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I'm a Fighter, Not a Lover

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Ulvenwald Tracker
Friends don't let friends play Red in Commander. If you absolutely have to play Red, though, I recommend playing a Temur deck. You can play to Red's strengths rather than its weaknesses and you can rinse the taste of a durdly color out of your mouth by playing it alongside the best color combination in Commander — Simic (ug). All of the chaotic, unpredictable nature of Red is reined in by playing a solid control combination with excellent mana and card drawing. A Temur deck is like Tokyo Drift in that way — you aren't in control unless you're out of control. Temur decks are unlike Tokyo Drift in that they're usually pretty decent but aren't highly regarded for some reason, making them the opposite of Tokyo Drift. The most recognizable person in that movie was Lil Bow Wow. Remember Lil Bow Wow? Well, he's 30 now. He hasn't done much recently except star in a show called CSI: Cyber a few years back which is a CSI spinoff you didn't know they made because you don't watch CBS. 100% of CBS viewers are just watching whatever is on TV because their grandson won't be over for another two weeks to show them how the TV remote works again.

Don't like Temur? Or do you like CBS for some reason? Want to fight about it? I warn you, that's what Temur does well. The Temur clan gets their jollies punching bears in the face. And these aren't normal bears, they're super 4/4 bears whose diets are high in protein because they get a steady stream of Himalayan lunatics trying to punch them in the face. The reprinting of Ulvenwald Tracker in Modern Masters 2017 and the games it stole for me in Limited got me thinking about bear fights. I wanted to build a deck where I did a lot of fighting. When I started working on the deck, two things became apparent right away. The first is that this deck is going to be pretty janky and I'm OK with that. The second thing is that I probably should have built it Jund. You make Kresh the Bloodbraided your commander, put cards like Phyrexian Obliterator (super castable, right?) in the deck and call it a day. But if you think I'm going to rewrite the last two paragraphs so I can build a deck that doesn't play Temur Charm, you're clearly not acquainted with what a lunatic I am.

Yasova Dragonclaw

There's a small issue — I really want to build this with Yasova Dragonclaw and I've already done a Yasova deck in this series. I don't know how big an issue that is, really, though. You're going to want to build a deck a different way every once in a while and I know plenty of people who have two different builds with the same commander if they really love that commander. I really love Yasova. It does stuff we want a 75% deck to do. It steals their stuff and lets us beat them with it and that's what I'm about. Having our creatures double as removal is good, killing their creatures with their creatures is even better, especially if they end up trading. We'll want ways to grow Yasova, but that's par for the course. The important thing is that this deck is a new take on an established commander and since that's what we try to do around here, you'll forgive the double deck dipping. What would fight tribal end up looking like?

Bear Knuckle Boxing ? Commander | Jason Alt


Dominus of Fealty
This is what Temur is all about; fightin' and swipin'. We have a few tricksy ways to steal their stuff permanently, but for the most part, we're just going to borrow it long enough to do something they won't like with it.

First of all, let's look at how we're taking their stuff. We have Yasova, obviously, but sometimes that isn't enough. We have Dominus of Fealty, which is one of my favorite EDH cards of all time and we also have Willbreaker, Zealous Conscripts, and Molten Primordial. That's not enough so we added Chamber of Manipulation, Bazaar Trader, Word of Seizing, Insurrection, Mob Rule, and Kari Zev's Expertise. That's not too bad as far as redundancy goes in a deck where our commander can do it repeatedly. If there were room, I'd probably add more threaten effects and maybe a Bribery or Desertion and if you want to add those, there are cuts to be made in other areas.

I like the inclusion of Bazaar Trader and Deadeye Navigator because with a little trickery, both of those creatures can be used to keep a creature permanently, which you might want to do on occasion. I didn't want to include a ton of cards in the deck to steal creatures permanently since borrowing them and using them to trade with their creatures suits us fine. If we have to sac them for value, it's still preferable to giving them back. Deadeye Navigator does so much in this deck, though, that it's a no-brainer to include it.

I included a ton of fight stuff because this is a fight tribal deck. There is room for more if you really want fewer utility creatures and would rather greedily jam Polukranos, World Eater and Inferno Elemental — just watch your mana curve. I prefer for their creatures to do the bulk of the fighting, but it's nice to have a few creatures that can initiate fights on their own, even if they do tend to die in the process.

Acidic Slime
What if the creatures you have and swipe are too small to get the job done? I recommend lots of deathtouch. I included quite a few decent deathtouch creatures and a lot of them, like Acidic Slime and Skullwinder, are cards I would have included in any case. It's nice when things work out that way, isn't it? Nightshade Peddler is a card I'm always happy to see and when it's bonded to a fighter, all bets are off.

If fighting isn't enough to kill their creatures, you can always sac them instead of giving them back. Ashnod's Altar and Goblin Bombardment are fun but Eldritch Evolution, Birthing Pod, and Greater Good are even more fun. Don't give their stuff back, that's for suckers. Keep their stuff and keep them on their back foot.

I think this deck turned out great. We are doing things we want to be doing in 75% decks like swiping their creatures and building non-traditional builds. We're doing lots of fighting. We're punching baby bears so much that Killer Mike is going to make us a member of his crew. We're launching the corpses of their dudes at them with a catapult. We're scaling to their power level and punching them in the face with their own creatures. "Quit hitting yourself" we'll say but they won't be able to quit hitting themselves. Because we're making them do it with their own creatures. Because that's what we're about.

Join me next week when we have some other stuff to talk about. I might even write a new rule which will invalidate my "8 simple rules" article. Either way, you won't want to miss it. Until next week!


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