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Fist of the North Sun


If you’ve ever wondered “What would a world in which Fist of Suns could be a commander be like?, well, hold onto your very specific hats because now you can! Dominaria is bringing you a human Wizard that doesn’t need to fly, like at all, for any reason but still flies that is also a Fist of Suns on a flying stick! This Fist better not fly too close to the sun because . . .  if that happens . . .  I could run out of puns very quickly. As powerful as Jodah appears, that flying really bothered me. Why give it flying like that? It makes no sense! Then, I had a realization that made my head explode as if Kenshiro had punched me somewhere vaguely in the torso — I wasn’t fixated on Jodah’s flying because I hated it, I was fixated on it because I loved it. That flying is the hook onto which I’m going to hang my 75% build. First, let’s look at the card.

This seems pretty solid. Those are good stats for four mana, the ability makes expensive spells cheaper (sometimes a LOT cheaper) and the “Thelon of Havenwood” rule, as I call it, makes it so Jodah’s color identity is wubrg rather than Jeskai because of the mana symbols in the rules text. Not only do we have an ability that lets us play with Fist of Suns in our Command Zone, we can run Green and Black spells in a Jodah deck. Hot damn! I know the obvious way to build this is to include a ton of expensive spells, maybe some Eldrazi, and maybe some sort of wacky Composite Golem/Nim Deathmantle shenanigans or other loops with Golem to let us draw our whole deck then vomit it onto the table, but Jodah’s good stats make me think there’s another way to build it. What could be more 75% than taking an obvious spellslinger commander and building it voltron?

It’s been a while since we made a Voltron deck and it’s high time we took another swipe at it. Jodah is perfect because the base colors allow us to play a litany of ways to protect Jodah, the flying makes it easier to hit them and the access to Green and Black gives us options ranging from Rancor to Rise of the Dark Realms. Bruna or Uril Jodah isn’t but, we do have the element of surprise, good stats and the ability to throw an Eldrazi Conscription on Jodah on like turn four and serve them a beatdown they weren’t expecting. Voltron decks are fun, they need not always be a combo deck like Bruna, and, best of all, Jodah’s ability still works when Jodah is tapped meaning you can have some very spicy post-combat main phases, especially if you’re like me and you plan to include Bear Umbra, Nature's Will, and Sword of Feast and Famine in the deck. I’m excited for this build already.

Before I began to build, I asked myself some questions.

Q: Which 75% principle will I be pursuing?

A: It’s not as simple as that in this case. Those guidelines aren’t exactly always build paths — they may have seemed like that in early articles but rather than saying “I’m building Voltron theme to limit power level” or “I’m limiting myself to no non-Jodah creatures to encourage myself to be creative” I decided building this deck in an unusual manner is a limitation enough and I should make the deck as good as I can since I may suffer from The Rafiq Problem a bit (incidentally, I plan to include Rafiq in this build). Looking at the 8 Simple Rules article did, however, remind me that I should build with multiple build paths in mind, do what I need to do to protect my combo and not allow the limitations I placed on myself by pursuing a non-traditional build to hamper my creativity. The reminder about multiple paths to victory was especially important to remember. One limitation of Voltron strategies is they require you to take one person out at a time, usually. If Jodah ends up a huge, unblockable, unkillable beatstick that hits them and untaps all of my lands so I can cast a bunch of spells post-combat, that’s actually perfectly fine with me. It’s a weird way to win, but these are weird times.

Q: Will I be limiting which creatures I include?

A: That doesn’t seem necessary. If I cut Eternal Witness it will be for the double Green rather than because I don’t want utility. I think quite a few Exalted creatures work well in this deck and having Sovereigns of Lost Alara and Rafiq and Noble Hierarch seems too good to limit the creatures I can run. Besides, I might need another way to win than just beating them with Jodah, which might take more than one attack per player if I don’t load Jodah up enough, something this build doesn’t exactly lend itself to.

Q: Which scaling spells will I include?

A: I don’t have a ton of options if I have a Voltron deck that sometimes tries to win with Enter the Infinite. However, I think Insurrection, Blatant Thievery and Gather Specimens being easy to cast means one or more might make their way into the deck.

This will be a good mix of expensive spells, extensive mana-fixing, utility and classic Voltron stuff. Drawing all of the wrong stuff will be a bummer so we will also want to make sure we can filter our draws or maybe manipulate the top of our library. I don’t usually advocate cards like Top or Brainstorm, but 75% doesn’t mean terrible and we’ll be using the top for good rather than to annoy people. Here is what I think I want the deck to look like.

Voltron, Legendary Attacker ? Commander | Jason Alt

That’s my first draft, anyway. Let’s look at some choices I made.

I like the Exalted package, especially Sovereigns of Lost Alara. That fetches the best aura at the time, and that’s usually going to be Eldrazi Conscription or Gift of Immortality. Getting a big, expensive aura for free is value, although I included basically all of the really good ones. Most expensive auras are like Enslave rather than Celestial Mantle, unfortunately. Still, we have enough ways to cast big CMC stuff in the deck and Sovereigns is just a way to make sure we hit as hard as we can with Jodah.

The aura package is pretty solid. There are some very good ones I couldn’t find room for and some like Steel of the Godhead I included just to keep the possibility of curving out effectively every few games alive. I like Umbras and I really like Bear Umbra, especially with Aggravated Assault. The Nature's Will and Sword complete the ensemble. If you wanted to load up more here, Argentum Armor, Sword of War and Peace, Quietus Spike and Empyrial Armor can all help you punch way harder and cutting some of the other creatures could help.

Speaking of the other creatures, I like the package we ended up with. This is the first deck with wonky mana where Somberwald Sage can’t really bail us out which is a bummer since our real mana issues are getting to wubrg. One thing you may want in this deck if it’s not winning is Laboratory Maniac but I am loathe to include that — I think Exsanguinate and Cadaverous Bloom are enough if you draw your whole deck.

Normally I would talk a lot more about the avenues you could pursue to push the deck farther in one direction but I like this as a hybrid deck. I think you make a pretty generic deck if you go too far in one direction and if you go full Voltron with Jodah, you miss out on the ability to play big spells for cheap and that’s a shame. Cheat out some Eldrazi, draw a ton with Jin-Gitaxias, attack over and over with Bear Umbra and Aggravated Assault, get infinite mana with Composite Golem and Nim Deathmantle or draw your whole deck, pitch it to Cadaverous Bloom and dome them with Exsanguinate. There are a lot of ways to win with this deck and I love that about it.

That does it for me this week. Thanks for checking back in if you didn’t like the direction I went in last week. Leave me some comment section love/tough love and keep reading this space for more adventurous 75% deck ideas. Until next time!

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