Hello everyone! Happiest of Friday to You and Yours! Today I am going to write up a fun little Top Ten list for your consideration that I am writing up for you on the palindrome date of 9/9. However, when I would normally write this article up, I am out for three days interviewing for a promotion back home in West Virginia, so I cannot write up something that works with what is currently happening. We are just a few days into spoiler season for Dominaria United and so I wanted to write up something on that, but in a few weeks everyone will know it pretty well. Therefore...what do I do? My normal Top Ten list cannot be done this early. How about Top Ten Combos for a key card spoiled early? Sounds like a plan.
Which card am I writing around today?
It's Jaya, Fiery Negotiator! This four-drop with four loyalty is in one of the worst colors running around for Commander. Her +1 can make a 1/1 with prowess of the Monk variety. Her -1 can exile two and play one card. Her -2 can shoot an opposing dork for damage equal to your attacker's count. That's a lot of ways to build around, so, what combos and archetypes strikes me?
#10. Arcane Bombardment
This is a powerful six-drop Standard-legal enchantment. The first sorcery/instant you cast in each turn (yours and your foes) exiles a random sorcery/instant from your graveyard and then casts the original spell and everything exiled with this, so this will really build up over time. These will work well together since if the spell you play with Jaya counts as one of the two types, you'll trigger this and get a bit payday. This clearly likes brews with enough instants/sorceries to trigger and exile and get big turns. Just like Jaya's +1 to make a Monk with prowess will grow over time. Love this pair quite a lot together!
#9. Wild-Magic Sorcerer
There are a lot of fun places to play the Sorcerer, which gives your first spell you cast each turn from exile cascade. This 4/3 can work on any spell, not just instants/sorceries, so it works well with the once/turn exiling playing from Jaya, as well as other impulse drawing card flow that would work in the deck. It's a lot of fun, and quite possible a big option with other exiling planeswalkers like Chandra, Pyromaster and Chandra, Torch of Defiance. It's pretty common at the kitchen table and in Commander in this color, so this free spell cascade trigger should trigger often, especially since many mechanics exile before casting.
#8. Laelia, the Blade Reforged
Check out this mono-Red legendary leader. it's an Act on Impulse in the command zone. Then you can put a +1/+1 counter on this to make a Commander Damage threat each time you exile from your library. That means you'll get a +1/+1 boost each time you activate Jaya, and you can build in Voltron stuff like Rogue's Passage and Whispersilk Cloak to get in hits. Also, a shout out to an aura from my Top Ten Underplayed Aura list the common aura Claws of Valakut, which can turn your big Mountain count into a fast, hasty, kill. You also can pump it with the exiling of your library to other card flows we talked about earlier. Nice pair, right?
#7. Jund Sacrifice
Jund sacrifice is a very powerful and heavily played archetype in the three color combo, and both Prossh, Skyraider of Kher and Korvold, Fae-Cursed King play nicely into it. They are very commonly seen Dragon leaders at the Commander table. Each is looking for bodies to sacrifice as well as others in the color combo. Therefore, you can make a Monk with Jaya to sacrifice and get stuff from it and the various triggers they'll have like Mayhem Devil and Blood Artist. The latter Dragon can sacrifice Jaya for a card as well when she is about to die. Nice home for our leader.
#6. Izzet Spellslinger
Spellslinger is one of the most heavily played archetypes in the casual game, and combining the triggers of casting instants and sorceries with the vast power of those cards is pretty strong. This leans into abilities like Guttersnipe to shoot everyone for damage. The ability to make a 1/1 dork, cast from your library to net more casts to trigger, both work nicely here. Don't forget that the Monk that Jaya makes has prowess, so you will pump it by playing your things. I really like this in brews that emphasize creature token making like Young Pyromancer and Talrand, Sky Summoner that work nicely in the archetype and then play well with the token making of Jaya.
#5. Boros Tokens
Tokens are also a pretty common archetype at the kitchen table, and we have loads of color combos. This combo uses bodies like Siege-Gang Commander that make tokens on arrival and spells like Raise the Alarm that make the right number of tokens for their casting cost. Then it has pumpers like Dictate of Heliod alongside your typical card flow and answers. Jaya is really strong here since she can +1 to make a dork thus adding to your board state while also -1-ing to cast spells from your library to keep up the pressure while also keeping the cards you draw in your hand to keep resources for answers or post-mass removal. Also, her ability to shoot things works best in a crowd. She's really strong in this archetype.
#4. Super Friends
Forget Boros Tokens, the real archetype for Jaya is any super friends color combo that shares Red with her like Sisay, Weatherlight Captain. Superfriends decks want to build around planeswalkers, but they are weak to attackers dropping their loyalty and killing them by attacking so you are looking for blockers like token makers and removal on sticks. Our Top Ten inspiration has +1 to make a blocker, and then a -1 for card flow, so she works well casting things as well as making dorks. Her removal spell can really do well if we have a bunch of dorks with creature makers like the Elspeth crowd like Elspeth, Sun's Champion. She's very strong here.
#3. Gruul Exile Matters: Durnan of the Yawning Portal AND Passionate Archaeologist
This Gruul pair creates an exile-matters theme that was released in the Commander deck, and can do quite the fun times. This adds the ramping value of Green to Red's impulsive card flow, and that's pretty strong. They also tag team to answer any permanent (Beast Within) to strong artifact/enchantment (Krosan Grip, Vandalblast) to planeswalkers with burn and lands with Stone Rain effects. You'll want to lean into Red's impulsive card draw to trigger your background. If you control them both you can deal damage to a foe equal to the spell cast from exile casting cost. It's a win con in the Command Zone.
#2. Rakdos Exile Matters a.k.a. Prosper, Tome-Bound
Ah yes, everyone's favorite Warlock, and the most popular Rakdos build in Commander according to EDHREC.com. This is pretty good too! Prosper is a 1/4 with deathtouch and two abilities. The first will exile and make castable one spell from your library each of your end steps, so likely once for sure after casting it prior to removal coming online or mana untapped. Then you make a Treasure for ramping each time a spell is cast by you from exile, so it Is card flow and ramp in one card. Jaya plays right into that with her -1 to exile and cast, trigger the pact boon of Prosper. Also, as you can see, this will also work with other exile to cast things as well as deathtouch to play keep away. I also like Jaya's +1 here to also play keep away since attacking you is a key way to gang up on the Rakdos player, and with the ramp and massive card flow, the prowess of her Monk's might be enough to close out games. Nicely duo here!
One slot left, who will it be now?
#1. Whirlwind of Thought and Monastery Mentor
Ah yes. Jeskai for the win-kai! The enchantment is a four-drop that will let you draw a card for each non-dork you cast, which should be a lot. The creature is a three-drop 2/2 with prowess that makes 1/1 Monk prowess tokens when you cast a non-creature. Jaya can +1 to make a Monk token with prowess. See the similarities. They all trigger off the same spells - nondorks. One draws, the other makes tokens, and the tokens pump. All three love things like casting instants and sorceries in a Spellslinger manner, enchantments and artifacts for mana rocks like Sol Ring, equipment like Skullclamp and enchantments like Rhystic Study. Planeswalkers like Sarkhan Unbroken will all trigger these style cards creating a sort of prowess matters brew. You also have the card flow of the -1 to trigger and then Jaya triggers prowess as well. Get it?
And there we go! What did I miss? Anything that suggests a way to build around it? Just let me know in the comments below!