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Looting with Permanents in Commander


Hello awesome MTG fans! I have something fun for you! Today I have my second Commander deck from the latest expansion set around Wild West tropes called OTJ. Last week I built Vees/Mounts Matter in Naya (Naya Mounts and Vees in Commander? Oh My! | Article by Abe Sargent (coolstuffinc.com)) and this week we'll keep Green and red, but swap White for Blue in one of my favorite new leaders in the set, this time in The Big Score.


Loot, the Key to Everything

This 1/2 sized three drop has ward just 1 to protect a bit, then an upkeep trigger. That will exile cards from your library equal to your nonland types like creatures, artifacts and planeswalkers, but not this guy. When I first wanted to handle this challenge, I figured that 15 of each non-land and then 40 lands would make sense. But that would remove much interaction from my deck barring flash tricks like Mystic Snake. So, I figured 12 of each permanent and then 12 interaction might make more sense, although obviously some things will have more than others.

Ready for the Loot Challenge?

Mana, Ramp, Lands

Delighted Halfling
Bloom Tender
Doc Aurlock, Grizzled Genius

Let's start with dorks in my mana space that cost 2 or less. The only way to drop Loot early is a Mana dork on the first turn like Birds of Paradise. The Halfling costs one, has a 1/2 body, taps for colorless for anything, and any color for legendary stuff and they cannot be countered. The Elf costs two, taps for mana of colors equal to your colors of mana, so three after you drop Loot. The Bear costs two for a 2/3 uncommon legendary (Halfling) to reduce costs from graveyard or exile by a massive two mana each! I am also running mono-Blue Sage of the Beyond to play into this as well.

Let's turn to enchantments! Exploration lets you drop two lands each turn. Nyxbloom Ancient costs seven for a 5/5 with trample beater that will triple your mana! I also tossed in the mana doubler (Mana Reflection) too. These are here to help you cast your stuff after getting a few exiled.

Now let's turn to mana rocks: Chromatic Lantern taps for any color and then your lands will tap for all of the colors! Prismatic Omen gives all of your lands every land type. Love this pair here giving you the right colors!

Reliquary Tower
Boseiju, Who Endures

Now let's turn to lands. When you are exiling tons and using your mana each turn for exiling card draw, then you will likely be just drawing your stuff, enter this uncommon land that'll keep you from discarding! I am also running mana rock Decanter of Endless Water. The legendary land that taps for a mana, discards for no more than two to Naturalize or Stone Rain a nonbasics land is next. I am also running the Blue bounce one since they ETB untapped and help your board position.

Now let's turn to land type! I love Ketria Triome loads here! The Hedge Maze cycle duals are here since I love surveil so much here, since you can grab the top card from your library and drop it to your graveyard to slip past the defenses. I am also running the three Temples which seem even better.

Roadside Reliquary
Maze of Ith

Let's finish our lands with this duo! The uncommon taps for colorless, ETBs untapped, and can be sacked for two mana to draw one each if you control an artifact or enchantment and two if both, likely here. The common is a classic. I have a bunch of planeswalkers and few dorks, so I needed defense in land form to save them. I wish I were in White for Kor Haven, but I managed to find space for Lab of Skophos!

Synergies and Winning Conditions

Now let's turn to synergies and win-con, and we'll start with the latter in a pair of two six-drop mono-Red stuff. Chandra, Awakened Inferno cannot be countered, so only attacking and burn or Generous Gift can take it out. She has six loyalty, and then on arrival can +2 to give everyone else emblems to ting them each upkeep. Use that on arrival to the battlefield so you won't pass for instant removal until that happens once. Then you can -3 here to Bolt all non-Elementals like mass removal, or -X her to burn one dork/planeswalker for removal and exile if killed. Removal, player removal, and mass removal - she's awesome. Keeper of Secrets has a 6/4 first strike and haste to swing now. Then when you cast things outside of your hand, you'll shoot one player for damage of its mana cost to kill fast. Ditto Passionate Archaeologist in enchantment form.

The Lost and the Damned
Tlincalli Hunter
Savvy Trader

Now let's turn to this trio in all of my colors! The Izzet one costs three for an enchantment. This also has an exile/other spaces trigger, this time for lands too, and then you'll make a mana free 3/3 Spawn dork. I am also running dork making 2/2 Faldorn. These are here to save planeswalkers and then swing for wins. The Green dorks will exile something from your graveyard and then let you cast it. The Adventure is a two-cost sorcery, and then the trampling 7/7 base costs seven. Beater! Then you can, once per turn, cast a dork from exile for free. The last ETBs and exiles any permanents, not just dorks, and you can cast it while exiled. Then your spells from non-hand sources also get a mana reduction, but this time just one.

Now let's turn to legendary (Halfling) Standard legal stuff! Etali, Primal Conqueror slides into Green too when it transforms. It has trample, a 7/7 size, and an ETB ability to have everyone exile to their nonland and you can cast them without spending mana for free to trigger your stuff or just win with great things. Then if you transform? You will win fast with poison. Chimil, the Inner Sun costs six for a double effect. First, your spells cannot be countered, this is great to protect with countermagic and then you won't have to save your Counters for resolving key things moving forward. Then in your end step? Discover 5, so a free Cascade that exiles, trigger exile casts, and then you can draw if you don't wanna cast, so this is better!

