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Sydri, Life, and Deathtouch


Have you ever wanted to kill Dragons with your Pilgrim's Eye? Do you dream about gaining 9 life by attacking with Darksteel Forge? Well, I have the Commander for you!

Sydri, Galvanic Genius

I immediately fell in love with Sydri when she was spoiled. I love commanders who provide really unique gameplay and deck-building incentives.

Strong themes are central to my process for building Commander decks. If you build a bunch of good-stuff decks that just combine the twenty to forty best cards from each of their colors, they all blur together into a boring morass. But by focusing one deck on Equipment, another on tokens, and another on Angels, you can create an interesting variety of experiences even if the colors overlap.

Artifact synergies are not a bad place to start. Arcum Dagsson and Sharuum the Hegemon have given the archetype a Spiky reputation, but it can also be built around goofier cards such as Mirrorworks, Prototype Portal, and Trading Post. But what are some more specific directions we can take the deck?

Give Me Life

Darksteel Ingot
Akroma's Memorial
Bident of Thassa

Sydri's primary ability is animating artifacts, so let's start by finding some cards that work well with that. Mikaeus, the Unhallowed gives our living rocks undying, which allows us to gain double value from our Armillary Spheres and Expedition Maps.

Any mana rock threatens to trade with an attacker, but Darksteel Ingot's indestructible makes it the best Keyrune ever with Sydri. Thran Dynamo and Gilded Lotus provide us some heavier ramp that can be a real threat in the red zone if people don't leave up blockers.

At the top of our curve, we have Akroma's Memorial and Darksteel Forge as huge beaters that power up your army of artifacts. We also have Spine of Ish Sah as a self-recurring 7/7 Vindicate.

Finally, I challenge you to name a more awesome play with Sydri than hitting someone with a 4/4 Bident of Thassa to draw a card.

Give Me Death (Touch)

Pilgrim's Eye
Phyrexian Rebirth
Staff of Nin

Turning artifacts into giant lifelinkers is a good win condition. But tiny deathtouchers is a good way to survive long enough to do so. A Pilgrim's Eye with the potential for deathtouch not only holds off attackers, but does a good job of encouraging them to look elsewhere.

Small, value robots such as Junk Diver and Solemn Simulacrum are great in this deck. Myr Matrix and Myr Battlesphere are both good Sydri targets that make some Myr tokens to help on defense.

Phyrexian Rebirth is a bit pricy for a vanilla Wrath, but the token it makes is an artifact creature. Sydri ensures that a 2/2 horror provides reasonable defense, and a 20/20 token can gain you a huge amount of life.

Finally, giving damaging artifacts deathtouch can be very powerful even if you don't care about making them creatures. Staff of Nin and Caltrops are extremely effective options. If you want to go deeper in this vein, you could try Triskelion, Masticore, and even Rod of Ruin.


Trinket Mage
Executioner's Capsule
Auriok Salvagers

Cards that synergize well with our commander are one thing, but what are some good subthemes?

I've been wanting a deck that goes deep on the trinkets for a while. Using Trinket Mage to search up Sol Ring and Sensei's Divining Top is all well and good, but I want to go off with Salvaging Station and Executioner's Capsule. I want to use Auriok Salvagers and Wayfarer's Bauble as a highly inefficient ramp engine.

There are a ton of great 1-cost artifacts out there, from Nihil Spellbomb to Expedition Map. Artificer's Intuition gives us a repeatable tutor for them, and Meekstone is awesome in deck in which our largest beaters aren't creatures during our untap step.

With Trinket Mage and Treasure Mage as definite inclusions, Riptide Laboratory seems that it would be a fun addition.


Putting it all together, here's my take on an initial decklist for Sydri:

"Sydri, Life and Deathtouch"

  • Commander (0)

We're going to want to pay wub for Sydri a lot, so I'm running very few colorless sources and a lot of filter lands.

As a final trick, don't forget that you can animate your opponents’ artifacts! You can knock off Equipment mid-combat, make mana rocks die to Wraths, and defend other players when it's in your best interest.

I'm still putting the cards together for this list, but I am super-excited about playing it. Which of the new commanders are you building?

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