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Lure, Venom, Imagination



Chances are, if you've been playing this game as long as I have, reading the phrase "Lure, Venom, Regeneration" makes the parts of your brain that process nostalgia spray Dopamine like a broken fire hydrant. We used to assemble clunky combos back in the day and laugh when they worked out. My favorite target to suit up with Lure and Venom and Regeneration was Craw Giant, an absolute unit of a creature that got bigger for every creature forced to block it. Since you only needed to assign 1 damage to kill each of their creatures, you could murder their whole board and swing back next turn at an empty board. One of my friends used to maindeck Fissure. It was a weird time, for sure. As clunky as that was, I still want to feel those feelings again, and while throwing a bunch of auras on a big, stupid Green creature won't bring back the days where that same friend with the Fissures got to stay up as late as he wanted when he stayed with his Dad on weekends and we got to play Magic and N64 until we passed out despite mainlining Faygo for hours, it will make me a little bit happy, and these days a little bit happy is enough. Besides, the "Lure, Venom, Regeneration" energy has persisted, but the cards we're going to use to achieve that situation are much better.

We don't have multiple copies of Regeneration and Venom in the deck, but luckily this is Commander and we can assemble a tag team that will get the job done and then some. I give you a partner pairing that will positively punish the other players prodigiously.

Anara, Wolvid Familiar
Falthis, Shadowcat Familiar

You barely need other creatures with this dynamic duo involved, making each other both deathtouchy and indestructible, they're a powerful mix of complementary abilities that will make combat fairly miserable for the other players. Can we just straight up play the card Lure? We can, and there are quite a few other cards that will give us a similar effect. If we want to clear the board, these two are going to be a big part of all of our plans, and it's lucky we have access to both in the command zone. However, we'll need some help from other cards.

The stock lists I see tend to focus on using Lure on Indestructible commanders to let your other creatures get through, loading up on cards like Toski, Bearer of Secrets, Ohran Frostfang, and even obscure cards like Hystrodon. Lure effects exist to get your other creatures free hits and if you happen to take out a few blockers with your indestructible, deathtouching commanders, so be it. This is a pretty decent strategy, but I feel like it lacks some oomph. I liked Craw Giant back in the day because the more they blocked it, the more it could kill every blocker, ensuring one good swing would wipe the board. As much as it's cute to use Fynn the Fangbearer to kill them in one shot with all of your unblocked deathtouch creatures, I also want to load up on cards that make it feel like it's 1996 again and Cockatrice was the funniest Magic card name instead of Farbog Boneflinger.

Since Anara only makes itself and Falthis indestructible, a lot of the stock lists focus on using your commanders as blockbait and forcing other creatures through. I don't think that's the worst strategy, especially since we can wrap things up more quickly this month than we could have when Commander Legends first dropped due to the printing of Fynn the Fangbearer. However, the stock list is the stock list and you don't need my help building exactly that. What I'm envisioning is a deck that feels very much like Lure Basilisk from back in the day. If that's not to your liking, read ahead because I have a very 75% take on the deck to show you later.

Lisky Business | Commander | Jason Alt

This looks fairly fun. I wish there were more cards that could give a creature Rampage - the closest to what I wanted that I could find was Beastmaster's Magemark, a card you now have to look up because you don't know what it does. I barely remembered it as a card that even existed from Limited and certainly didn't remember what it did, but I'm glad it's in here. Giving a deathtoucher a form of Rampage means that it doesn't matter how many creatures they block with, you can kill them all. I am a little surprised there isn't an equipment that I could find that gives Rampage, if that's a thing, let me know in the comments. Other than this, I mostly kept with the stock list theme of using your commanders to run interference while the creatures you really wanted to smack them with got through.

I added Scytheclaw and Quietus Spike because while it's faster to kill them with Commander Damage, we're not aiming for that here and that being the case, we want to end things quickly with the creatures that do hit them. Spike has the added benefit of granting Deathtouch, which can make a difference if they keep killing Falthis.

This looks fun, but it doesn't look terribly 75%. Deathtouch is frankly wasted here if you ask me. While Falthis can only give deathtouch to itself and Anara, we have access to other ways to give deathtouch, and some of them can be pretty nasty. One of my favorite combinations of cards is Deathbringer Thoctar and Quietus Spike to wipe down an entire board, and while it's tough to recreate that in these colors, why not have a creature or two that could combo with deathtouch and use that to our advantage?

Killing their creatures creates an opportunity to steal their creatures, and cards like Draugr Necromancer, Animate Dead, and Tergrid have come into the rotation lately. However, if we're killing their creatures with our deathtouch commanders, why not see what we can do with equipment? Two cards come to mind - Scythe of the Wretched and Whispersteel Dagger. Sure, those cards are a bit on the slow side but they can steal creatures from the opponent and that's what I'm all about.

If we can try and kill a bunch of their creatures and use their deaths as an excuse to steal them, that's a 75% approach to deck-building I can get behind. What would that look like?

Lure Them to Your Side | Commander | Jason Alt

I have been adding so many Snow-Covered lands to decks lately merely for Draugr Necromancer. I'd apologize but I like the results, so I won't.

There are quite a few ways to steal their creatures if a certain creature kills it. The best of those effects are found on equipment because we can attach them to our commanders, but some of them are found on creatures, which need to be given a specific equipment. It's all fine, we have enough of both of those things that you should be able to get what you need. Never forget that at its core, this is a deck where your indestructible, deathtouch, lured-up commanders are going to suck up every blocker on the battlefield and let all of your other stuff through. Since you have two commanders, you can even attack 2 players at once. This will leave you open to swingbacks, so I added Sunstone, an excellent addition since we already have the Snow-Covered Lands for Draugr Necromancer. Kaldheim has REALLY wrapped the way I approach commander...

We have our typical Helm of Possession effects here, and it might behoove us to add one or two token effects. I think Avenger of Zendikar would be a good once since going wide is very effective when they can't block and you can draw a ton of cards with Toski. Ultimately, you'll tune to your liking, but for me, a deck with Whispersteel Dagger and Rise of the Dark Realms is the deck I was always going to build.

There you have it - two fairly different approaches, but ones that are fairly easy to build if you have a stock deck thrown together. Whichever approach you like, feel free to go farther than I did and really load up on cards that let you accomplish your aims. I'll always want to steal their creatures, and if you build that way, you may want to take a look at the mana since I added a lot of expensive cards like Rise of the Dark Realms and Grave Betrayal, a card that costs so much mana because it's massively broken and no one seems to play it. Thanks for reading, everyone. Until next time!

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