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Orzhov Hatebears with Drana and Linvala


Hello Commander fans! Happiest of days to you and yours! Today let's take a looksee at my second Commander deck built around a March of the Machine Commander option. In my opinion, this is pair is the most powerful Commander in the set, according to my Top Ten Cards from March of the Machine.

So, who am I building around?

Drana and Linvala

This four-drop 3/4 with flying and vigilance, don't sleep on the latter to attack people without flying or reach for Commander damage and keep back untapped for blocking stuff that comes your way. Ever since Serra Angel we know how good that pair can be! Then your opponents' creature activations cannot be used. Note that this does not have a clause that enables mana tapping, it's all shut down, from Mother of Runes to Llanowar Elves. Then you use those activated abilities on your Commander, and if it requires mana of a color you cannot produce, no problems you can make it anyway. We'll be taking this into a brand new Orzhov Hate Bears direction to shut down stuff with on curve early drops.

There is a super secret way to really make the creature shut off ability nasty. Turn your foe's lands into dorks, and then they cannot tap for mana. We'll be adding that combo to this deck, but it opens us up to mass removal of our lands in a Wrath of God effect, but how are they casting it if you have your two card combo out? Although you could play Terra Eternal to keep all lands in play and protect from sweepers of any lands, your foe's as well. There's also super secret tech here in here to protect your lands from mass removal or targeted removal of a destruction nature you'll see in the answer section... and I mean "super secret."

Ramp, Lands, and Rocks

Bojuka Bog
Stonespeaker Crystal
War Room

Let's start with hosing opposing graveyards. I want to shut down graveyard abuse and sensitive decks. As you can see, the Bog arrives tapped and exiles one graveyard from the game. On a land! Strong, but sorcery speed. The Crystal arrives untapped and ready to tap for two colorless. Then you can sacrifice it at instant speed with two mana to draw a card and exile everyone else's graveyard. This is great when recursion is on the stack. Nasty stuff! I also tossed in the non-land Leyline of the Void which will hose opposing stuff getting exiles as it hits the graveyard and can arrive prior to being countered.

Now let's turn to two key lands. War Room and classic Cabal Coffers. The first is a card flow in land form. It taps for colorless, can be tapped with three to lose two life and draw a card. Cards in land form. The Coffers is a key mana maker in Black decks alongside Urborg. Since Urborg is in here already with my two-card combo, adding this in makes a ton of sense.

Vault of the Archangel
Cave of the Frost Dragon

Let's finish out our lands with this pair. The former arrives untapped, also taps for colorless, and then you can spend four Orzhov mana and tap it to gives your stuff deathtocuh and lifelink. Since they are pretty small and cheap, people might not be willing to trade their better and more expesnive stuff for your team with deathtouch. Don't sleep on the lifelink either there for a double life swing. The Cave arrives tapped usually and can be made into a 3/4 flyer for the turn for five mana.

Orzhov Signet
Expedition Map

Let's check out this pair of mana-caring artifacts! Since Drana and Linvala cost four, three of it Black and White, I want to drop them on turn 3 with a two drop Rock that taps for their colors. Like the Signets and Talisman of Hierarchy. Then the Map arrives on the first turn before counters, can be sacrificed on turn 2 for any land, ideally Urborg, and if you have it, then Coffers.

Hate Bears and Non-Dorks

Now let's turn to Hate Bears and Adjuncts. Kambal, Consul of Allocation is a three-drop 2/3 with a trigger. When a foe casts a non-creature, (pretty likely in Commander and multiplayer) they lose two life and you gain it as well. Nasty! Remember that folks are pulling Phyrexian Arena for Read the Bones and Ravenous Chupacabra for Murder so this is enhanced in today's metagame. Containment Priest will exile any nontoken dork that arrived from anywhere if it wasn't cast. Nasty! That's very strong at all of the multiplayer tables. It'll shut down recursion, and things like Tooth and Nail. Cast it in response to it with flash and shut it down.

Aven Mindcensor
Thalia, Heretic Cathar

Check out this pair of three-drop mono-White cards! The Bird is a flashing, flying, with a 2/1 body. When someone else would Tutor their deck? They only search the top four cards. That shuts down so much! Again, with the flash, do it when someone has their fetchland cracking or Eladamri's Call on the stack and cast this. The Human is a sizeable 3/2 with first strike. When your opposing dorks and nonbasics arrive? They arrive tapped. That's very impactful tempo for a turn, giving you a chance to swing through a tapped defense with your team. Great tag team!

