Hello happy readers! I hope that you are having the best day ever! And if not yet, then maybe by the end of the day! And I'd settle for top 13! Welcome to my Commander deck around my second choice from the very long named set of D&D: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. I will build around a few more over the next few weeks as well!
Who have I already built around?
- Volo, Guide to Monsters - (Volo's Guide to Commanding Monsters | Article by Abe Sargent (coolstuffinc.com)) Firstly, I grabbed and built a Simic deck around this unique Human and Wizard. Every creature in the deck has a unique creature type and I built it around my token Shapeshifter - Riptide Shapshifter who you can sacrifice for the perfect creature in this creature-based build. I hope you enjoy it!
Who am I building around this week? Great question! Let's look!
It's this Naya leader! Three colors! All fun! As you can see, my leader is...Minsc! He's a Ranger who debuted in a video game called Baldur's Gate, as well as the sequel Baldur's Gate II as a companion that you can recruit, along with a lawful good female mage called Dynaheir. He has a pet hamster named "Boo" who he calls a miniature Giant Space Hamster, which is a monster from the Spelljammer campaign setting. You get Boo when Minsc arrives to the battlefield, which is four power and toughness for three mana - pretty good for a Commander. Then you can invest X mana and make Boo (or someone else) a Giant X/X until the end of the turn and smash away. Note that you can target Minsc to help with a Commander kill. Also note that you cannot use this when you are attacked to smash block and attacker as it's only sorcery speed.
How do I see myself building Minsc?
- Ramp - You need a lot of mana for the X to really matter and make sense. We need to maximize that X in order to really make it sing! Luckily, we are in the color of ramping with Green and the second color of ramping in White.
- Buddies - When I read Minsc for the first time, would you want to know what card I thought about? Tolsimir Wolfblood! Why? He taps to make a 2/2 legendary Wolf named Voja! And he's in my colors as well! We could do a number of creatures and planeswalkers that have buddies running around and bring those to the battlefield! Boo is not the only Buddy out there in Naya colors!
- Combat Damage Triggers - One great way that strikes me to maximize Minsc is to have a creature that has a combat damage trigger with an effect for each damage dealt, like Cold-Eyed Selkie, but those aren't many and they tend to be running around in Blue. I don't know if there are an in Naya that would work.
- Unblockable - Since Minsc is a mana hungry Commander Kill if unblocked and since he has no natural evasion, I'll add a few cards here and there that will make something unblockable. I'll also look to adding in creature with trample for Minsc to really push forward. And maybe some trample would make sense for Boo.
- Creatures - Since Minsc wants to make a creature really big, it makes sense to go wide with the bodies so we can have more options running around.
- Support - Card draw, removal, reanimation, and creature protection all fall into this category.
My decklist should look pretty different than the EDHREC.com one.
Let's start with #2 and really push that theme!
Let's look at the two Tolsimirs and their Vojas! The first Tolsimir taps to make a 2/2 Voja legendary dork creature and then pumps the Green and White dork twice to make it a 4/4, while also pumping your team as well. Minsc is a 5/5 with the Wolfblooded one out but Boo is Red, so no pumping there. Tolsimir Take Two doesn't need to tap to make a Voja, he brings the Wolf to the party. This time Voja, Friend to Elves is a 3/3 and that's six power and toughness across two bodies for five mana, making him a more powerful beater. You do miss out the Glorious Anthem effect, though. As Voja, Friend to Elves arrives to the party, you gain three life, and it can fight if you want it to. Good stuff, right?
I wish Bear's Companion were in my colors! But it's just two out of three.
