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Commanding Florian, Voldaren Scion


Hello folks! I hope that you are having a most wonderous day today! If not, I hope it will be by the end of the day!

Today is the fourth article in a row I've written about a new legendary dork released in Midnight Hunt.

Here are my last three:

  1. Gisa, Glorious Resurrector - I first built around this mono-black leader that wants to kill foes with destruction effects like Damnation, -X/-X effects like Mutilate, sacrificing effects like Slum Reaper, and then triggers and reanimation and mono-Black ramping tools. It's a whole lot of fun! You can see the song I sung over here.
  2. Rem Karolus, Stalwart Slayer - In this Boros-based build I toss in a ton of damage-based mass removal that will keep your stuff alive if you survive, such as Rolling Earthquake and Blasphemous Act, as well as backup ways to keep your stuff alive like Iroas, God of Victory as well as triggers and damage dealers to people's face from burn like Stuffy Doll. Enjoy it here!
  3. Ludevic, Necrogenius // Olag, Ludevic's Hubris - This Dimir deck is deep is graveyard manipulation for Ludevic like creature tutoring such as Entomb and Buried Alive, milling like Ashiok, Sculptor of Fears, card drawing like Bitter Revelation, and great creatures to copy like Avatar of Woe. Check out this cool deck here.

What Rakdos colored leader inspired today's build?

Florian, Voldaren Scion

This Vampire Noble did! Florian, Voldaren Scion has a great amount of card advantage, as you deal damage to your foes prior to your post-combat main phase, you dig X where that is the life lost, and then you exile one and can play it for the turn, but just this turn. Note the use of the word "play" means that you can drop a land if you reveal it. This is also a 3/3 for 3 mana with first strike, so it's on curve and cheap.

How do I see building around Florian?

How about Group Slug? It's an archetype in these colors that uses effects like Subversion to drain life from everyone at the table slowly over time while slowing down the game in a Pillot Fort style.

Let's build a Group Slug brew! We are going into a very different direction that the Florian page over at EDHREC.com.

Let's do a deep dive into all things Group Slug!

Neheb, the Eternal

Let's start with the Eternal version of Neheb! See why he's here? You don't have to swing to make a bunch of mana for that mana ramping. Just a simple tap of Spear Spewer will gain you three to use for casting your Florian spell or other ones in your hands. This Zombie Minotaur Warrior is an essential part of this breakfast! It's really good here! And you can swing and force them into a demon's choice - block for Afflict and they lose 3 (3 mana) or let it through and take 4.

Caverns of Despair
Silent Arbiter

Look at this triumvirate of power. All three of these reduce the number of attackers that can come your way. The first one is my favorite as it will stop all but two attackers and blockers. It's on a harder to answer enchantment, and it can really mess with the minds. You can sit back behind your big booty early drops like Thermo-Alchemist and keep yourself from damage. You also have Maze of Ith and cards to use to stop an evasive attacker that is coming your way. The second card will shut down just one, but it's on a more vulnerable artifact creature. Pretty much every commonly targeted removal spell in the game can answer it, from Swords to Plowshares to Beast Within to Naturalize.

But it's a 1/5 for blocking, which is pretty good. The Arbiter is a Commander essential with 10,525 decks registered over at EDHREC.com. I like it a lot here. The third card only affects you, not the table, and will prevent more than two creatures swinging your way. You can block with any number of stuff as well. I like it a lot here. It's in 7,343 decks. Good triumvirate!

Zo-Zu the Punisher
Ankh of Mishra

How about this pair of damage draining stuff. They won't help with life loss on your turn for Florian triggers, but they are amazing in the Rakdos Group slug ideal. As someone (you too) drops a land, they are Shocked for two damage. That's a great break on land ramp like Explosive Vegetation that now does 4 damage to their face. A fetchland-heavy mana base is going to hate this duo as well. I love them a lot here!

Sanctum of Stone Fangs
Honden of Night's Reach
Honden of Infinite Rage

I managed to slide in three Shrines. The Stone Fangs one is obvious. It triggers in your precombat phase, and you'll drain X Life from your foes equal to the Shrines you control. Just own it? Drain 1, and trigger Florian's card draw for 3 more in a four-way game.

