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Building around Charix, the Raging Isle in Commander


Hello folks!

I hope that you are having a great and safe day and keeping yourself safe in our modern COVID-19 world! Today I am inspired by the zaniest legendary dork in Zendikar Rising. I doubt that our good Crab would inspire many, but it does me!

Let's take a look!

Charix, the Raging Isle

This Leviathan Crab is Charix, the Raging Isle! It's so meaty. For an investment of just four mana you get your 0/17 leader that can block and survive anything on the ground and keep yourself from damage. It's a great blocker. Then you can activate it and swing it from big toughness to big power and get your swag on.

Building Charix, the Raging Isle in Commander

When I first saw Charix I knew that I wanted to build around it. It's awesome and I love it. I initially wanted it in a mono-Blue pillow fort where you are running cards like Propaganda and Maze of Ith to keep yourself safe, and your leader's big butt will help keep yourself and your planeswalkers safe. But then I looked into the card more and my idea for the deck morphed.

I want to get Commander kills with it.

Here let's assume you control just 5 islands.

Activate it once, it's a 5/12. Twice? It's a 10/7 that'll kill very quickly with Commander damage.

Here is what I am looking for in the Voltron version of this deck:

  1. Cards that get more Islands out for pumpage and ramp me.
  2. Mana rocks to increase my ability to pump it.
  3. Traditional mono-colored ramp to do to the same.
  4. Cards that will help pump Charix's power.
  5. Cards that will get Charix through.
  6. Other mono-blue good stuff that Charix will lean on.


Thassa, God of the Sea
Thassa, Deep-Dwelling

Let's start with Thassas! Thassa Part One has obvious value here. You can spend some mana to invest Charix or others with unblockability. Get your swing on! The free scry is nice and getting devotion shouldn't be too hard. She's a fun and powerful three-drop for the deck. Speaking of which, check out Thassa Part Two! She'll let you tap potential blockers to swing through or to tap potential attackers and keep you and your buddies nice and safe. Ahhh. The free blink that is attached is a nice booster. We have a few Mulldrifters here although not that many most of our gang punches your face or has other effects. She's really here for the tapping synergy. Again, her devotion shouldn't prove overly hard to trigger either.

Did you know that Mu Yanling exists? She sure does! This is the version that came in the Chinese Standard Planeswalker deck series. I am running her primarily for that first ability to +2 and unblockable-ify something. Don't sleep on occasionally drawing two cards or getting her to her ultimate with that +2. When I play her in Commander, she doesn't get a lot of attacks or hate coming her way.

Blackblade Reforged
Sword of Fire and Ice

Next up? Equipment that I can use to get in attacks. I'd rather run equipment than auras because:

1. The Equipment Remains - When removal comes your creatures' way, then the equipment remains ready to be tossed onto another dork.

2. Blue Loves Artifacts - Blue has several cards that care about artifacts that I can dip into so a mono-blue equipment Voltron deck will always trump a mono-blue aura based one.

You'll see a few equipment in here as a result!

As I mentioned before I want to run a lot of mana, and both Caged Sun and Nyx Lotus apply! The Sun will pump your team and the Lotus will tap for a whole lot of mana! Both are going to do some damage here. Also, most of my ramp tools are artifacts...

Whir of Invention

Like I mentioned, we'll have a full pile of artifacts, so I have added in a few ways to fetch out a key artifact like Whir of Invention. Do you have a lot of Islands and need Extraplanar Lens for the mana doubling? Do you need the right piece of equipment for Charix? Do you just need a Solemn Simulacrum? Do you need cards so you can grab Staff of Nin or Mind's Eye? No problem! You can tutor away. I am also running Fabricate, Reshape, and Deadeye Navigator to grab you the best artifact or equipment for the game state.

You have to be special to make the cut as a land if you are not an Island. I am only running six non-Islands in my deck. Each must be special. Two of those are artifact delights - Academy Ruins and Inventors' Fair. Given my high artifact count I had to run them. One (Myriad Landscape) turns into two Islands. One is the key Rogue's Passage that'll enable our Charix to smash. Nykthos is another and it'll add to my ramping and the last is Cathedral of War, where exalted will pump a Charix swing.

Kasmina, Enigmatic Mentor
Kira, Great Glass-Spinner
Monastery Siege

I finished with around 6 extra card slots and went with a fort subtheme as well! Remember how Charix will tax foes for their interaction with it? In a similar way we can shut down and slow down those interactions. These are the first cards that leapt to my mind when I saw Charix on the spoiler list. Two of these will add to the tax that someone uses to target your stuff and the other puts a one-time shield around your creatures. These came in along with cards like Rhystic Study and Propaganda.

Lazotep Plating

Every deck that seeks to win with creatures needs an answer to problems. It needs a Heroic Intervention or a Rootborn Defenses. But what do you do when you are Blue? You don't have access to those cards! Enter Lazotep Plating, which can give all your stuff hexproof for a turn, thus answering any targeted removal from Cyclonic Rift to Swords to Plowshares. Note that this also makes a 1/1 so you can just use it as a combat trick to block and kill an X/1 that attacked you.

Since I already am running equipment and ways to ensure unblockability, I added in some mono-Blue creatures that have triggers when they hit. Most of these have combat triggers that will draw you a card and many of them have some level of evasion where possible. Your Thieving Magpie can fly, but if you need to slip through then you can activate Thassa, God of the Sea or give it a Whispersilk Cloak. You'll note a few of these in here.

I also added a few subthemes that were easy to do. I added in all four or five mono-Blue Islands-matter cards like Tempest Djinn and Flow of Ideas. I tossed in Blighted Agent to give you another Voltron clock to equip. I tossed in Frontline Sage to improve your exalted options. You get the idea.

Ready for the decklist?


And there we have it! What did you think of my build? Are you inspired to build around Charix as well? Anything I missed or that you really like? Just let me know!

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