The next place I thought of was Ashaya, made by Nissa in her Sage Animist flip form! Ashaya, Take 2 was printed as a different card from Nissa in Zendikar Rising. As you can see, Ashaya is a five mana X/X where X is your land count, so likely at least a 5/5 when you drop it, and Ashaya scales nicely as the game goes long. Note that your non-tokens, including Ashaya, are now Forests, so in a deck going wide as much as this one is, you can drop the Elemental and then really tap a lot of your dorks for a massive amount of mana as well as pumping up Ashaya massively. Look at Nissa, Flip Version. You can drop her for three mana and fetch out a basic Forest to your hand. Then you can flip her to the Sage Animist form if you drop a land and you have at least seven under your control. Then you get a solid planeswalker for your trouble. If you have enough lands to flip her when you drop her just play the land you fetched. You get a +1 that will ramp lands on the top of your library or draw them otherwise, so that's great card flow and ramping. Her -2 will make an Ashaya, the Awoken World who is a 4/4 Green Elemental. Good stuff!
Let's not forget Kari Zev and her Ragavan! She is a 1/3 first strike menace for just two mana and when she swings, she makes a 2/1 Ragavan Red Monkey that is also attacking for the combat and will exile afterwards. That gives you three damage, one of which is first strike and menace, for two mana. Love her! And her pet Monkey Pirate Ragavan is tearing up Modern after getting printed in Modern Horizons 2. Ragavan is a great 1-drop with a 2/1 body who makes a Treasure for ramping as you punch someone, and you can exile the top card of their library and cast it with the Treasure mana if it's not in Minsc's three colors. He can also be dashed for to give him haste and remove him from the battlefield to stay clear of sorcery speed removal like mass sweepers such as Damnation and Wrath of God.
Don't sleep on Mowu! You can drop this Loyal Companion for just four mana, and you net a trampling and vigilance machine. With trample, you can pump up Mowu into a huge version of himself (which he becomes in the story so it's flavorful) and can trample over foes and stay back for blocking. This is not a +1/+1 counter brew, so you can usually ignore that final ability here. Jiang Yanggu can be brought out for five mana with 4 loyalty and can +1 loyalty to +2/+2 something for a turn. You can do this to add to the power of your Giant Boo for a turn to hit with two more damage. But Yanggu is here to -1 and make a legendary 3/3 Mowu token of the Green Hound persuasion. His -5 is easy to do if you +1 him early and you can pump up a Boo or another Giant X/X by adding X/X where X is your land count... and trample! Nasty right! Note that if you Giant Minsc, and then ultimate with Jiang, you could have enough to kill in one Commander hit for 21 damage out of nowhere. Don't sleep on Jiang Yanggu.
Check out this pair! Mila is a great companion for Lukka, right? She'll drop for three mana and as a 2/3 and then you can get a shield that adds loyalty counters to your planeswalkers as they swing at them to help keep them alive. As your permanents are targeted by foes, you get to draw cards which is... a lot of cards in a multiplayer Commander game! And then you can cast Wayward Bonder which is a six mana 5 loyalty Lukka who can discard cards for +1 to draw and if you discarded a dork, you draw two! Great card flow here. And then I added the original Lukka to the conversation, who is a nasty five-mana 5 loyalty 'walker with that awesome -2 which you can do twice to Polymorph a creature you control, but you only get something with a bigger casting cost. Note that you exile the dork in question, but it's awesome for your tokens like Boo or Voja that you can get back. You can also +1 him to add to your card flow of dorks from the top of your library but he's really here for his -2. And he's on theme with Mila!
Lukka is not the only planeswalker with a Companion! Check out Garruk and his Beast. The Beast is a 3/2 for two mana and... it has trample for Minsc! This fun fanged foe will love to get all Giant-ed. The Primal Hunter is awesome here as a 5-drop with three loyalty. He can +1 to make 3/3 Beasts which you can feed to Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast and add to your battlefield. You can -3 him to draw a ton of cards off a Giant Boo without requiring any mana if Garruk were already in play. Good tag team!
You know who else has buddies? Do siblings count? If so...check out this pair! The first was printed way back in Legends and on arrival to the battlefield he brings a Stangg Twin token, and both are 3/4s for six mana, so 6/8 total across them. These twins are literally tied together, because if Stangg or his Twin leave the battlefield, so does the other one so you want to protect them. Now check out the second one. Verix is a nice legendary 4/4 flyer for four mana. You can kick the Dragon for three mana and then get a Karox Bladewing which is a 4/4 flyer with 8/8 flying across seven mana and two bodies. Good stuff either way and we don't have that much flying here. Flying is good for Minsc's Giant making ability and either Bladewing here will work.