Torpor Orb

Check out this pair shutting down ETB abilities. The creature is a two drop with flying and lifelink. It's a bit small at 1/2, but here to shut down all creatures with ETB affects like Solemn Simulacrum, Eternal Witness and Mulldrifter. This is your stuff too, so it's not here. Then the artifact is also a two-drop that shuts down the same things. Then we are running Hushwing Gryff to play into the same field, so three cards dedicated to this theme.

Spelltithe Enforcer is an Elephant that's a 3/3 that costs five - not on curve. But when your foes cast things then they have to sacrifice a permanent or spend that extra mana. Which they'll do. It's very strong with other taxing in here. Opposition Agent costs just three, flashes, then it has a better 3/2 body. Then you control your foes when they tutor, and then you can exile and then cast them yourself and then use any mana you have. That's nasty here! With flash, do it when your foe has a Tutor on the stack, then flash this or just three and cast it yourself!

Myrel, Shield of Argive
Deep Gnome Terramancer

Myrel is key to shut down things on your turn since your foes cannot cast spells or activate abilities of critters, artifacts and enchantments. She has an attack trigger with a way to glut the board with 1/1 tokens of the Solider nature over time. Nasty! The Terramancer is a two-drop 2/2 Bear with flash. When a land ETBs under a foes control that wasn't played normally, ramp out a Plains! Flash this out is response to an on the stack cracked fetchland or Rampant Growth and then get a free Plains. Great pair to finish this section with!

Synergies and Win-Cons

Kormus Bell
Ghostly Prison

Now let's turn to Synergies and my Win-Cons. Let's start with the Bell, the key card that unlocks this deck. If this deck were Green, you could add in Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth and Living Lands. This key will turn all of everyone's Swamps into dorks, and then you can hose them in a mass removal spell like we discussed earlier. But your foes cannot tap their Swamps for mana. I also have the backup Linvala here as well that has the same shutdown ability.

The Prison is a tax for people to swing at you for two mana each. With the taxing of the Spelltithe Enforcer, Smothering Tithe, this and Windborn Muse, Esper Sentinel and more that's pretty strong on the mana tapping.

Living Death would normally swap in play stuff for graveyards but since you are exiling them all, you'll be the only one with this bringing stuff back. Nasty here! Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite is pricey 7-mana 4/7 that rocks vigilance, pumps your stuff by +2/+2 each for the swinging, and your foe's stuff by -2/-2 so it's kill, and a way of keeping the small stuff form the board after she arrives. This pair is very strong here!



Check out these two key answers to sweeping. The Equinox is the key answer here, with huge flexibility. Stone Rain? Countered! Armageddon? Countered! Murder? Countered! Wrath of God? Countered!

Flawless Maneuver is key here too, since you can cast it for three mana to give your stuff indestructible for the turn. And if you are tapped out, you can still cast this for free with your Commander out. I also tossed in Teferi's Protection to play into this space as an answer to answers.

Mass Calcify
Utter End

Now let's turn to removal. The Calcify is here since most of my Hate Bears are White or Orzhov, and only a handful are Black. Therefore, since will usually be a 7-mana sweeper that doesn't touch my stuff and leaves behind around 20% of foe's stuff, and don't forget the backup sweeper Living Death here either. The End is a four-mana instant that exiles anything not called a land, along with the other Vindicate-like effects in this color combination I am running.

Card Flow

Ancient Craving

Black is rare in my creatures but heavy in my spells. I am running the Craving and Ambition's Cost here that'll draw me three and lose three life in a four-cost shell. With all the life gain from lifelink and randomly Kambal, let's use it for card flow! I also have here the awesome equipment to spend one and kill your 1-toughness Hate Bears when they have done their thing or your Swamps to draw two, which you might wanna do since that's mad card flow over time. Or to kill prior to Living Death.

Damnable Pact
Eldritch Pact

Let's finish our deep dive here. The first Pact is an X double-Black X spell that forces a person to lose X life and draw X cards. This can kill a foe with low life or library size, but it's here to rebuild your hand later in the game. Ditto Cut of the Profits. Then the other Pact costs seven, and you draw X where that's your graveyard size and lose X life too. Nice card flow here. With your trio of exiling effects, this may not be targetable against a foe, but if they built it up, then this can also be a win con there too.

Ready for the deck list?

Hatebears with Drana and Linvala | Commander | Abe Sargent

Card Display

And there we go! I hope that you enjoyed my Hate Bears take on the Drana and Linvala Commander option. Enjoy!

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