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Three Decks

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Some people like building a stable of Commander decks that can last for years, slowly being tweaked and upgraded over time. Others prefer to seek out new experiences, taking apart any deck that starts to go stale and constantly brewing new ones. I fall strongly in the former category.

One of my favorite aspects of Commander is being able to build an emotional connection to decks that I’ve been playing for months or years. I love having a collection of decks that are reliably fun and scouring each new set for cards that can improve those decks.

Of course, this works in part because improving decks doesn’t always mean making them more powerful. Sometimes, it means cutting good stuff for on-theme cards or diversifying a deck that has grown stale and repetitive. It’s all about intentionally shaping the experiences I want out of my decks.

Today, I want to feature a few standbys from my permanent collection and talk about why I like them.

"KARRTHUS DARGONS"

Commander is first and foremost a casual format for making big plays, and it doesn't get much bigger or more casual than attacking with a bunch of Dragons. This deck has a pretty single-minded game plan of turning Dragons sideways, but it has the ramp, card-draw, removal, and explosive potential to be a strong and resilient deck despite its apparent linearity.

While Karrthus rewards clever play, it's a great deck to hand to new players or people just getting into the format. It encourages active play and ensures you always have something to do with your turn. As you become better with the deck, you start learning the power of specific game plans such as pushing through commander damage or going Greater Good into Living Death.

This is not the most original deck I've ever designed. But when I'm introducing someone to Commander or just want to kill the table with Dragons, I'm happy to have it with me.

Now, here's a more unusual brew. Half the fun of this deck is seeing people's faces when I set Sivitri Scarzam out in front of me. The other half is the challenge of trying to beat three real decks with ninety-nine commons and a commander who closely resembles Craw Wurm.

The primary strategy of this deck is to use your tutors to build card-advantage engines and just one-for-one threats long enough to survive. Hope some opponents eliminate each other because your win condition is hitting people four times with Sivitri Scarzam. It takes some work, but eventually, counterspells, recursion, and Capsize can force her through.

It's always an uphill battle, but Sivitri is not to be underestimated. After all, who else could have tamed Scarzam's Dragon?

Finally, here’s my only competitive deck. I started building this before Edric was even released. I loved the idea of a Commander deck in which you were playing a bunch of terrible 2-mana creatures instead of awesome 6-drops. I built it as a goofy experiment, and it proceeded to destroy everything else in my local meta. This was building a board and drawing four cards per turn while other decks were casting Cultivate.

I appreciated the deck's novelty and power, but I decided I'd rather rebuild it for the one-on-one competitive French format than water it down or keep ending multiplayer games on turn six. I've had fun playing it since then, and it's my only Commander deck that is researched, tweaked, and tested for maximum power.

Edric is such a force in the mainstream French metagame that most decks have a solid anti-Edric plan. But if you ever want to show that guy with the Zur or Jhoira deck what's what, this is a hard deck to beat.

Wrapping Up

I hope this has proved to be a useful walk through some successful builds rather than a pointless exercise in self-indulgence. As usual, let me know what you think in the comments, and tune in for something completely different next week!

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