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Anything but Munda-ne


Let’s see you make a better pun.

Munda, Ambush Leader
While you’re at it, let’s see you make a better deck. Ever since they revealed that Allies were back in Battle for Zendikar, I was mildly excited. Allies can be a lot of fun and potent in Standard when you’re jamming four Hada Freeblades out there and topping it off with Talus Paladin. Things are trickier in a one-of format in which we need quite a few creatures and we’re likely to have to resort to Allies like Taurean Mauler, but so what? Isn’t the spirit of the thing to see how much value we can get out of a deck with Allies? And what better way to do that than to build around Munda, Ambush Leader?

On the list of R/W commanders I’m itching to build around, Munda was about as low on my list as a card could go. Allies suffers from card-selection issues when you are constrained by the singleton nature of Commander, but so what? My favorite way to challenge myself to build a 75% deck is to limit our card pool to force us to make the most of the cards we allow ourselves to use, so why not build Allies tribal and see what we come up with? We’re further limited by being forced to eschew three colors, colors that had some very useful Allies. That’s a lot of restriction—so much so that I think if we play with the creatures we’re allowed to use (thirty-one of them according to Gatherer, not counting Changelings), the rest of the deck may as well involve swinging for the fences and being the best tribal deck we can come up with. So why build around Munda at all?

Do we want to talk about how much Munda looks like Ryze from League of Legends? He could join my Rengar/Ajani, Gisela/Kayle, and Gaddock Teemo decks that I’ve been thinking about brewing. But since I’m roughly the ten millionth person to point this similarity out, we can move on. Do we talk about how odd it is that a guy who leads an ambush doesn’t have flash? Again, not really since Ambush Party has haste, Fire Ambush is a sorcery, and Wei Ambush Force is terrible. Maybe we should talk about how he’s a Goblin Ringleader for Allies that triggers whenever you replay him from the command zone or trigger his ability by playing one of the Allies you’ve stacked your deck with. This seems like a great way to keep the creatures coming steadily. Add some staple cards for tribal builds, and we may have something worth sleeving up after all. I’ve been itching to build a R/W deck lately, and Gisela, Blade of Goldnight feels too easy (there seems to be a very obvious “right” way to build it), Jor Kadeen feels too durdly, and Iroas, God of Victory seems a little too boring. But I’m sure I’m wrong about that. Lucky for me, they keep printing R/W commanders for me to brew with instead!

So what would our list look like? I want to play as many Allies as possible and make the rest of the deck flavorful but still a good tribal deck. I also really want to run Iroas, so I’m going to put him with the enchantments and only run Allies in the creature slots. Don’t you judge me. Forcing myself to run only Allies means I can’t run Clone Shell, and I really want to run Clone Shell in a deck that stacks itself. Okay, here’s what we’ll do. We’ll file Iroas with the enchantments and Clone Shell with artifacts, and your objections with the category called, “I don’t care; this deck is still going to be 75% if I fudge a bit.”

Munda, Ambush Leader ? Commander | Jason Alt

This doesn’t look too bad to me. One thing I noticed when I started wading through cards I could include was that Flicker effects are great for generating for you a ton of triggers. Legion's Initiative isn’t a bad card already, but when you couple its boost with its ability to make you a ton of Ally triggers on a big board, you start to see the appeal. Ghostway is a board-saver that you can tutor up with Sunforger, and it’s a great addition to the Sunforger package. Sudden Disappearance can target you but can also help an Ally or hurt an opponent used judiciously. I’m all about Conjurer's Closet in general, and this is a good spot for it. Push comes to shove, you can just let your commander die and recast for value.

Flameshadow Conjuring
I like a lot of ways to make copies of creatures as well. If I were less rigid in how I make the deck, I might add a Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker or a Splinter Twin. Flameshadow Conjuring is a card I liked when I did the set review, but I acknowledged it was fringe-Commander-playable and probably a bulk rare. That came true, but I still like how it plays in this deck. Twinflame is the same way.

This isn’t a Zada, Hedron Grinder deck, but she’s in the ninety-nine, so why not have some fun? I included a few cards like Titan's Strength to reward you for jamming Zada, and you can generate a few tricks with Sunforger.

Scroll Rack is in place of Sensei's Divining Top. I hate how long top players waste every game, spinning the stupid Top. Don’t be like that with Scroll Rack. You want to manipulate your top-deck a bit. To that end, I like the utility lands Mistveil Plains and Madblind Mountain a ton. These are both very potent lands for a deck like this. Being able to shuffle especially is useful because you will be sending gas to the bottom a lot with your commander, and shuffles keeps those cards in the mix more.

All in all, I am a fan of the deck. I think it’s a lot of fun to play, and the Allies theme rewards you for making the most of your commander and keeping your side built up. Ground stalls are not a problem for this deck, though, because you can benefit from having a lot of Allies in more ways than just attacking. One Ghostway with a big board, and Murasa Pyromancer may deal with that ground stall in a hurry.

What do we think? Trying too hard to become excited about this set? I don’t think so. This deck is fun, and I have been meaning to build a Boros deck that was less obvious, and what’s less obvious than brewing with a new set? Got some criticism or a question? Leave it below. I’ll be back next week, maybe with a deck of yours to take a crack at if you keep sending your lists in to me. Until next week!

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