Hmm... Do I want to shift to a legendary matters deck? Check out The Circle of Loyalty. I cannot drop its cost, as I am not running a bunch of Knights, but I don't need to. Our Buddies like Boo and Mowu are loyal to their leader, and thus this is a flavor hit. This pumps the team by +1/+1 and that's great here in a deck going wide with 34 creatures and tokens, but I really like that legendary spell into a 2/2 White Knight token. I also like tapping for four mana for another 2/2 White Knight as well. You can block attacks on your planeswalkers, get pumped into a 3/3 with Tolsimir Wolfblood on the battlefield, get Giant'ed by Minsc, and loads more! I love this card and its flavor here a lot!
Now I really love Toralf here! Four mana for a 5/4 trampler is great, and that's one reason why he's here. He's very on curve. As a trampler he's also a great Giant target from Minsc. Don't sleep on his Hammer either! Two mana and two to equip is cheap and you get a few abilities. If the equipped dork is legendary, like Boo, you get a strong +3/+0 out of it. Most of the Buddies are legendary, either Voja, Ashaya, Mowu, Ragavan, and we can give that boost to leaders as well like Stangg or Kari Zev. You can un-attach the Hammer and throw it at someone for three damage to kill off a key dork or planeswalker that needs to die. But the Hammer bounces to your hand and you'll need four more mana to drop it and equip it again. Boo is worthy!
Now that we are moving into a legendary direction I tossed in this triumvirate. Captain Sisay was the first card I tossed in with her ability to tap and Tutor for a legendary card, which are pretty dense in this build. I also tossed in Search for Glory, which is here to grab any legendary card (I converted my basics to Snow-Covered in order to gain life from casting this sorcery). Check out Reki! As you cast legendary stuff you draw those cards. And Reki's card draw will work on non-creatures.
Check out Kolvori. As long as you control three or more legendary dorks, including Kolvori, she becomes a 6/6 for four mana, and that's pretty good. You only need Minsc and Boo. You can tap her and two mana and dig six down to grab a legendary dork and put it into you hand. You can play Kolvori as The Ringheart Crest which taps for Green mana and that can be used for legendary stuff like Minsc or you can cast a tribe in your hand. I don't know why you would though. I prefer the God of Kinship version here.
While I was building around legendary Monkeys and legendary Hamsters, I realized something pretty nifty. Wouldn't a legendary Squirrel make sense here? Enter Toski! Toski cannot be countered and cannot be destroyed with its indestructible. It has to swing each turn which is fine as it won't die. As your stuff deals combat damage to foes you'll net a card, which is great to keep cards flowing. Since we have unblockable cards like Rogue's Passage, Access Tunnel, and Whispersilk Cloak for a Giant Boo, we could also net some pretty cards as well.
This is the only mana ramp spell we'll be looking at. Check it out! This is being run for the first X spell as you can get X lands. Not X basics, any land! Command Tower? Check. Mana Confluence? Check. Stomping Ground? Check. You've got this! You can also sweep flyers and we only have a few so feel free to do so if your lands are good to go.
I wanted some more card drawing so I tossed in this pair as well as Harmonize. The former card will draw cards equal to the damage that a target creature deals in combat this turn. I couldn't find a creature with the ability do I went with spells. Make a Giant Boo and save yourself some mana and if they don't block you could draw some serious cards. It's great in here! I love the latter card as well. It pumps the target up by +3/+3... and gives it trample...Boo likes! When this large trampling monstrosity deals combat damage to a player this turn, you'll draw cards equal to said damage. Nasty!
I still have some slots available, let's add in a few more partners.
Check out Vivien and her Grizzly. I love the Grizzly here as you can add to your card flow with its activated ability. Was the top card of your library either a dork or a planeswalker? Great! Now draw it. If not, you can put it on the bottom of your library and try again! It's very strong here. There were a bunch of good Viviens that I could have added to this brew that would have fit, but I really like the Arkbow Ranger. Why? That +1! You can toss a +1/+1 on two dorks or two on one dork and give said dork(s) trample for the turn. She's a mana-free way to provide size that sticks and trample to Boo or another Buddy.