The Night's Reach one will force a foe to discard a card equal to the Shrines you control during your upkeep, and if you have two Shrines then you'll really be pressuring hands. Then the Infinite Rage Shrine will shoot a target equal to your Shrine count. You can shoot a player for 2 damage and that's two more Florian. If you need to control creatures, shoot them instead! Good stuff!

I am running a full 10-set of planeswalkers in this brew.

Angrath, the Flame-Chained
Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Angrath was the first one I tossed in as I love it so much in multiplayer. It's +1 to force everyone else to discard and lose 2 life at the same time is a clock and a card advantage engine in one go. It's here for the life loss but don't sleep on the discarding either. His -3 can Threaten a dork for a turn, and if it was under 4 mana cost it gets sacrificed instead of heading back, which is pretty good for the cause as well!

The Torch of Defiance was the first Chandra I tossed in. She's here for her first +1 to exile and then let you cast it or Shock every foe for 2 damage for Florian. (You can only "cast" it so no dropping lands here). Don't sleep on her other +1 ability to make mana to help you with Florian's spells instead. She can -4 to Lightning Blast a creature which is good removal as well. Both are great here!

Tibalt, Rakish Instigator
Sorin Markov
Ob Nixilis, the Hate-Twisted

Here's another trio we are running in this brew! Tibalt is here for the ability to shut down opposing life gain for a while. We are draining their life so I don't want to shut it down on me, so I am not running similar effects that shut it down on myself as well. But I do want to keep things going down for our foes.

You can also -2 the Devil to make a 1/1 Devil friend that can jump in front of attackers coming your way! Sorin is here for that middle ability to cut someone's life to 10. If they started the turn at 27, this counts as them losing 17 life for Florian! And it will help kill off players quickly when the triggers of this build mount. Don't sleep on his +2 to drain a target of two. You can use it on a foe to add two to your Florian amount and on a dork or an almost dead planeswalker to finish them off. Nixilis is here to punish decks that are drawing massive amounts of cards here! You can use him as backup creature control if you want, although that's a lot of card disadvantage so I don't recommend unless absolutely needed.

Chandra, Flame's Catalyst
Chandra, Awakened Inferno

Check out this mythic rare 6-drop Chandra duo! The former will +1 to Lightning Bolt your foes. In a four-way game that is 9 deep for your Florian, and it's also a pretty big clock, even in a 40-life format like Commander. She can -2 to cast an instant or sorcery (if Red) from your graveyard and we don't have any recursion, so if you have a rare one like Chaos Warp or Bedevil there then go ahead and get another removal spell from it!

The latter Chandra is here because she cannot be countered, and her +2 can break a table after time. Do it right after she resolves so that you do not pass priority, and you'll get that one off for sure, even if she is immediately killed with instant burn or removal. Those emblems are nasty good for you! As you can see, they'll trigger in our upkeep - good synergy with Florian. Her -3 to Lightning Bolt non-Elemental creatures is good control as well!

Chandra, Bold Pyromancer

Let's turn to our last planeswalker. You might not have seen the Bold Pyromancer version of Chandra before since she is from a planeswalker deck, and she probably costs one more mana than needed. She is a 6-drop, 5-loyalty with a few abilities. I am running her for that +1 to both ramp us by 2 mana and trigger Florian with a Shock to a foe. Both work nicely here! And then you can -3 her to Lightning Bolt a dork or planeswalker to finish them off as well, so don't you, forget about her!

Let's turn from planeswalkers to Monarchs!

Court of Ambition
Court of Ire

I felt that the Monarch ability to draw a lot of cards really suited this build. We are stopping foes from swinging with one of early three cards we showed above, we are running things like Maze of Ith and Labyrinth of Skophos to prevent damage from an attacker.

We can burn away attackers with our planeswalkers, and they might want to swing at them and keep us Monarch'ed given how nasty they are with Florian out. It also helped to add in Monarch-related creatures that can block and swing.

Check out the Court cycle. The Ambition Court is a 4-drop that will replace itself at least once. During your upkeep, each foe loses 3 life or discards a card. Most will choose the life loss. Good for Florian. If you are the Monarch, you'll force them for 2 cards and 6 life. Good stuff!

