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Convertible Commander: Mowu, Loyal Companion

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Mowu, Loyal Companion, Trampler of Foes, Vigilant Hound, Carrier of Counters, Fighter of Enemies, Leader of 99

There really has to be a Moana joke, doesn't there?

Mowu, Loyal Companion, coming soon to a card shop near you, in all its uncommon, three-tailed glory. g and 3, so four total mana, gets us a 3/3 with Vigilance and Trample. That's not bad. Plus if we can figure out ways to put +1/+1 counters on her (we don't know from the card, so I'm going to use female pronouns) we get an extra counter for each instance of counters being placed. (That means if we have something that puts three counters on her, we get four. But if we have something that puts one counter on her three times, we get six!)

So we know what we want to do, right? Get her down and load her up with counters. Get her huge and attack hard, killing our opponents in three or even just two (or perhaps even one!) hits. Seems fair. But do we really want to spend a ton to do it? I mean, she's an uncommon - a great card, sure, but she's $0.79 here for preorder... and she's buy one get three free, so really she's about $0.20. Is this a place for our Sensei's Divining Tops? I say no.

Thing is, I moved out of the budget Commander lifestyle a while ago. I'm done with that life. I'm living this life now. This is who I am, okay? Besides, your friend and mine Abe Sargent has budget commander covered for us, getting ever-less expensive with each deck. He's down to $32.65. For the whole thing. That's crazy. You're crazy, Abe!

Here's the thing. I think we can get cheaper. I think we can get about as cheap as a Commander deck can get with this general, and we can do it without having to run 99 basic lands. We can have a fully operational space stati... I mean, EDH deck that can do some damage, win some games, not be boring to play with or against, and get to right around as low as possible and still actually buy the cards. I'm going to assume you have access to 39 free Forests. If you do, this deck will cost you (as of this writing on CoolStuffInc.com) $19.06. You're going to have to pay the shipping, so $20.05, I suppose, but still. $20, out the door, and it's not a precon. Let's do this.

Mowu, Loyal Companion


So let's start with what we're not doing.

  • We're not ramping
  • We're not Wrath(of God)-ing
  • We're not comboing
  • We're not interacting with other players much
  • We're not countering spells
  • We're not getting overly tricky

Frontier Guide
Not ramping?! We're in Green! We've got Frontier Guide, which is a nice use of mana late in the game to pull lands, but truth is, with 40 land in the deck, we don't need to ramp. We'll reliably be able to cast our Commander on turn four, which is important, but otherwise we've got a pretty low curve and we don't really need to be doing more than one thing a turn most of the time. We'll play our land and do our thing.

Wrathing is hard in Mono-Green anyway, mostly requiring specific targets like Hurricane or Bane of Progress, or an artifact method like Oblivion Stone. Those are all too pricey if we want to keep the price really low, but honestly, we want to go over the top of fair decks and we're probably not going to beat a Goblin combo deck anyway.

I'm certain there are combos we could do, but this is the fairest deck that ever played. Seriously, we're buffing up our Commander and attacking. What's not fair about that? We're not going to combo, we're going to smash your face the way we did back when we were kids.

We've got a couple of things that kill artifacts and enchantments and another few ways to fight creatures, mostly to deal with annoying stuff that sits there and bothers everyone like demons and dragons and things that make it hurt to draw cards. Otherwise, again, we just smash through with our Trample and call it a day.

We're playing Mono-Green, so we're really not going to counter any spells. We're just going to let everyone do what they want and hope our girl is big enough to win anyway. While we're at it, we're not going to be particularly tricky about this. A lot of our stuff is sorcery-speed anyway, so people will have every bit of knowledge they can when we attack with our really, really big dog.

Fireshrieker
What we are going to do is put counters on Mowu. A lot of them. Close to 40 cards in our deck put counters on things, so we'll be able to do that a whole bunch. We've got instants that do it, sorceries that do it, and creatures that do it when they enter the battlefield or when they die. We've also got a few things that actually transfer counters from themselves, mostly the Spike creatures. These are actually quite good, because each time we do it is a different placement of a counter, so as previously mentioned, Mowu gets two for each activation. Value-town, here we come. Fireshrieker because Double Strike is amazing with a big trampler. We've also got a copy of Become Immense, because, well, in this deck it could kill someone.

We're also going to draw some cards. Green, very nicely, ties its card draw to creatures in one of two ways - how many there are and how big they are. Since we'll reliably have a pretty big creature around, this works out in our favor. Soul's Majesty just asks what her power is and, for five measly mana, gives us that many cards. Stuff like Hunter's Prowess is awesome, too, since she'll be hitting for a ton of damage when she connects. Occasionally we'll be forced to discard, though, because we have no way of increasing our hand size above seven. Oh well; we can probably win with that seven if Mowu survives.

We need her to, too, because she's our ticket and we've got no other route. We're really counting on her to win this for us; if we're forced to try to win by putting counters on other stuff, it's going to be much, much harder. Among other things, nothing's quite as great as she is with Trample and all, and instead of doing 21 to people we'll have to do 40 to each of them, which is a whole lot more. Save that enchantment removal for Pacifism effects, probably, is the answer. Oh! Our one non-Forest land is Rogue's Passage, which is 100% worth it in here. Sometimes Trample just isn't enough; the Passage can dash an opponent's hopes of blocking and, therefore, surviving, in the most wonderful of ways.

We can do a little fighting and we can do a little smashing, but mostly we're hoping to race and go over the top with a massive Mowu. Save those cards for when you really need them. Don't just throw your removal at the first thing that makes you nervous. You'll be bummed when you kill that Godsend when the next thing that comes down is Oblivion Ring.

That's it. That's the deck. We play Mowu, we put counters on her like it's 1999, and we smash in with her. This is a great deck to add to your arsenal if you're feeling punchy or it's late and you're tired but you don't feel like spending anything or even digging through your collection. It's also a great first deck, both for someone reading this because it plays simply and straightforward without being useless or incapable of winning and for someone you know who wants to try but doesn't want to build their own deck yet, for the same reason.

But we are Convertible Commander here, so I guess we should convert. How about we go old-school with it, though, and talk about some cards that kill the budget but would be fun or worthwhile?

All of these cards represent things that would have drastically increased the price of the deck, but would be great. Bane of Progress is wonderful in a deck like this, since we have so few of those kinds of cards ourselves. Tornado Elemental is an excellent card in Mono-Green in part because it suffers so much against flying creatures; Whiptongue Hydra is a more modern version that cares about counters. A few more ways to draw cards - Momentous Fall really wants to be in this deck - and Reliquary Tower (plus, probably, Thought Vessel) in case we end up drawing a ton and don't want to dump a bunch of them. Vigor's a great way to keep adding counters to Mowu through combat, and Hardened Scales will pile them on quickly. Sandwurm Convergence is simply good in Mono-Green.

There's other stuff too. Garruk in almost all his incarnations of g would be good here. Running a few other big creatures or some land-fetching wouldn't be bad. Might be worth it to run a bit more equipment, too, to give her even more abilities or pump up the power more reliably.

But all in all this deck is designed to be fun, cheap, and easy to play for those times when you don't want to sweat, you just want to hang out with your friends and enjoy yourself. Who doesn't want that for $20? Now get out there and buy a new deck.

Thanks for reading.