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Kicking Back with Blaster, Combat DJ in Commander


Sometimes, I want to play a deck that's simple and fun. Not wildly competitive, not hard to handle, not requiring a ton of thinking - just kicking back and slinging some cardboard.

Who better for that than a walking, talking portable stereo?

Blaster, Combat DJ

Blaster is a five-mana 3/3 who gives our Artifact Creatures and Vehicles Modular 1, meaning they Enter the Battlefield with a +1/+1 counter, and when they die we get to move that counter and any others they've accumulated to another Artifact Creatures.

If Blaster gets a counter on him, he converts back into a stereo.

Finally, we can cast him for three mana, but if we do we cast him as a stereo. In stereo mode as Blaster, Morale Booster, he has Modular 3 and we can pay x and tap him to move X counters onto another Artifact. The Artifact gets Haste and the counters, and if there aren't any counters left on Blaster we get to flip him back over into his main form.

Blaster is not going to break cEDH, but we get a fun, synergistic deck built around lots of counters moving around and plenty of goofy Artifact Creatures.

Blaster, Combat DJ | Commander | Mark Wischkaemper

Card Display

40 Lands, my friends. 40 Lands. It's worth it. Decks run better. You can cast your spells. You can activate your abilities. You can respond to problems and still move your gameplan forward. Set yourself up for success and run 40 Lands.

We have some duals, of course, and several Lands with effects. There are a lot of good ones for Artifacts out there, like Inventors' Fair and Phyrexia's Core. We also have stuff which cares about counters like Drannith Ruins (an excellent use for any extra mana!) and Karn's Bastion. Nesting Grounds can end up being quite useful.

In addition to our 40 Lands, we've got a number of Artifact mana sources. We could certainly run Cultivates, but we have Throne of Geth and this deck could easily morph into caring about how many Artifacts we have on the Battlefield, so it seems worth it to lean in to the theme. Besides, it lets us run stuff that works all through the game like Mind Stone and Hedron Archive, plus cute stuff like Sonic Screwdriver and Cultivator's Caravan. We're not looking to ramp into a turn two Blaster, Morale Booster, so we can happily run more expensive but useful ramp.

One thing Blaster specifies is nontoken Artifacts and Vehicles get Modular 1. That means we need to cast actual cards from our Hand to get the bonus; we can't just figure out a way to generate a bunch of Servos or whatever and expect them all to buff up like crazy. In order to keep those Creatures coming, we need to draw cards, so something like Armorcraft Judge is going to be very valuable. We have a few of those "draw a bunch" cards like Rishkar's Expertise and Shamanic Revelation, and we have a number of incidental draw spells like Canoptek Spyder (sort of tailor-made for our situation), Towashi Guide-Bot (who's often going to tap for free for us), and Tributary Instructor. Finally, we have a few cards which bring things back from the Graveyard like Scrap Trawler and Myr Retriever. Buying back something big or helpful can be a huge play.

We've got mana and cards. A good start, but what do we do with them? We play Artifact Creatures, to start. We can start with cards like Arcbound Ravager and Steel Overseer. Arcbound Worker and Foundry Inspector work too. We play out a couple plus Blaster, and we start building up the counters on stuff and attacking with it. Eventually we'll get to a point with our mana where we can start playing some bigger stuff, like Threefold Thunderhulk and Wurmcoil Engine.

We also start growing into some Vehicles. Smuggler's Buggy is a bit of an earlier play, and Mechtitan Core is more fun than anything else, but Skysovereign, Consul Flagship and Thunderhawk Gunship can both do some damage on a 'field, especially when they are buffed up with a ton of extra counters. I'm particularly fond of Goliath Truck, because it does all things we want to do in this deck. Don't sleep on Dodgy Jalopy, either. That card can be huge, and the Scavenge ability makes rebuilding much easier.

Remember I said at the beginning I wanted a deck which was easy to play? Well, one way this is easy to play is we have no answers. We can Inspiring Call in response to a Wrath of God, I guess, but otherwise, we got nothing. Should we? Probably. But if I'm kicking back and not worrying about stuff, I'm going to kick back and not worry. Win or lose, I'm probably going to have a bunch of counters on stuff, and that's what I really want to do. Why spoil anyone else's fun?

On the other hand, you should feel free to add in some interaction if you'd like. Some Naturalize, Beast Within, Lightning Bolt and Blasphemous Act would probably go pretty far in this deck. Me? I'm running the laid-back version.

What we gain for not running interaction, though, is some fun synergy. Hardened Scales and Invigorating Hot Spring play into our theme nicely, and Pia's Revolution makes a challenge for our opponents. Rhythm of the Wild gives us some valuable utility. Contagion Clasp and Contagion Engine are classics for a reason and pretty much always useful for us, and Trading Post works great for us here. Bone Sabres does some excellent work for us.

And one card in particular worth mentioning is Lux Artillery. It will often put two additional counters on each Creature we play (the vast majority of our Creatures are Artifact Creatures), but more importantly we will regularly have 30 counters total on our stuff, which should be enough to get the table sweating.

A particularly fun aspect to a deck like this is it's linear without being repetitive. The plan is always the same: play out Creatures and buff them up with counters. Attack until people are dead. But the way that happens will be different each time. Will it be one big Creature with a ton of counters? A Vehicle, or better, Mechtitan Core win? Lots of little things getting pumped by Karn's Bastion mid-combat? You won't know until you draw your Hand and get into the red zone. This means the deck will be fun to play, fun to play against, but also accessible to newer players who might want to borrow something but can't handle your more complex contraptions.

Who's your favorite laid-back Commander or deck? Please let me know on social media. We love talking to our readers!

Thanks for reading.

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