The Ire one will cost you 5 mana and you'll Shock a target, for free, each upkeep. We've seen the value of that. If you are the Monarch? 7 damage! Nasty! Aim that at a foe and that will dig down 7 for your post-combat Florian trigger. And you'll kill that foe pretty quickly. It's also ideal creature or planeswalker control. Great duo!

Emberwilde Captain
Thorn of the Black Rose
Marchesa's Decree

Let's look at another trio of Monarching. The first in this trio makes you the Monarch, and when folks swing your way while you are the Monarch, they eat damage in the face equal to the cards in their hand. Have foes that like to hold onto a fat grip? Do they love effects that let them run more than 7 cards in their hand like Reliquary Tower? They might not even want to attack you!

The second card is here for deathtouch to trade up. If you draw a card from the Monarch and from trading up with deathtouch, that's two cards for one. Good card flow. Folks might not want to trade down their big ground pounders, so you might play keep away. The third card is great at protecting yourself and your planeswalkers. As foes swing your or their way, they lose a life. Good stuff, and all three will replace themselves even if someone else had become the Monarch Star. (That's a Mario Party reference).

Skyline Despot

We don't have that many flyers, so adding in an on-flavor 5/5 is pretty good. Note that it'll replace itself with the Monarchy and can play keep away from small flying fry looking to wrest it away from you. If you are the Monarch on your upkeep, you spit out a 5/5 flyer, which is a trigger that can win the game after a few turns of swinging in the air! Good Dragon!

Karazikar, the Eye Tyrant
Vengeful Ancestor

You know what goes great with Monarch? Goad! You can send your foes at each other and hide behind the card flow of your Monarchy. It will also let you survive the potential attackers. I tossed in cards like Disrupt Decorum and this pair of creatures.

Check out the Beholder! As it swings, it taps down a creature to let you through and goads it. You are more likely to deal damage with the 5/5 now that a key blocker is tapped, and that's a 5-damage set of triggers for Florian. As opponents attack each other, they will draw a card and lose a life, as will you, which also works for playing keep away. The Spirit Dragon is a nice flyer, and that's good at keep away. When it arrives to the party (or swings) you goad a creature! As goaded stuff swings at each other, their controllers each attack each other they trigger some damage, and that's good for the slugging.

Bloodthirsty Blade

But this? This is my favorite goad tool in the build! It will trigger the attack swings of the above two creatures. I love attaching the Blade to a beefy Commander that can kill in a few hits with the aid of the +2/+0 bonus to its size. Love it a lot here! A lot! All right, let's leave behind goading.

Xantcha, Sleeper Agent

And how about Xantcha? This 3-mana 5/5 will head to a foe's battlefield on arrival to the party and must attack each combat and not you or your stuff. Note that Xantcha can be used by any player to draw a card and force the controller to lose 2 life. Pretty nice! Do it on your turn for card flow and Florian triggers! Although you may want to save up the mana and wait until the end of someone else's turn before untapping. I have seen players counter removal on Xantcha, just so they can keep on drawing those cards!

No Mercy

I tossed in the Elemental Incarnation in last week's build, but it's better here! The enchantment was printed first, and you can let foe's through with their stuff, and then they will be destroyed when they punch your face. When you start with 40 life, you have plenty of space to let this pair really do some damage. They'll really play keep away.

Note that I am not running life loss card draw at all in this build save for two creatures that are here because they force foes to lose life as well. Florian is my card flow, and his Monarchy. Since we are gaining a bunch of life with life drains, we shouldn't mind this duo really impacting the board. You can also swing with the creature with its fear against a board and it'll still trigger.

Cunning Rhetoric

Check out this awesome 3-drop enchantment! Whenever a foe swings your (or your planeswalkers') way, they will exile the top card of their library, and you can play it with mana washing involved. That means they will be giving away card advantage, and you could block or kill the attacker or Maze of Ith them, and such. It probably won't be worth it unless you are the Monarch and they steal it from you, but that will be card neutrality, not advantage, since you can play the top of the library with your mana. Good stuff!

Keen Duelist

This is the creature I alluded to earlier, which is here to force you and a foe to lose life to draw cards. Keen indeed! During your upkeep you choose a target foe. You each reveal the top card of your library and then draw it and lose life equal to the mana cost. The life lost by your foe will help Florian dig, so you'll net three cards this turn. Don't run this without Florian, barring a foe at a very low life total (and you a much higher one) that you want to bring down and it usually won't be worth the life lost.