Let's now turn to Huatli and her Raptor. The Warrior Poet is a perfect card for this brew! First of all, she can +2 to gain life equal to the highest power among your stuff. A Giant Boo? You could have a bunch of life gain as well! One activation for 7 or 8 life from a Minsc Giant effect can get you 5 loyalty, which is pretty good for the lady. Then you can 0 her to make a 3/3 Dinosaur, Green, trampler to block or swing. Did you notice the trample? Another great synergy for Giant-ing. The Raptor provides a nice body for two mana with vigilance so you can grow it, swing, and then keep it back for blocking. The proliferate will almost never matter save for the occasional loyalty counter. I only have two ways to give +1/+1 counters in the deck - Vivien, Arkbow Ranger and an enchantment we'll see later.
Check out Arlinn and her flip side. On dropping this 3 loyalty 4-drop, you have two options. The first is to +1 and haste, vigilance, and +2/+2 a targeted dork, like a Giant Boo. Pretty good. That's not why she's here. Arlinn is here for that 0 ability to make a 2/2 Green Wolf and then flip. Note that if you control Arlinn and Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves then your Wolf token will trigger his ability and you'll gain 3 more life and said Wolf can fight. Then you transform Arlinn and you have a 3 loyalty 'walker with a 2/2 that can block to keep her alive. What you seek is that +1 on the Embraced by the Moon side. As you can see, she'll be an Anthem for your team and give them all...trample! She's great! You can also -1 her to shoot something for 3 damage but that flips her back and you may miss that trampling. She's fun here!
In addition to Minsc, this set also introduces Bard Class. Any reduction in cost is pretty keen. This is our lone enchantment. At level one your legendary stuff arrives to the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on them. That means that Minsc and Boo will enter the battlefield with a collective +2/+2 making them great! You can drop this as soon as the 2nd turn. You'll want that Level 2 as soon as possible (3rd turn?) to drop the casting cost of your legendary stuff by .
Imagine this opening:
- Turn one - Play tapped land like Stomping Ground or just a Snow-Covered Forest or Snow-Covered Mountain
- Turn two - Play land that can tap for or , like Command Tower or City of Brass, and drop Bard Class
- Turn three - Drop land that can tap for . Spend and activate Bard Class leveling up to level 2. Minsc is now just . Drop Minsc and net a Boo, who are now 4/4 and 2/2 respectively.
It's so synergetic here! And then when you have the five mana you can turn it into impulsive exiling card flow. Note that this works with any legendary spell, not just creatures, so your planeswalkers are reduced in cost as well as Kamahl's Druidic Vow. Normally I don't like to run just one or two cards of a single type as then all removal of that type will come your way. Not playing any cards of that type will turn opposing removal into blanks. For example, a creatureless deck will turn your foes' Swords to Plowshares and Murder and Control Magic into card disadvantage blanks that cannot do anything. But here, Bard Class is so good with Minsc that I have to run it!
Now let's turn to some lands!
Check out his duo! Sunhome can give a Giant Boo double strike to get a second swing in. Its great here as a way to punch yourself into the winning spot. But it's mana pricey, so you only want to use it if it helps out, although it can let you win combats with first strike part of the ability that you would otherwise lose. Also check out the Wolf Run! I love it here as a backup way to turn a creature into a giant stomper. Don't control Minsc due to deaths and Commander Tax? No problems! Use this to massively pump up a dork into a game winner and give it trample to punch through. You can also just and tap to give a Giant Boo trample, so it's pretty useful here!
Check out the Enclave. Do you control a dork with a power of four or more? Easy in this build, right? Then tap this land and some mana and draw that card! It's good stuff! I also tossed in a bunch of legendary lands like both Yavimayas and Kor Haven that I can search up with my legendary tutors.
Let's look at one more card and then we'll call it.
