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Pantheon of Storms

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In this week’s experiment, we break the limitations imposed on us and replicate a god, unleashing a horde of storms on our opponents.

Keranos Is Stubborn

U/R is not my favorite two-color combination, but it’s in the top three, and considering there are ten two-color combos, that doesn’t seem too bad. When considering Gods to build new Commander decks, I jumped to my top three favorite two-color combos, all from Journey into Nyx.

The Simic-aligned God Kruphix, God of Horizons isn’t bad. You can build around him like you might with an Upwelling, and you don’t have to bother with Reliquary Towers. Or you can just play him for utility, which seems just fine. But as U/G is my favorite color pair, I wasn’t too excited by Kruphix.

B/G is my second-favorite color pair. Pharika, God of Affliction is pretty middle-of-the-road. She can be quite powerful, but I don’t really care to exile my own cards, especially in B/G decks, wherein I prefer counting up the cards in my graveyard for Strength of the Fallen–type effects or reanimating them all with Rise of the Dark Realms. Snakes are cool, but with only Seshiro the Anointed really pushing me in that direction, Pharika is mostly disappointing.

Kruphix, God of Horizons
Pharika, God of Affliction
Keranos, God of Storms

Keranos, God of Storms seemed sweet though. He throws out Lightning Bolts sometimes, and he gives me extra cards—almost Treasure Hunt–style—other times. It even has kind of a randomized, Izzet flare, but library manipulation can help us pick our mode for the turn. That said, I’d naturally like to throw out more Lightning Bolts and draw even more cards.

Draw More Cards on Our Turn

Keranos replaces our draws by having us reveal them and then either deal 3 damage somewhere or draw an extra card. So, let’s just draw more cards, and then we can have Keranos apply multiple times!

 . . . 

Oh, wait. It only works for the first card we draw. Let’s move on.

Draw on Our Opponents’ Turns

Well, if Keranos only applies to the first card we draw, let’s just draw on opponents’ turns to have Keranos apply once for each player’s turn. That way, he can scale up based on the number of players in our Commander game.

 . . . 

Oh. So that doesn’t work either. It’s only the first card we draw on each of our turns.

Wizards of the Coast apparently really, really didn’t want Keranos to scale at all. When I realized how unscalable he was, I was pretty bummed. I relegated the U/R God to being un-Johnny-able.

Epiphany Storm

Okay, so Magic is a big game. It has thousands of cards, many of which interact in really weird ways. It’s part of why I love Magic and can’t really get into newer games. Even when I started playing Magic over a decade ago, it had more cards to fool around with than any new game that comes out nowadays. And more cards means more interactions and more room for me to find weird stuff to do and build decks around.

I decided there must be a way to make Keranos scale somehow. And so I thought about the problem some more.

Well, I can’t make one Keranos’s ability apply more than once—it’s very stubbornly limited to once on each of my turns. However, what if I had more than one Keranos?

With Mirror Gallery, I can have as many copies of the storm god as I want. And when I reveal the first card I draw on my turn, I’ll be able to enjoy multiple triggers, either throwing out a bunch of Bolts or drawing a bunch of extra cards. And with some library manipulation, I’ll get to choose.

Of course, more copies is better, so my mind jumped to this trio:

Keranos, God of Storms
Mirror Gallery
Rite of Replication

I can just imagine drawing one card and revealing a nonland only to then throw out six Lightning Bolts. Drawing a land and enjoying a free double-Concentrate seems sweet, too.

Devotion

Only rarely am I able to assemble the decks I write about from week to week. I do frequently toss some of the cards into Commander decks in hopes the synergies will play out eventually, but for this Keranos idea, I really wanted to make it happen. Plus, Gods as commanders just seems awesome since you can play one out and not have to worry about it much for the rest of the game, as they’re invulnerable to a lot of removal. And since I haven’t built a physical Commander deck around a God yet, I figured this was my chance.