Rakdos, Lord of Riots

Ah yes. Rakdos! This 4-drop, 6/6 flyer has trample - two good evasive abilities. I love it here as it can swing, block, and play keep away. The 4 mana could not be harder, and you might not have the right mana until the fifth or sixth turn, but that's still impactful.

The only issue here is that you cannot drop it until your foe has lost life, so after combat when Florian triggers for life lost, you can cast Rakdos. Pretty good! He can also drop the cost of your dorks by the damage your foes have taken this turn, so just Florian into a dork into a cheap play. We are running 23 other creatures to dig for. Good Demon, great static ability!

Wild-Magic Sorcerer

This Orc Shaman was created for the same Commander Deck (Planar Portal) as Prosper, Tome-Bound. Since Prosper is always self-exiling cards, this is a good support card since you can cascade and net a free spell off each Prosper cast card from exile. Well guess what? Florian also has a cast from exile trigger each of your post-combat main phases, so that can be a lot of cascading fun times as well!

Planar Void

Since I am not running any reanimation, I wanted to run an answer to reanimation strategies, outside of my land base. Enter Planar Void. Anytime a card is placed in the graveyard from anywhere, it gets exiled. Discarded? Milled? From the battlefield? From the stack? Anywhere!

This is a powerful anti-graveyard tool that you can drop as early as turn one and then just forget it. Your foes are likely to care more about synergetic enchantments like Subversion or Sanctum of Stone Fangs, so this could get a nice running time.

Cryptolith Fragment

Manaliths are great ways to mana rock away. Here we have a Manalith variant that we can tap for mana and then force everyone to lose life! I doubt it ever flips, so it's just a nice bleeder effect. If it does flip into Aurora of Emrakul, then you'll gain a 1/4 flyer with deathtouch that forces foes to lose three life each time it swings. It'll be pretty good at holding the fort!

All right, let's turn to some lands!

Shivan Gorge
Leechridden Swamp

I added some bleeder lands as well! The Gorge can tap and shoot your foes for 1 life each. Florian might not like you committing 4 mana for digging just three, but if you needed the trigger due to board wipe-age, feel encouraged to lean into it. You can also do it at the end of the turn and then untap.

The Swamp taps for Black mana, counts as a Swamp for Cabal Coffers, and can tap to bleed opponents of 1 life. It's cheaper and less mana intensive than Gorge for the same effect, so it plays into Florian more. Do note that you cannot activate it unless you control 2 or more Black permanents and Florian is one, so you only need another.

Scavenger Grounds
Spinerock Knoll

I tossed in Bojuka Bog and this Desert to answer graveyard abuse as well as Planar Void. You can sacrifice the Grounds to exile all cards from all graveyards. Since it can be used instantly, you can use it as an answer to someone casting an abusive spell like Living Death or milling a bunch of cards into their graveyard and seeing three with flashback coming up.

We have the Knoll, which can hideaway a card from your deck and cast it when a foe was dealt 7. This will work with Court of Ire with Monarch, but you'll have to work with other effects, but your planeswalkers can help.

Famished Foragers
Bloodtithe Collector

And now let's turn to a pair of Vampires from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt. They are pretty good with Florian. The Foragers arrive the battlefield with a 4 mana 4/3 body, and you can activate to discard a card to draw a card, which is good when you are looking for cards, and you have extra lands. When it arrives to the battlefield, it makes mana if someone lost life this turn (likely) for your Florian card.

The Collector is a 3/4 flyer, rare in this build. When it arrives to the party, if someone else lost life, then everyone else discards a card, making this a bigger Liliana's Specter. It's everyone else discard works with Angrath, the Flame-Chained to punish players who hold onto their cards. I like this pair a lot to keep up the creatures in this build, which needs blockers to keep the Monarchy.

Love it a lot!

Ready for the deep dive into my deck? Let's do it to it!

Slugging with Florian | Commander| Abe Sargent

And there we are, 100 cards later!

So, what did you think of my build? Anything in there that I missed or that you are going to toss in? Just let me know!

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