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Ground Tom to Maja Control

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Readers!

A lot of the uncommon commanders in this set have gotten my creative juices flowing in a big way and that extends beyond clever article titles into brewing. I want to look at a couple of different ways we could be building Maja, Bretagard Protector, a deck that is bound to be more fun than any deck built around an uncommon has any right to be. I know I typically do a hybrid approach to the deck that you could customize yourself and go in any number of different directions, but this week I want to offer my tweaks to a stock list and then do a completely novel approach. This could be a wild ride, so buckle up. I mean, or don't. Just don't say I didn't warn you when you see an interaction you really like and you jump out of your seat in excitement.

Maja, Bretagard Protector

Maja doesn't look remarkable to everyone at first - a five-mana 2/3 uncommon creature? The anthem effect is redundant and the landfall ability is pretty minimal. What's exciting about Maja? Put simply, Maja rewards you for doing something you were going to do anyway (play lands) and then rewards you for doing something she made you do (have a creature). Maja is a copy of Felidar Retreat in your command zone that also lets you play Green, the best possible color for a landfall deck. Do you like running Felidar Retreat? Lots of people do, and having something that does a pretty good approximation of both of the modes on that card without making you choose which one to use and has access to Green is right up my alley.

You won't be surprised to learn that the stock build is a combination of landfall enablers and buffs to creatures so that you can build a big army quickly and then swarm the board with it. The deck all but builds itself - White and Green have dealt with the convergence between token strategies before and has plenty of ideas for how to marry the two when the commander itself is in on the action.

No Maja Upgrades | Commander | Jason Alt


As you can see, I made some significant modifications to a stock list, taking out almost all of the typical mana dorks and replacing them with Sakura-Tribe Scout, Skyshroud Ranger, and Walking Atlas. Decks do not run enough of these effects, especially since there are Karoo lands and Ghost Town and you can create loops. Literal Karoo (and Jungle Basin) can't bounce themselves, but they still gate a land and deserve a slot. The typical build also almost never runs Burgeoning. Getting to play a Selesnya Sanctuary for free and then return it, triggering landfall and giving you a land in hand to repeat the process, makes Burgeoning much more powerful than Exploration. I feel like I'm fighting a bit of an uphill battle trying to get the community to adopt these cards, but Murasa Rootgrazer clued a few more people in to the fact that landfall decks need not run out of gas. Would this deck be more fun with access to Retreat to Coralhelm? Sure, but instead of having one huge turn that ends the game, we can have every turn be above average and win that way.

I maxed out on "big" token creatures and Craterhoof, making sure we can end the game very swiftly if need be. Mycoloth saccing a bunch of mana dorks, utility creatures and the tokens from our commander can set us up for a turn where we end things with Craterhoof. If you want to shoot for a plan like that more often than not, try Concordant Crossroads or Crashing Drawbridge.

It didn't take a ton of creativity to lean into what Green and White have done well for years. However, I think there is a strategy that Maja lends itself to very well that I don't think anyone but me (a lunatic) is going to steer into as hard. I'm inclined, so let's look at what Maja looks like as an Enchantress deck.

"WHYYYYYYYYY" I can hear you asking and the answer is simple - I think it can work and work well. Enchantress decks are more resistant to Wrath of God effects because you can make creatures more easily with cards that don't die to the Wraths, and you can run anything from Replenish to Open the Vaults to recover instantly from an Enchantment wipe that isn't Merciless Eviction. Let's look at what an Enchantress list would look like with Maja at the helm.

Who Needs Creatures? | Commander | Jason Alt


This is my kind of deck!

You have every token doubler I could jam in, so even if you don't draw any gas, your commander turns every topdecked land into 2 or more tokens, allowing you to at least be competitive while you try to find something to get things rolling. You can quickly get out of control, though, and the number of Enchantress cards should keep your hand stocked.

With the help of a raft of Enchantments, your commander is more than equipped to provide almost all of the creatures you need. I wasn't able to find room for the Sakura-Tribe Scout shenanigans, so you're relying very heavily on Burgeoning for that loop, but I included the bounce lands in any case since they are fine with your commander.

What do we think? Am I trying too hard to wedge a pet strategy where it doesn't belong or do you agree that Anointed Procession and Divine Visitation can turn a simple landfall trigger into a value machine? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading - until next time!

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