A lot of the cards you’ll see in the list are just cards I had lying around in stacks or my binder, so there’s not a ton of cohesion, but there are some combos and synergies I specifically sought out, and I’ll be purchasing some of those cards shortly. I hope that by the time you’re reading this, I’ve already sleeved this baby up and played a couple games.

Here’s the deck, and scroll on down to see some of the other combos.

Enter the Infinite

There’s a Fabricate, most notably for Mirror Gallery, and there’s a Trinket Mage for Basilisk Collar or Amulet of Vigor, but apart from that, there aren’t many tutors—that is, except for Enter the Infinite, which is a tutor for everything. I haven’t played with this spell yet, so I’m somewhat interested to see how frequently I can actually cast it and what other players’ opinions of my casting it are. People tend to hate Omniscience, and it’ll probably stay true for Enter the Infinite, but I’ll have to see.

Incidentally, we can also just draw twelve cards with Interpret the Signs.

Oh, and Elixir of Immortality is probably a necessary inclusion for a reset. I guess the assumption is we’ll just win, but you never know.

Storm Cauldron
Patron of the Moon
Amulet of Vigor

With these three, we can pay 1 to put two lands from our hand onto the battlefield. They’ll untap from Amulet of Vigor, and we can tap them both for 2 mana. They’ll return to our hand due to Storm Cauldron, and we can pay 1 of that mana to put them both back onto the battlefield. In this way, we can generate as much mana as we like and put as many lands as we like from our hand onto the battlefield.

If we’re playing these after an Enter the Infinite, we should be able to put all the lands in our library onto the battlefield. Suck it, Karametra!

Storm Cauldron is the first card that caught my attention on a Gatherer search for “storm.”

Koth of the Hammer
Dismiss into Dream
Basilisk Collar

Keranos is sometimes a creature and can then be equipped by Basilisk Collar. Dealing 3 damage isn’t always enough to kill relevant creatures, especially in Commander, but with deathtouch, the 3 is plenty.

Dismiss into Dream is in for the same reason. With it, we don’t even have to let the damage resolve. With all of our opponents’ creatures acting like Illusions, just targeting them with Keranos is enough to shoot them down. Note that we still have to draw and reveal a nonland card for the relevant targeting trigger to apply.

Koth of the Hammer has a sweet ultimate that interacts quite well with Dismiss into Dream. That combo is a long shot, but his first two abilities help us accelerate our mana in colors that don’t really get to do that—plus, I have a copy of Koth from the Duel Deck, and I haven’t played with it yet.

Stuffy Doll
Basilisk Collar
Blasphemous Act

Stuffy Doll is an interesting player for a red deck, as mass-damage spells interact quite nicely with it. Unfortunately, it means picking on one player, but with Rite of Replication, we can even things out a bit. Oh, and Blasphemous Act can deal a lot of damage. Add in Basilisk Collar, and we can gain a lot of life in our nonblack, nongreen, nonwhite deck.

Firestorm
Lightning Storm

These two storms are the other cards that caught my attention in the “storm” search. Storm Crow and Stormcloud Elemental didn’t quite make the cut, but these both work nicely with a resolved Enter the Infinite.

The downside of Firestorm, other than its price in dollars, is that it requires the same number of targets as the amount of damage it deals. Oh yeah, and you have to discard a bunch of cards to make it relevant. But if we resolve Enter the Infinite and cast it for 40, discarding forty cards, we can take out all our opponents—as long as we actually have forty targets. Still, though, I expect this interesting 1-mana spell will be worth my while.

Lightning Storm plays in similar space, but it can create more interesting scenarios outside of the Infinite. It’s a somewhat political card, allowing players to discard lands to fight over how much damage is dealt and to what. Inside the Infinite, however, we should have plenty of lands and plenty of damage, just leaving us with the conundrum of which sorry schlub to target.




If you’ve ever wanted to replicate a storm god, give this deck a try.

Andrew Wilson

@Silent7Seven

fissionessence at hotmail dot com


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