Now let's turn to another non-dork section here! Wander of Wonder costs four and then you tap it with four colorless, and roll your life counter. Your foes will exile cards until they exile an instant/sorcery. You can cast, for free, the die rolled in results, one, two or three, and then trigger your exile casts. Song of Creation costs the same colors as Loot and then one more mana, so you can drop it the next turn. This has a ton of abilities! First, it's an Exploration, so this is another way to drop more lands for free. That's the Green side. Then when you cast a spell? Draw two! That's the Blue side, massive card draw over time! Then the Red side will discard your hand in your end step. You will blow through your deck with this out.

Let's finish with a pair of planeswalkers! Jace, Wielder of Mysteries has 4 loyalty and a win-con attached to win when you draw from a vacant library. Since we are exiling, drawing and blowing through the deck, that's not unlikely here, and then his +1 to mill two and draw is great too. Garruk Wildspeaker has three loyalty, and a +1 to untap two lands so it really just two net mana since you can drop and protect it. You can also -1 him to make 3/3 Beasts to block attacks or swing, or -4 fast to Overrun and win! Remember Jace is uncounterable if you use Halfling mana or control Chimil. Wowzer Bowser!


Mithril Coat
Heroic Intervention

Now let's turn to answers! This deck needs ways to save the permanent heavy team form removal, mass or targeted. The legendary (Halfling), has flash, costs three and equips for three, and then has indestructible, gives what it equips indestructible, and then when it ETBs, you equip a legendary dork for free. It's here to save your leader or key things like Faldorn or the 2 cost reducer in Simic colors that you are built around. Then I am running the flash, auto-equip, shroud for the round instead of indestructible to stop targeted things, and free unblockable Silver Shroud Costume. Then the instant above is the best in my colors! It costs just two, gives my entire team hexproof and indestructible, not just my critters. It'll save anything!

Now let's turn to targeted removal. Song of the Dryads will enchant any opposing permanent and turn it into a Forest, so from Academy Ruins to Gaea's Cradle and from Commanders so they won't die and get recast, Elspeth's, Sun's Champion or Consecrated Sphinx, nothing can answer. I am also running the Blue Aura Imprisoned in the Moon.

Oko, Thief of Crowns is next! It has four loyalty, +2 to make a Food, +1 to answer a dork or artifact by removing their abilities and making a 3/3 Elk, also great for Commanders, and then -5 swap stuff, very easy with that starting loyalty and +2 ability. Then I have the emergency Beast Within. It'll leave them a 3/3 but it's worth it!

Delayed Blast Fireball
Cyclonic Rift

Now let's turn to mass removal instead of targeted, like Chandra above. The Red one costs three, instant speed, and shoots your foes and their stuff for two damage each, like an instant-speed Pyroclasm. Then if you cast this from exile, you can shoot for five damage instead! It also has foretell to help with that. The overload instant for seven mana will bounce all opposing non-lands like tokens such as Treasure or 1/1 dorks to planeswalkers and enchantments too. It's a Commander Classic.

Now let's finish with counters, since we are in the color of Blue. I tossed in a few counters, and the aforementioned Mystic Snake too. Arcane Denial will counter anything for a splashable two mana and then they'll draw two and you one. Fierce Guardianship costs three to Negate, which is also here. Then you can cast this for free to protect when tapped out with a Commander on the battlefield to protect or keep your folks safe. Mana Drain costs two, and gives you the mana for free in colorless mana in your next end step equal to the mana when you counter. This is here to cast your exiling stuff in your main phase. Most of my instant speed spells are counters.

Card Flow

Since I have built in card flow from my Commander, I felt less of a need here.

The One Ring
Jace Reawakened

Let's finish with card flow! Mostly planeswalkers. The legendary artifact four-drop is Halfling-able, nasty! It has indestructible, you'll gain protection for the round if you cast it, even from exile works, and then you can tap it to toss a burden counter, draw that many cards, and in your upkeep you'll lose burden counter life. The two drop three loyalty in the same set Jace cannot be cast until your fourth turn, but that leaves you mana to counter. You can +1 with him twice, first to Loot 1 (draw, discard). The second will plot a card in your hand to cast from exile that costs three or fewer. That'll trigger everything!

Now let's turn to more mono-Red exiling card flow in these four drops with four loyalty and four abilities! Jaya, Fiery Negotiator's +1 will make a Monk with prowess for blocking or swinging, and then most of our spells aren't dorks to really make that work. Then her -1 to exile two and cast one, and then you can -2 to shoot an opposing dork equal to your attacking total. Nasty! Chandra, Torch of Defiance will +1 to exile, cast, and then you can Shock your foes if you don't cast it, and then you can also just +1 her to make two red mana which can be used for anything! Those are amazing here! Then you can -3 her to Lightning Blast a dork for removal. Love this pair here so much from exiling card flow to trigger to ramping, player kill, making dorks or shooting stuff!

Sarkhan Unbroken
Teferi, Master of Time

Let's finish with this Blue colored planeswalker duo! The multicolored one costs five, drop with a smaller four loyalty, +1 to draw a card and make that mana of any color too, more ramp and card draw, this time in one ability not two. You can -2 him to make a 4/4 flyer Dragon to block and swing over grounded dorks. The mono-Blue one costs four for a 3 loyalty. It can use its abilities at the speed of flash and on foe's turns. His +1 will Loot a card, and then his -3 will phase out an opposing dork about to kill him, and then you can -10 him to Time Stretch and likely win. With his +1 to add four counters and Loot four in a four player Commander game, that's very strong here. Love them loads!

And there we go! Want to check out my take on the Loot Challenge?

Loot, with Permanents | Commander | Abe Sargent

Card Display

There we are! 100 cards later?? Enjoy!

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