Get a FREE MTGNerdGirl token with each Ikoria booster box preorder!
   Sign In
Create Account

Vox Populate


Protean Hulk
This beautiful phoenix of an article is born of the ashes of an attempt to write about a 75% deck with Protean Hulk combos in it. I want to let you all know I really tried. I did pretty extensive research and concluded that Protean Hulk combo is too awkward for a 75% build. You’re too consistent and, that is to say, too linear because you either get the combo and win primarily, or you do too many other things to avoid being just a combo deck and those distractions make it almost impossible to get the combo. I don’t like tutoring for combo pieces because linearity. I think you can make a very good Protean Hulk combo deck and a lot of people are doing that. I would want to make mine Simic because I want to play Flash like a classic Hulk deck and that would involve playing a lot of combo pieces and the deck wouldn’t be able to do much else, which isn’t what I want. You can make a very strong Hulk deck by building around the combos in the color you want to play. You can make a terrible Hulk deck by just not doing one or several things right during the construction of a strong Hulk deck. What you can’t do is take a weak Hulk deck and make it stronger by improving aspects of it which is how we try to build a 75% deck because the only thing you can do to improve a bad deck that has the requisite combo pieces is make it more consistent, and that makes it more linear. Consistency and ease of assembling the combo makes Hulk decks strong. That and friends. Friends make you strong — I saw the same Hulk musical you did.

All of this is worth bringing up, in my opinion, because I want to let people know that if you want a Protean Hulk combo in your 75% deck it’s going to be a very difficult process and I basically determined it wasn’t really worth trying. For me, anyway. If you do succeed or think you did, ship me a decklist and I’ll profile it in a future article — I love to be proven wrong when I make a pronouncement about 75% because it shows me that other people understand it as well as or even better than I do, which means I’m doing an OK job explaining this weird thing I made up.

That’s a lot of text about what I’m not writing about, even though it was worth it. Luckily I didn’t spend too much time lamenting the time I “wasted” researching Hulk decks because when I started over from square one I decided to get really basic and think about what I want to be doing in Commander that I couldn’t do before Amonkhet was printed, or what I get to do better now. The answer actually wasn’t a new commander, the answer was a color-shifted version of a card I already like. What’s better than playing Parallel Lives? I don’t know, how about double Parallel Lives? That’s 4 lives, Jack.

My initial idea was to find a good shell for Anointed Procession and Assemble the Legion because wr decks couldn’t benefit from Parallel Lives, Doubling Season, and Primal Vigor before, which was a shame. You could always play all of those cards in a Naya shell (or 4 or 5 colors, I guess) but I never bothered because none of the Naya commanders I looked at made it seem worth it. However, the same set that blessed us with Anointed Procession also blessed us with what is, in my opinion, the perfect commander for such a scenario. Sure, Rhys the Redeemed is cool, but tapping him twice is even cooler. Add to that cards like Trostani, Sissay and Selvala (either Selvala) and you have a spicy brew going. I’m going to play Seance in this deck and just try and stop me. We have the opportunity to tap and untap and tap some more and I am really excited about this build. Let’s nail down what we want to do.

We want to benefit from having Samut, Voice of Dissent being our commander as much as possible. That means we want to get the most out of all of her abilities. Getting a bunch of hasty creature tokens seems ideal, but also being able to use tap abilities right away is going to be good. Being able to throw an Elvish Piper into play and use it twice the turn we play it is spicy, especially if those free creatures can immediately attack, or use their own tap abilities. I didn’t like Samut a ton at first because it wasn’t clear to me what kind of deck I wanted to build and everyone on EDHREC was building some sort of wacky Voltron or goodstuff deck. It has become clear to me that Samut means I have Thousand-Year Elixir for a Commander and I’m fully on board.

We’re going to have a token subtheme which means we want to populate and double tokens as well. Spells that boost token production or help us go wide like Beastmaster Ascension are good. Creatures and spells that produce tokens are better. Creatures that produce tokens with tap abilities are best. What does the deck look like built to these specifications. Sub question — is this deck going to have more enchantments than Instants, Sorceries and Artifacts combined? I’m curious myself. Let’s see what we end up with!

Samut, Voice of Dissent ? Commaner | Jason Alt

Anointed Procession
This might benefit from some tweaking, but I feel like it’s going to do what we want to do. I found a few cards in my research that no one is really playing in Samut but which benefit from this build specifically , such as Krenko, Mob Boss. Krenko is pretty weak absent a dedicated gobbo build, but I think he’s good here. If you tap him for 1 goblin, you can untap him with Samut and make 2 more right away. That’s pretty good, especially the turn you play Krenko if you have a spare white mana lying around. The dirty part is that with basically any enchantment in the deck, that play is much stronger. You tap Krenko for 1 goblin and with Anointed Procession, you make 2, then you untap Krenko to make 3 tokens which turns into 6 which means you have 8 1/1 goblins with haste. That’s with just a Procession out. Imagine you also have a Doubling Season, Aura Shards, Cathars' Crusade — basically anything. Rhys the Redeemed benefits similarly. Even Trostani can get pretty nutso with just Samut and one of your many enchantment buddies.

Another card I forgot about trying to pair with token builds is Mimic Vat. I’m sure everyone but me jams this in every token deck but I sort of forgot about it for a while and I’m glad I remembered it. Using Mimic Vat to make an Acidic Slime as a really annoying blocker is fun, doing it with Doubling Season out is even more fun. With the ability to create extra tokens stapled to a lot of our cards, Vat is going to do big things, and it’s pretty 75% of us to steal their best creature, especially if it’s dead and we’re the only ones who get to benefit from its abilities, even if it’s only temporarily.

I tried to keep the deck to mostly creatures with tap abilities, especially if that lets me generate a lot of advantage. Knotvine Mystic is bad a lot of the time, but it’s pretty amazing here. Cards that are usually good are even better if you’re tapping them twice and Bloom Tender, Shaman of Forgotten Ways, Somberwald Sage and Selvala(s) are going to ramp you beyond belief. These aren’t the best creatures we’re going to tap but they are sure going to be good when we can turn and ability that normally taps for 3 mana into 5 mana by virtue of having our commander out.

Samut is the voice of the people, and sometimes the people dissent. The trick to making your voice heard the loudest is by having the most people in your corner and sometimes that means letting your population grow out of control.

How did we do? Was there an obvious exclusion? Wondering why I included something I did? Do I not know how card interactions work? Leave it for me in the comments section. I’m a little disappointed that the Protean Hulk article I wanted to write didn’t pan out but I am so excited by the prospect of this deck that I am not even mad at it. If you get a Hulk deck working and you’d like me to take a look, I welcome it. Do you have Samut built? How do you like it? Let’s get a conversation started in the comments. Until next time!

Amonkhet is now available at CoolStuffInc.com!

Limited time 35% buy trade in bonus buylist