This is another way to get yourself a legendary buddy, this time on a five-mana instant. You turn a land into a 9/9 with haste that is...still a land and is a legendary Vitu-Ghazi! I love the flavor here. I also love dropping this when someone swings my way and then block and kill with a giant 9/9 and then swing with my newly made 9/9 on my turn on a now open board. The haste let's you swing out of nowhere even on a land that dropped that turn. Pretty good flavor here, right? I thought so as well! This was made by Nissa after all!
All right let's call it! The vast majority of the cards in the below list are not on the EDHREC.com page as we went in very different directions with this build.
Giant Boo! | Commander | Abe Sargent
- Commander (1)
- 1 Minsc, Beloved Ranger
- Creatures (32)
- 1 Acidic Slime
- 1 Ashaya, Soul of the Wild
- 1 Avacyn, Angel of Hope
- 1 Birds of Paradise
- 1 Captain Sisay
- 1 Eternal Witness
- 1 Flametongue Kavu
- 1 Garruk's Companion
- 1 Huatli's Raptor
- 1 Initiate's Companion
- 1 Kari Zev, Skyship Raider
- 1 Karmic Guide
- 1 Klothys, God of Destiny
- 1 Kolvori, God of Kinship // The Ringheart Crest
- 1 Mila, Crafty Companion // Lukka, Wayward Bonder
- 1 Mowu, Loyal Companion
- 1 Nissa, Vastwood Seer
- 1 Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer
- 1 Reclamation Sage
- 1 Reki, the History of Kamigawa
- 1 Saffi Eriksdotter
- 1 Stangg
- 1 Sun Titan
- 1 Thalia's Lancers
- 1 Timeless Witness
- 1 Tolsimir Wolfblood
- 1 Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves
- 1 Toralf, God of Fury // Toralf's Hammer
- 1 Toski, Bearer of Secrets
- 1 Vivien's Grizzly
- 1 Yasharn, Implacable Earth
- 1 Yisan, the Wanderer Bard
- Planeswalkers (6)
- 1 Arlinn Kord
- 1 Garruk, Primal Hunter
- 1 Huatli, Warrior Poet
- 1 Jiang Yanggu
- 1 Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast
- 1 Vivien, Arkbow Ranger
- Instants (7)
- 1 Awakening of Vitu-Ghazi
- 1 Eladamri's Call
- 1 Heroic Intervention
- 1 Hunter's Insight
- 1 Momentous Fall
- 1 Rootborn Defenses
- 1 Teferi's Protection
- Sorceries (9)
- 1 Cultivate
- 1 Explosive Vegetation
- 1 Harmonize
- 1 Hunter's Prowess
- 1 Kamahl's Druidic Vow
- 1 Kodama's Reach
- 1 Nylea's Intervention
- 1 Peregrination
- 1 Search for Glory
- Enchantments (9)
- 1 Bard Class
- 1 Arcane Signet
- 1 Commander's Sphere
- 1 Lightning Greaves
- 1 Mana Crypt
- 1 Sol Ring
- 1 Swiftfoot Boots
- 1 The Circle of Loyalty
- 1 Whispersilk Cloak
- Lands (36)
- 5 Snow-Covered Forest
- 5 Snow-Covered Mountain
- 5 Snow-Covered Plains
- 1 Access Tunnel
- 1 Ancient Tomb
- 1 Arch of Orazca
- 1 Bonders' Enclave
- 1 City of Brass
- 1 Command Tower
- 1 Evolving Wilds
- 1 Jungle Shrine
- 1 Kor Haven
- 1 Kessig Wolf Run
- 1 Mana Confluence
- 1 Mosswort Bridge
- 1 Rogue's Passage
- 1 Sacred Foundry
- 1 Stomping Ground
- 1 Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion
- 1 Temple Garden
- 1 Temple of the False God
- 1 Terramorphic Expanse
- 1 Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth
- 1 Yavimaya Hollow
And there you have it, 100 cards later! My decklist looks radically different from the EDHREC.com page and we have only a small number of cards like Heroic Intervention and Reclamation Sage in common. So, what did you think of my build? Anything in here excite you? Anything I missed? Giant Boo for the win!