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Counters Matter with Anim Pakal in Commander


Hello awesome MTG Fans! Today we are looking at a fun Commander deck from the last set, The Lost Caverns of Ixalan which was just released and then this is my second Commander deck built from a dork here after last week's Mono-Green God Lands and Dorks matter deck, which you can find here.

Let's swap to Green's allies with this Boros leader:

Anim Pakal, Thousandth Moon

This is Anim Pakal. Your three mana gets you just a 1/2 with just one ability. When you attack with one or more non-Gnomes, which includes this, you'll toss a +1/+1 counter here and then make X Gnomes that are tapped and attacking equal to your +1/+1 counter count on Anim. So, he goes wide with the making of tokens and tall with the +1/+1 counters on him for a Commander Damage kill out of nowhere. Drop him turn three, swing with a turn two dork and now you are making a free 1/1. Note that this ability makes dorks that are swinging, note that you don't have to wait a turn. Since Red doesn't typically have the beloved +1/+1 counter archetype, this is a nice addition!

The EDHREC page leans heavily into artifact and token caring things with this that already existed like Alibou, Ancient Witness or Steel Overseer but I don't like that way to go, since it already exists and it's not the new hotness of Anim that embraces +1/+1 on him in order to make this deck work! That way by building him up rather than pumping the team, you have the ability to swing for Commander Damage just as much as killing with artifact/token carers.

Ready for my deck?

Let's look!

Mana, Ramp, Lands

Staff of Compleation
Scholar of New Horizons

Let's start with this duo! Our leader costs thee mana, we can always drop him on the third turn with lands and we cannot speed him up with rocks or ramp. Therefore I have, typicially, synergy stuff instead like this pair. The rock costs three, taps for any color for two life it's here to tap with three life to proliferate! The creature costs two for a 1/1 with a +1/+1 counter. It's here since you can tap it to pull off a counter off anything for searching for a Plains of any sort to your hand and if a foe has more lands you'll drop it tapped. See the synergy there?

Now let's turn to two-drop Bears with a 2/2 size! Knight of the White Orchid has first strike. When it ETBs, if a foe has more land, search and ramp out an untapped Plains, which is nasty good here. Deep Gnome Terramancer has flash and when a foe ETBs on a foe's side of the battlefield and they didn't drop it normally, you fetch out a Plains from your library tapped and then you can only do that once/turn. I am running two-drop ramp dorks to increase my reliability of triggering my leader early.

Now let's turn to synergetic mana makers. Mana Echoes says that when a dork ETBs, you make mana equal to your dork count of that type. Nasty! Note that's other players' turns, and many might randomly make you mana here and there. I added mana sinks in my land base for colorless mana for this. Minas Tirith often arrives tapped, and then you can tap it with two mana to tap on your turn to draw a card after swinging with two or more dorks. Nice card flow in your land base! I also am running the War Room for that purpose as well!

Karn's Bastion
Forge of Heroes

Now let's turn to these two colorless tapping lands! The rare arrives untapped and can be tapped with four mana to proliferate! Mana sink for colorless mana and you can increase your counter size on your stuff. The common ETBs untapped, you can tap it for no mana to toss a +1/+1 counter on a Commander that just ETBs this turn, so start with the stuff!

Castle Embereth typically ETBS tapped, then you can tap it with three mana to pump your team's power by one, so it's a combat trick or win con in land form. Sacred Foundry ETBs tapped usually but you can spend two life to drop it ready to be used. Then I am running the other duals save for Plateau here as well since many of my Plains fetchers don't get basics.

Fun +1/+1 Counters Stuff

Luminarch Ascension
Virtue of Loyalty

Now let's turn to fun +1/+1 counter stuff! The dork costs two to drop and starts as a 1/1. At the beginning of your combat you can put a +1/+1 counter on your dork, so drop this prior to swinging on turn 2. The Adventure costs two at instant speed to make a fun 2/2 Knight with vigilance to trigger your leader turn three, and then you can cast for five mana later to put the key +1/+1 counter on your team and untap them. With the occasional proliferate we've seen already that's pretty strong!

Now let's turn to equipment! Tarrian's Soulcleaver arrives turn one, equips for two mana later and gives vigilance plus more. As artifacts or creatures die under anyone's control, you toss +1/+1 counters on the equipped dork! That's pretty strong from where I am sitting since your key Gnomes dying in combat count as both! Sword of Truth and Justice equips for two and then gives a +2/+2 boost in size and then two protection colors in White and Blue. It has two combat damage triggers to toss a +1/+1 counter on a dork and then proliferate!

Synergies and Winning Conditions

Ojer Taq, Deepest Foundation // Temple of Civilization
Thousand Moons Smithy // Barracks of the Thousand

Now let's turn to synergies and winning conditions and we'll start with this mono-White group that are pretty good at flipping and also were just printed too! The God costs six for a 6/6 vigilance dork, so it's on curve, and then you triple your dork token creation! Nasty! I am also running dork doubling of tokens here like Anointed Procession. The artifact costs two fewer and has an ETB trigger to make a Gnome token equal in size to your artifact and creature count, and that's a win-con. Then you can tap five untapped artifacts like your Gnomes to transform it, and you'll want to because that land will tap for W and then you can make another Gnome game winner when you use that mana to cast the aforementioned artifacts and creatures.

Divine Visitation
Impact Tremors

Now let's turn to enchantments! The White one costs five. When a creature token would ETB under your control it'll now be a 4/4 flying with vigilance Angel. Nasty synergy and win-con in one card! The two-drop Red one will shoot for your foes for one damage each when a dork ETBs, so that's a literal win-con here to kill in going wide brews like this. I am also running Witty Roastmaster and Purphoros that do the same thing.

