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Archers at the Ready


Some decks just never change, regardless of the commanders that you use. We all know how it goes most of the time. The sacrifice deck sacrifices things. The token deck swarms the board. The Simic value engine deck ramps and draws all the cards forever. There're certain archetypes that have a difficult time trying to break out of their mold because whenever new cards come out, something already exists that just does it better.

I've felt this way frequently whenever I try to tackle equipment decks. You might recall earlier this year when I wrote about Halvar, God of Battle. I struggled a lot to write about him, even though I loved his character, The Sword of Realms, and the lore of Kaldheim as a collective whole. The entire time I wrote about him I couldn't shake the feeling of how the deck should just feature Kemba, Kha Regent or Koll, the Forgemaster as the commander instead. They do the same sort of thing but better. Even the piece I wrote about last week for Icingdeath, Frost Tyrant felt like it touched a little too close to it being a full blown equipment deck better suited for one of the aforementioned legendaries. Thankfully, that one at least had enough different things going for it to make it worth discussing.

This week I'm talking about another cool equipment-based legendary from Dungeons and Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. Unlike the others, where I just felt like there was arguably something better, it turns out that Catti-brie of Mithral Hall does things a bit differently.

Catti-Brie of Mithral Hall

Catti-brie takes the general style of equipment gameplay and changes it up a little bit in a way that feels refreshing and exciting. She continually gets stronger and stronger, but she can also act as powerful removal all in one package, able to fell even the mightiest of beasts. What makes her even cooler is that you can use it on any attacking or blocking creature your opponents control, thereby making her fantastic for playing the politics game.

Let's have a look at a list!

Cattie-brie Archers | Commander | Kendra Smith

When putting the deck together, I didn't want to make it just another Equipment.dec list. Sure Catti-brie plays different from a bunch of other equipment legendaries, but that's not enough. You've gotta spice it up and get creative where you're able, after all. So, I poked around a little for ideas and in doing so realized that she's actually also an archer. Archers don't get nearly enough love so I decided to make a list more heavily focused around them.

Greatbow Doyen
Arcus Acolyte
God-Eternal Oketra

Honestly, most archers simply aren't that great. Many of them come from the early days where cards more heavily emphasized flavor over function. As a result, they're more pinpoint hitters that deal damage to attackers, blockers, and/or flying creatures, not terribly exciting most of the time. The quality of archers was so low, in fact, that seeing Greatbow Doyen for the first time was a real head scratcher. It works quite solidly for us as a lord, however, especially in tandem with our commander.

Halana lets us get some solid damage through by bringing down opponents' creatures without the usual limitations of hitting very narrow creatures at a time. There's also Arcus Acolyte, whose Outlast works very nicely alongside the minor +1/+1 counter theme within the deck. It can even get all your creatures reach with the aid of Longshot Squad. There're also a few creatures and even a planeswalker who are coded as archers, but aren't in their types, such as God-Eternal Oketra, Vivien Reid, and Nylea, God of the Hunt.

All of these cards combined with a lot of the usual equipment and Selesnya good stuff nonsense is sure to breathe some fresh life into this classic strategy. I look forward to seeing the many ways this might improve and there's tons of opportunities to build the deck the way you want to build it. Give it a try at your next Commander night and may your arrows always fly with truest aim!

Kendra Smith

Twitter: @TheMaverickGal

Twitch: twitch.tv/themaverickgirl

YouTube: Kendra Smith

Commander HQ: Decklists and Strategy for Forgotten Realms's Legendary Creatures!

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