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Commanding Kaldheim: Inga Rune-Eyes

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The color pie is an interesting thing. When I think of White, I think of a bunch of little creatures, sometimes tokens, sometimes not, attacking in a wide rush of tiny dudes. Green, I think a massive creature with multiple keywords (probably including Trample) swinging in and no way to stop it. Red is Fireballs and Lightning Bolts, and Black is kill spells and sacrifice.

Blue? The color of card draw. The color of bounce, permission, and control. And definitely not the color of lots and lots of creatures. Let's confound some expectations today, shall we?

Inga Rune-Eyes

We have a four mana 3/3 with an Enters-the-Battlefield trigger and a death trigger. Once it's on the 'field, it doesn't really do anything. This card needs to be coming in or dying.

Scrying three is a fine ability. It lets us smooth our draws, help hit our land drops, and generally make the game a little easier to play. But it's that death trigger we really want! An Ancestral Recall with a body (or maybe a Harmonize with a 3/3 attached) is a great deal. In Commander, it should be fairly common two other creatures will be dying at the same time. Point removal tends to exile, and mass board wipes are common. But we can't be sure of getting those three cards unless we do it ourselves.

Turns out our guy is a Wizard. Let's take a look at what a tribal deck with Inga at the helm would look like, shall we?


This is a fairly straightforward creature-heavy Wizards build. We have a bunch of Wizards doing a bunch of things. We're mostly ignoring abilities that care about Instants and Sorceries, because we don't have many. Mostly we want to make sure we have plenty of bodies on the field so when the inevitable Wrath of God hits, we draw our three cards.

We have some ways to remove problems, including Coastal Wizard (bounce), Aphetto Grifter (tap), and Curse of the Swine (Exile). We have a ton of ways to draw cards. And the only way to possibly win the game is by overwhelming an unsuspecting (and probably underprepared) opponent with a massive wave of Wizards.

This deck would be an excellent choice as part of a group of decks you keep around for teaching people how to play Magic. It's themey, with lots of little Wizards running around. They do things individually, but they also affect each other by making costs go down and putting counters on and the like. The Commander doesn't require remembering any abilities that happen all the time, just stuff that happens when the card moves zones, which means it'll be top of mind. And it draws so much automatically, a new player will always have options and things to do, rather than getting stuck with no cards in hand. It's kind of the right amount of complicated and simple for a player who knows something about the game but is still learning to play.

On the other hand, if we really want to try to draw those three cards, there's probably a better way.

Tokens.


That's more like it. By focusing on cards that give us a bunch of creatures for a single card, instead of worrying about running a ton of Wizards (and not much else), instead we can run some better support spells and actually have a game plan.

The theory is still much the same. Play out Inga. Play a token creator. Attack with the tokens to win, and when they all die, draw three for your trouble. Except now, we're packing some actual heat. Think cards like Caged Sun, Signal Pest, and Wonder. We've got ways to give our guys power boosts and ways to give them evasion. We can turn all our tokens into 5/5s with flying with Day of the Dragons. We can make 8/8s with Ominous Seas, and we draw so many cards, we can make them fairly often. If we can figure out how to do damage with Whirler Rogue, we can take an extra turn with Notorious Throng.

Once again, we have some ways to remove problematic permanents, but we also get fun things like Clone Legion, which is really a nine-mana way of forcing a board wipe, but if no one has one it should be game over. We still have lots of ways to draw cards, including Skullclamp and Bident of Thassa. We also have a bit of an artifact sub-theme. We've got 16 of them, which is a decent amount. Efficient Construction cares when we cast an artifact. Mechanized Production just wants to enchant one. One of the most fun things to do with this guy is get a bunch of Thopters with Whirlermaker or other sources, then cast Mechanized Production and win the following turn. (Even better, sacrifice Emergence Zone to slap Mechanized Production down at the end of someone's turn, untap, and win the game.)

Whenever I run fewer than 40 lands I always feel I need to explain myself, because I'm out here banging the drum of "Play 40 Lands! Play 40 Lands!" In this case, we have a low enough mana curve and enough acceleration it was reasonable to go to 39.

I'd love to hear how you would build Inga. What strategy would you try? Is there a Mono-Blue Good Stuff deck in here, where Inga is used to Scry plenty and the card draw is a random moment of good luck? Is there a way to get him to flicker in and out so we can Scry for a specific card to the top of our library? You tell us in the comments!

Now get out there and confound some expectations.

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