and draw it. That's card flow and opponent life hitting. The -X can drain life from a creature or a planeswalker. Good removal, and the 6 loyalty on arrival can push the board around with that -X. Angrath is one of my favorite planeswalkers in multiplayer. His +1 will force everyone else to discard and they lose 2 life as well, so there is a clock and massive card advantage on this 5-drop 4-loyalty planeswalker. You can -3 to Threaten an opposing dork, and if it had a mana value of 3 of less you'll sacrifice it. Powerful stuff. I ran it in a Standard Rakdos Midrange deck in Arena when it was legal along with Ravenous Chupacabra and won a lot of games. People would often concede after reading it once it entered the battlefield. Good game winning pair!

Kaya, Ghost Assassin
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

This pair also wins the game! The first Kaya is awesome! She starts with a high 5 loyalty and her 0 can exile her and bring her back with 5 loyalty, or you can flicker a dork. We have a few ETB abilities like Solemn Simulacrum or Mulldrifter here, but not that many. She's here for that -1 to force everyone else to lose two life and you gain it, and that -2 to force your foes to discard and you draw a card. That's nice card flow and life loss, and she plays nicely in multiplayer. Ugin is a powerhouse! Sure, he costs eight mana but he's colorless, which is nice in a 5C deck. His 7 loyalty is nasty, and he can +2 to Ghostfire a target which can be aimed at a foe with a low life total. Ugin can also -X to exile all colored permanents of X mana value or less, so it serves as brilliant backup mass removal, but be careful since we have so many permanents like enchantments and planeswalkers that he'll hit.

Chandra, Awakened Inferno

This is our only Chandra, and was my final card I added in. As you can see, this 6-drop 6 loyalty cannot be countered, and she's here for that +2 to force all foes to get an emblem that cannot be answered and will force them to take a damage each upkeep. You can do that a few times and create an unanswerable clock. You can also -3 to shoot all non-Elementals for 3 damage each, which is nice but hits your tokens that go wide, so you'll only want to do it in certain cases. Good game winners!

Non-Shine Enchantments

Sphere of Safety
Collective Restraint

Let's turn to some non-Shrine enchantments. As you can see, these two enchantments have the ability to shut down attacks on your stuff. The Sphere forces your foes to spend X mana to attack you or your friends, where X is equal to your enchantment count, which can be pretty nasty. The Restraint will stop attacks (just on you) equal to your basic land count per creature, so these are super Propagandas here. Good stuff!

Let's look at one unusual ramp card.

Oath of Nissa

Most of my ramp is obvious, but Oath of Nissa is unique. For one Green mana you can dig three and grab a land (nice), dork (not that great here but you do have Shrine dorks now), or planeswalkers (sweet!) and grab one and send it to your hand. Then your planeswalkers can be cast for any color of mana, so this can make stuff like Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God much easier to cast.


Urza's Ruinous Blast
Access Denied

Let's turn to some answers. Urza's Ruinous Blast requires a legendary card to get, but between your leader, the 16 other Shrines, the 20 other planeswalker, and the Oaths, you'll be fine. Also, this fun thing only exiles non-legendary stuff, so your tokens, and random things like Cloudblazer and your mana rocks. I like it a lot here. We need bodies to block, and the five-mana counter that was just printed will give you a bunch, and they'll have flying, which is pretty nifty. You can get the mana cost of countered card in flying 1/1 Thopters which can block a bunch of swings on your Buddies.

Elspeth, Sun's Champion
Teferi, Master of Time

Elspeth the 6-drop has just 4 loyalty, but you can +1 her all day long to make three creatures each turn! That's a lot of blocks on potential attackers that are coming your planeswalkers way. I also like the -3 here to destroy everything with a power of 4 or more, which is why I tossed her in, since you can do that as soon as you drop her, and that's a sweep of your foe's stuff only since your tokens are all 3/3 or smaller. The Master of Time iteration of Teferi is here to +1 and draw and discard each turn, yours, and each foes' turn, and then -10 in a few rounds for 2 turns. Nice. But if your foe swings the way of a key planeswalker, you can -3 and phase it out.

Garruk, Cursed Huntsman
Garruk, Apex Predator

Check out these two Garruks! The former Garruk is a 6-drop 5 loyalty that can 0 to pop out two 2/2 Wolves and when they die you can toss loyalty counters on these if you control them, and two 2/2s is more power and toughness than Elspeth's three 1/1s. You can -3 to Murder a dork and draw a card, which is really strong here. The latter Garruk is a 7-drop with four awesome abilities. He can +1 to Murder a planeswalker or make a 3/3 Beast with deathtouch which can trade with attackers of any size. You can -3 to Murder a dork and gain some life equal to its toughness. Nice board control duo!


Captain Sisay
Sisay, Weatherlight Captain

Check out these two legendary loving Sisays. As we looked at with Urza's Ruinous Blast, we have a ton of legendary cards in this deck. So cast the first Sisay, tap her, and search your library for any Shrine, Planeswalker, a few legendary lands, the Blast itself, the next sorcery, and the other Sisay plus a random artifact. That sort of a repeatable free Tutor effect for all of the key components of your deck that leaves you the mana to cast it is really strong here. The second Sisay is a 3-drop 2/2 that can pump herself equal to the number of colors for your other legendary stuff, so with just a few Oaths, Planeswalkers and Shrines you could easily be a 5/5 or 6/6 accidentally. Then you can activate her for one of each mana, which does not tap her, (so you can do it the turn she arrives to the battlefield) and search up a legendary permanent, and places it onto the battlefield as long as said permanent has a mana cost at or less than her power. You can always search out Oath of Nissa on a naked board and then get a 3-drop Shrine or Planeswalker and work your way up. I love this version of Sisay after a mass removal spell since you can rebuild your battlefield with just her.

Primevals' Glorious Rebirth

This is the other legendary sorcery in this brew. It can easily be cast, since you have so many legendaries in the deck. And then you can return all of the cards mentioned above! It's really strong here since you can use it post-Planar Cleansing to bring back all of those legendary cards that were swept. This is really strong in a planeswalker brew where they are killed, ultimated, and attacked quite often and die a lot.

Oath of Teferi
The Chain Veil

These are my last synergetic cards. The five-drop Oath will blink a target on arrival which can be turned on an about-to-die planeswalker to reload their loyalty as well as your rare ETB stuff. It's here for that ability to use, twice, your loyalty abilities. The Veil is a 4-drop (legendary) artifact that taps for four and will, when tapped, let you use your loyalty abilities twice. They are very powerful with 20 planeswalkers as they will let you get double action from your stuff.

Now let's turn to lands and then we'll call it.

The World Tree
Hall of Heliod's Generosity
Takenuma, Abandoned Mire

Takenuma arrives to the battlefield untapped and is legendary for searching. It can channel for four mana, although probably 2 or 1 since you are likely to have many planeswalkers and creatures like tokens on the battlefield. When you do you can mill three and then Raise Dead a dork or planeswalker to your hand. As I mentioned above, planeswalkers die pretty regularly in multiplayer, so bring back a key one like Karn Liberated or Elspeth, Sun's Champion.

And...there we go! Check out my decklist below!

Shrines and Friends | Commander | Abe Sargent

What did you think of my deck? Anything in here missing or anything that I added that you want to unpack? Let me know in the comments below!

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