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Boid's the Woid



Did you enjoy the one week it's been since Modern Horizons spoiler season ended? I hope you caught your breath, because Core Set 2020 spoiler season is upon us already and this set is shaping up to be a doozy. Since it's 2020, this set was designed with the benefit of hindsight and it could be the best core set of all time. We haven't seen a ton revealed at the time of writing but that doesn't matter much because we saw all I need to see; a card that answers the question "When will Midnight Haunting be playable in Commander?"

Why ask such a question? Well, I snagged this NFC beauty from an auction and have been looking to use it rather than just put it in 3 sets of sleeves and admire it and I think I may have found the deck it goes in.

Played as a copy of Midnight Haunting (not that any of my playgroup would give me a hard time if I tried to say this was Commander's Sphere) this has been longing for a deck to go into and do we have just the deck for it!

Kykar, Wind's Fury

Previewed on Monday, this does it all. It has decent stats, it flies, it rewards you for playing spells like Midnight Haunting by triggering when you play it to give you one more spirit and it gives you an outlet for those spirits to help you cast even more spells! What could be better than all of that?

Clearly we need to play an Eggs build of some kind. In fact, I was very happy to see this card previewed because the article I nearly wrote today was a second one about Oathbreaker, this time trying to port the Saheeli, Sublime Artificer deck I'm building over to a 100 card format. Why Saheeli? Because I managed to snag a copy every time I draft War of the Spark just about and I force the Izzet Prowess deck because it's so much fun. Also, this.

That art alone is worth building a deck. However, I didn't think I knew of a commander in Commander that would be able to... command the deck commandingly enough. Luckily I got online Monday and the first thing I saw was a glorious new commander.

How best to take advantage of these abilities? Only being able to generate Red mana made me think I would want to include as many artifacts as possible because I could pay for them with Red mana and potentially churn through my deck if I could also draw some extra cards - something another Legendary creature is good at.

Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain

Focusing heavily on artifacts gives me a lot of artifact synergy, lets me spend my Red mana freely and gives me a lot of ideas from existing decks. If I am going to build this deck 75%, I'm going to have to rely on drawing a lot of cards to find my win conditions and Jhoira (not to mention Skullclamp) can really help in that regard. Another excellent reason to play artifacts is that the most common board-wipes I see kill all creatures and if someone plays a Wrath, having artifacts in play gives me a lot of places to dump extra mana if I have to sac a bunch of Spirits in response.

How are we going to actually win the game, though? Jhoira decks are usually combo decks and I don't necessarily want to set up a big loop and dome everyone with Aetherflux Reservoir (though I'll gladly include Reservoir in the deck). I think winning the game with a ton of Spirit tokens could be a lot of fun. There are a lot of ways I can buff those tokens so that 10 or 12 of them is enough to kill someone and playing those ways to buff the tokens just happens to trigger Kykar's ability. Ideally, if we have a big turn, the spirits would have haste so that we could win rather than giving everyone a chance to wipe our board, but we have access to Red, so that should be a cinch. We also have access to White, which means Cathars' Crusade and other Anthem effects. Blue should keep our mitts full. Finally, our commander is a walking (flying, actually) Phyrexian Altar but that doesn't mean we can't run an Altar or two on top of it in case we happen to generate other tokens like, for example, with Saheeli, Young Pyromancer, or Monastery Mentor, all of which I expect to make the final cut of the deck.

I don't think Paradox Engine would make an impact at all in this deck, even with all of the mana rocks I plan to jam; and, even if it did, I'm not sure I want to include Paradox Engine. It's a little fraught right now and even though it's unlikely to be banned, even with the printing of Urza, Lord High Artificer, I don't know that I want to include a card that makes the whole table roll their eyes when I play it the way Engine does. Besides, Mana Echoes does some work and I plan to include that. Cloudstone Curio, another card I would be very likely to include in a deck like this, similarly doesn't do as much as we'd like. I'm going to have to reach deep into my bag of tricks if I want the possibility of a big turn at the end of which we can win.

A combo deck with no tutors and a creature beatdown deck with no creatures? Is that something we can pull off? Anything's possible when you're building a 75% deck, and I'm here to show you how. Here's what I think the finished product will look like.

Magic's Answer To Windfury Minions | Commander | Jason Alt

I think this looks like a lot of fun! The only real loop I included is the Isochron Scepter/Dramatic Reversal loop and you can cut that if you want. I think it's fine in a 75% deck with no tutors for it, although I did include some tuition that I'm happy to talk about.

This is a great Sunforger deck! When you do get 'Forger, there are plenty of good targets, some of which can also go on an Isochron Scepter. I tried to also include spells with Rebound for maximum effect and I think with Soulfire Grand Master also in the mix, you should get so much value from spells that Feather players are going to switch over.

I included a few Polymorph effects given the high mana cost of our small number of creatures. If you wanted to cut every creature from the deck, you could, which would make your Polymoprhs even better. Add Proteus Staff and any 2-creature combo in Jeskai colors and you can Divergent Transformations it up like a Jeskai Tooth and Nail. There are plenty of combos like Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker / Restoration Angel of Medomi the Ageless and Ilharg, the Raze-Boar. You could go that route and still have plenty of beatdown from your tokens, especially with Mana Echoes and Cathars' Crusade.

I didn't add as much artifact synergy as I maybe wanted, and I didn't add Krark-Clan Ironworks as a result, but since your commander has a built-in Phyrexian Altar for Red mana, you should be OK. I wish I could have added more Red mana sinks, but you can feel free. I like just using the mana to Skullclamp a token and keep my hand full, but with some modification, you could add infinite loops like Sensei's Divining Top and Future Sight. You can draw your whole deck that way, so be careful.

If you want to make the deck spicier, I say add some of the combos above and consider Paradox Engine. I don't know if the deck is 75% at that point, but I love a few mana rocks, Engine, and Capsize in one of my decks that isn't 75%. Respect your playgroup and maybe don't introduce the deck to an unknown group unless they're also loaded for bear. The Dramatic Reversal / Scepter combo is great in that setting and if you're not 75%, add Merchant Scroll, Muddle the Mixture, and maybe even a way to tutor for Scepter like Tribute Mage. Go nuts!

All in all, this deck is a great place to start and then find your own lane and drive down it. Feel free to cut anything that doesn't fit your playstyle and load up on what does. It's up to you! Thanks for reading, everyone. Until next time!

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