Now let's turn to synergetic legendary dorks! Rosie Cotton of South Lane costs three, has just a 1/1 body, and then ETBS and makes a free Food for the sacrificing or growing your Gnome tokens. Then when you go to create a token you can toss a +1/+1 counter on another dork like your leader that is making the tokens with +1/+1 counters so you can double those each time it resolves. Nasty synergy! Iroas, God of Victory costs four for a 7/4 with indestructible but it's only in play as a dork with a devotion of seven. It's here to give your stuff menace to make blocking hard and then they cannot take damage in battle as attackers. Nasty!

Now let's turn to more synergy! As I mentioned before, we want to swing with our leader and get triggers so we need to protect - enter ways to prevent the blocking like Whispersilk Cloak that costs three, equips for two and then gets shroud to protect and unblockable. Ditto Rogue's Passage, Prowler's Helm and Trailblazer's Boots. Cathars' Crusade costs five, and then whenever a dork ETBs you toss a +1/+1 counter on all of your stuff! That'll win fast! It also doesn't have a nontoken break, so it'll be huge with your mass token making!

Let's turn to mono-White synergies! Lae'zel, Vlaakith's Champion costs three, has a 3/3 body, and then when you would put counters on something you control, you put one more. So, if you would put a +1/+1 counter on your leader you'll do two instead! Planeswalkers are great here with the built in proliferate to grow them and then you make tokens to block and keep them alive so I am running four, including Archangel Elspeth. You can +1 to make a 1/1 token to block or turn into a 4/4 or double with your synergies and it has lifelink too. Then you can -2 her to toss a pair of +1/+1 counters on a dork and it's now a flying Angel.

Basri Ket
Elspeth Resplendent

Let's finish this section with two more planeswalkers! The three-drop arrives with three loyalty and then is here to +1 and toss a +1/+1 counter on a dork you control and give it indestructible to save it in attack but just this turn. I think you know who that goes on. His -2 we can do once with his starting loyalty is you can turn non-token does that attack this turn into 1/1 White tokens that are also attacking. I am also running three mana +1 ability +1/+1 token giver Ajani, Caller of the Pride here too! The final planeswalker is this five-drop five loyalty. You can +1 her to give one of your dorks a +1/+1 counter and an ability counter too like flying or lifelink on your leader while growing his size! Then you can -3 her once with her starting loyalty as well to dig seven and reveal a three-drop permanent and play it with a shield counter for free from your library - that's most of my stuff here.


Everybody Lives!
Teferi's Protection

Now let's turn to answers, and I am running three answers to answers to save your stuff from targeted and mass removal that is needed in go wide stuff like this! The former costs two, gives every creature hexproof and indestructible, your foe's stuff too to save them. Then you all get hexproof, and cannot lose life or the game either. Then the Protection will phase all of your stuff out so it cannot be targeted or swept, and even exiling sweepers like Farewell won't touch you! Then you cannot be targeted by things and you cannot take damage. I am also running Flawless Maneuver in this suite to often be free when you control your Commander to give your team indestructible. Nasty trio!

Now let's turn to targeted removal. I prefer flexible removal in my colors that can target many things. So, as an example, in an Orzhov deck I'm more likely to run Vindicate than Swords to Plowshares. Boros is home to a few "Vindicates" with a disadvantage and most are here, like Generous Gift, Stroke of Midnight and Chaos Warp as well as the new Get Lost. It costs two, destroys three potential options like the typical dork or planeswalker and then enchantments as well! Then they make a pair of Map tokens for the cause to make them feel okay. Explosive Entry costs two and will destroy an artifact, so it's a Shatter cost but not speed. Then you can toss a +1/+1 counter onto your leader for free!

Now let's turn to sweeping removal! Every deck should have a few sweepers! Check out this mono-White duo! Winds of Abandon costs two mana base and then six to overload. It's a sorcery speed Path so your opposing dork gets exiled and they can fetch out a basic. Then when overloaded you'll give them loads of lands, but only you'll be running creatures since this exiles them unless they cannot be targeted.

Hour of Reckoning costs a lot, but check out that convoke so can tap your stuff! Your Gnomes are colorless so they cannot tap for the White cost but other creatures might be able to. Then you'll destroy all non-token dorks. Sure, that'll kill your leader if out as well as your other key things here and there like Witty Roastmaster, but not two of your three Gods and the other will become the Temple. Then you can swing on an open board with your Gnomes, or Angels, or Soldiers. See how nasty that is here? I have those three sweepers as emergency reset buttons all three of which won't touch your token dorks.

Card Flow

Jeska's Will
Inspired Tinkering

Now let's turn to card flow! This duo makes mana to help you cast the limited window. The Commander Classic three cost rare sorcery will do one of two things, but if you control your leader, both. You'll exile three cards from your library but just can cast them this turn. Then you can make Red mana equal to your foe's hand count so you make the mana for them. Then the five-cost uncommon sorcery will also exile three, this time you have until next turn to cast them. Then you are made a trio of Treasures to cast them with or save them to grow your Gnomes.

Let's finish with a synergetic pair! Rob the Archives costs two, exiles two, and you can play them just this turn, but it has casualty 1, so you can sacrifice a Gnome to copy it once for another two exiles, and then you only spent two mana so you can use all of your other mana for the casting! When Showdown of the Skalds ETBs you exile four and you can cast them through next turn. Then on Chapters II and III when you cast a spell from anywhere, you put a free +1/+1 counter on a creature you control like your leader! Nice synergetic card flow to end this section with!

Ready for my decklist?

Boros Counters Matter | Commander | Abe Sargent

Card Display

There we go! I hope you enjoyed it!

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