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Snakes on a Planeswalk


It’s no secret I am a fan of Simic. The reason it’s not a secret is I keep telling people, whether they ask me or not. We Simic put up with a lot, from having clunky cards to the #4Merfolk debacle of 2012. I have said time and again that Simic players have to choose between the clunky and unwieldy (Shambleshark) and the overpowered and bannable (Prophet of Kruphix) and rarely find middle ground. I’m out to find middle ground and to construct a 75% deck built around Kaseto, Orochi Archmage. Here’s the rub: I’m getting a little sick and tired of taking the easy way out with 75% decks with obvious tribal themes. Sure, Kaseto could load up with Snakes and go to Snake Town, which I imagine is hard to distinguish as a town because it probably wouldn’t have buildings because snakes don’t live in buildings and I was only trying to let people know how many snakes they would have attacking them anyway. That bores me.

Kaseto, Orochi Archmage
Another obvious way to build Kaseto is infect. Not only does Kaseto make creatures unblockable, it synergizes with Snakes, and there are some super-poisonous snakes like Marsh Viper and Blight Mamba and the cottonmouth moccasin, which isn’t a Magic card, but you should be able to identify it if you’re in the American southeast; otherwise, you’re going to end up with a bite on the buttocks, and then you’ll find out who your real friends are. That also seems slightly boring. Maybe boring isn’t the word I should use—basic maybe. Kaseto infect is about as basic as pumpkin-spice-flavored Ugg boots. It’s a Panini sandwich made out of DVD copies of the movie The Notebook. It’s easy to build, but that’s because it won’t challenge you. What will challenge you is probably all your opponents when they decide they don’t want to be one-hit KO’d by a Sabertooth Cobra and they all dogpile you like it’s Black Friday and you have the last waffle iron. If you want to be about that life, just Google “Kaseto infect,” click one of the thousands of results, and go to Poison Town.

I want to go to a different town. I really like the idea of Kaseto making creatures unblockable, but I want to do other things when I hit opponents, and those things aren’t necessarily infect things. I want to generate a ton of mana and use that mana for nefarious purposes like winning with Helix Pinnacle or casting a big Genesis Wave. Heck, even the two Xs in Orochi Hatchery are making me salivate. How do we gain mana from hitting opponents? Well, two cards come to mind, and those are Nature's Will and Sword of Feast and Famine. We can probably work in some card-draw triggers and maybe work some Snake tokens into the mix. This may end up looking like a Snake tribal deck for synergy’s sake, but let’s throw in as much on-hit trigger stuff as we can and see where we end up. An Adaptive Automaton doesn’t make this a tribal deck in my opinion—it’s when we start to jam Snakes for Snakes’ sake that we cross that line in my humble opinion. Anyway, let’s brew some Snake action and see where we end up.

Snakes on a Plane ? Commander | Jason Alt

  • Commander (0)

This got . . . snakey. I didn’t set out to build a Snake deck, but the tribal synergies with all of those durdly Kamigawa Snakes called to me, and I was powerless to resist building the deck that they led me to. You’re rewarded for your devotion, however. A lot of these Snakes help you make a ton of mana that doesn’t empty from your pool, but just in case, I wedged Omnath, Locus of Mana and Kruphix, God of Horizons to help out. I want to help us and hurt opponents at the same time, so, for example, I excluded Heartbeat of Spring and jammed Nature's Will. You might cheese out the occasional win with Helix Pinnacle, but the deck has plenty of mana outlets, from making opponents block a large number of creatures with a pumped Matsu-Tribe Decoy to Genesis Wave and Hooded Hydra. Keeping the Snakes coming will keep Sosuke's Summons in your hand, and you can get quite a few Snakes going to make sure you can go wide. Coat of Arms, Obelisk of Urd, and even some of the Snakes like Seshiro the Anointed can help you win via biomass. Speaking of biomass, Biomass Mutation is a very good mana outlet.

Omnath, Locus of Mana
Kruphix, God of Horizons

What do we think? Too Snakey? Not Snakey enough? As always, feel free to tune toward the direction you want to go in. In my opinion, I have enough of the mana outlets I was looking to fit in and enough ways to untap my creatures and lands to make extra mana. Having ways to store it obviously helps us out and lets us fuel really large spells.

What’s your favorite thing to do with Kaseto? Hit opponents with infect? Draw extra cards with Edric, Spymaster of Trest effects? Quietus Spike? Can you believe I don’t have a Quietus Spike in here? Because I can’t. Tell me what you would do in the comments. Until next week!

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