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Everybody Get Up, It’s Time to Sram Now

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Land Tax
White might be the second worst color in Commander. That might upset some White adherents, so I will phrase it another way — White is probably the sixth best color in Commander, after Green, Blue, Black, Artifact and Eldrazi. That’s not so bad, right? Sixth best is pretty good. You’re right, second worst sounds better. Notice I said “might” up top. Is it really? I think so. I think Mono-Red is worse and nothing else is worse. That’s not to say I don’t like to build Mono-Red because I really do. Krenko, Mob Boss, Purphoros, God of the Forge, Godo, Bandit Warlord, Kumano, Master Yamabushi — there is a lot to like. Red also has a lot of weaknesses that I like to shore up with other colors. Somehow pairing White with a worse color, Red, makes a better deck. Red and White together know what their weaknesses are, but they double down on their strengths and go for the throat. Some might argue that going for the throat sounds like a Black thing rather than a Boros thing. Stop that, this is my article and I make the jokes. Is Boros fun? Nope. It’s not fun at all. Or it’s a lot of fun for a very short amount of time, then it become Bore-os. But it sure does know what it’s about and accomplishes its goals efficiently. You’re going to be attacking, double-striking, changing how creatures block and lifelinking. What you’re not going to be doing is drawing cards.

Puresteel Paladin
Drawing cards isn’t 100% necessary, I guess, provided you can get a ton of value out of one card (Assemble the Legion!) or improve your draws (Land Tax, to a very small extent that I think is somewhat overstated.) but card drawing wins games and that’s why everyone loves Blue or Green and hates Blue and Green across the table from them. I built Kydele, Chosen of Kruphix and Thrasios, Triton Hero this week and all I do is draw my entire deck. I decided to just throw a Laboratory Maniac in the deck and as soon as I did that, I stopped being excited about playing it. It’s a good thing I didn’t go through with my plan to foil it out (I ain’t payin’ no damn $13 for a Capsize, anyhow) because while the deck is pretty potent with the Paradox Engine . . . engine, it’s also pretty linear. Draw deck, deck them or Lab Maniac ftw. Card drawing just wins games and White and Red being on the outside looking in sometimes can feel bad. Enter Sram.

Sram, or Sramuel as he likes to be called is a Mraster Erdificer. He Drraws crards and he drraws them wrell. (Ok, I’m already bored with that, sorry). The point is, he does something that White isn’t very good at — he draws you cards and he does it when you do something you were doing anyway in White — develop your board. Suddenly you have a Puresteel Paladin in your command zone and he doesn’t care which cards you play, even vehicles. Will you wish you were in Boros and able to play Depala? Maybe. But you had months to build a Depala deck. Be honest — did you? It’s OK, you didn’t. No one did. There are like 150 Depala decks on EDHREC, and the type of person who is going throw their brew on TappedOut for EDHREC to scrape is the type of player who will build a Depala deck. Don’t get me wrong — those are my people. But they’re not snobs. Depala is underbuilt and rather than tackle that issue, I want to steer this vehicle away from Boros and firmly toward Mono-White. We’re building Sram, readers of mine, and we’re building it to take advantage of everything Sram does well.

Sram, Senior Edificer

Sram lends himself to a Voltron build at first glance, and a lot of people lean that way. However, I like the idea of using his expertise as a clue. Sram can make tokens as his expertise and that makes me want to try and go wide. Sure, you draw cards when you cast auras, but what if you instead played vehicles, crewed them with tokens and played equipment that scaled with the number of creatures you have? We’ll still have some auras, but since Sram doesn’t say they have to be cast on your creatures, we can use auras like Forced Worship and Prison Term to deal with their threats. Even Spirit Loop can be a dirty card-drawing machine if we have a pile of tokens and a sac outlet. Sram doesn’t immediately look like he’s a “go wide” sort of Dwarf, but that’s how I

want to build him and I think it’s super doable. What would that look like?

Can?t Think of a Better Pun than ?Sram Dunk? and that?s Played Out ? Commander | Jason Alt


Descend Upon the Sinful
This looks like a good start. We’ve got plenty of ways to generate tokens, for starters. We run a lot of sorceries that get us there, and some even do double duty like Martial Coup and Descend Upon the Sinful. Increasing Devotion is a card I like a lot and I am glad I managed to jram it in here (last one, I swear). There aren’t a ton of anthem effects because I relied a little more on artifacts that scale to how many creatures we have. If you have an idea about how to make room for your favorite Anthem, go for it. I like the idea of trying to generate a lot more servos so we can run Tempered Steel, but that’s tough to do in White. If you see cuts, make them if you want to run anthems. I think we’re OK without them, personally but testing may prove otherwise.

I would like a few more creatures to help get us tokens, such as Hangarback Walker, but I decided to try out a few more utility creatures than normal. Instead of being all-in on what our deck is doing, I wanted to be more interactive so the deck looks more like an actual deck. Feel free to cut Thalia, Heretic Cathar for Hangarback, etc. Personally, I think Twilight Drover is going to be an all-star in the deck. Saccing a spirit to Ashnod's Altar means you can turn one token into 2 for a White mana, or just build up a pile of tokens on him and swing with a giant, Rogue's Passaged monster drover. He has a lot of utility with the token plan and I am glad to be going wide with him. Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite is expensive and I can see that being a cut, but what better anthem than one that also shrinks their team? I think the creatures we have is mostly correct, but feel free to juggle things around. We’re trying to draw cards here, don’t forget.

Flickering Ward
With Sram out, I like the idea of repeatability. I added a lot of bounceable auras so we can draw cards cheaply, something White is normally terrible at. A 2 card combo between Sram and Flickering Ward is suddenly a half-price Treasure Trove and that’s never terrible. Add to that the utility Flickering Ward has and you’re looking at a synergy stew, baby! I like Cage of Hands for the same reason and indeed I am running quite a few auras that shut their creatures down rather than enhance our creatures. Since we’re going wide, not tall, auras aren’t great on our dudes — that is unless we’re putting Spirit Loop on a token and then saccing it to Mortarpod or altar. There is a surprising amount of synergy even when you start with the same skeleton as a “go tall” build. I still added Unquestioned Authority and a few traditional “get there with a creature” cards but those are the first cuts I will make if I find something I want to add.

I tried not to add too many “voltron” equipment, also. I like Stoneforge Masterwork, Pennon Blade and other cards that help us when we’re generating a ton of creatures. Coat of Arms may not be great in the deck — we’ll have to see with some testing. It certainly would be easier if there were some uniformity in the type of creature we’re serving with, but I can’t imagine Coat of Arms is ever going to disappoint. I still have some “1 creature, 1 hit” type of equipment like Umezawa's Jitte and Sword of War and Peace, but I have a lot of equipment that isn’t in a traditional Voltron build and which is a lot of fun. Infiltration Lens is a card I remember ruining Limited, for example, and Skullclamp isn’t a real Voltron card, but it’s an auto-include here.

What did I miss? I’m sure I missed something, but I think we can all tell what we’re driving at. Got a suggestion? Think something should be cut? Let me know! The deck is certainly not forged in stone and can change a bit. And I’m sure I forgot your pet card, so don’t forget to make room for it when you build this deck yourself. I think I managed to shore up one of White’s biggest weaknesses by going all-in on an exciting new commander and I’m excited to see how this plays out. I’ll be back next week with something brand new, so make sure to keep checking in. Until next time!


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