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Henzie Has the Right Tool for the Job

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I spend a lot of time thinking about Commander. I build decks regularly, read a lot of content, and spend a good chunk of my leisure time playing Commander and working with my cards (I actually just finished organizing my collection, a process I started last September!).

I like to come up with different ideas, and build decks with themes and goals. Most of the time they have a way to win, but frequently I want to win in a specific way, and I'm not looking to overpower a table.

For some reason, though, whenever I think about Jund, or as they're known in Streets of New Capenna, the Riveteers (brg}, I just want to beat up on people. Way back in the stone age when I first started writing articles, I went around the color wheel; Jund was the first deck where the point was sheer good-stuff/power. I have to say, when I saw today's Commander, my thoughts didn't change. I just wanted to beat up on people.

Henzie

I'm sure there are lots of ways one could build to Henzie. Me? I want to throw massive dudes at my opponents and sacrifice them for value. Let's take a look.

Henzie's Blunt Instruments | Commander | Mark Wischkaemper


We have a fairly simple line of play here. Play some lands and some ramp. Play out Henzie. Start dropping fatties which make a difference when they land, swing for the fences, and replace them with card draw when they die each turn. We'll mess with that a little bit, but for the most part, it's that simple.

Lands are going to be important, as is ramp, because those Blitz costs, despite going down whenever Henzie gets recast, can get up there. We want to hit our land drops and make more mana, so we've got our 40 lands and a variety of ways to ramp, including some artifacts like Thought Vessel and Arcane Signet, land ramp like Kodama's Reach and Migration Path, and the adorable little Ignoble Hierarch. Grim Backwoods gives us a way to draw an extra card off dudes already sentenced to death, and Kessig Wolf Run is a nice mana sink when we're swinging in with someone out of nowhere and we have a bunch of extra.

A nice thing about Henzie is each creature we drop will almost always replace itself with another card; we Blitz something out, it dies in combat or at the end of our turn, and we draw a card to replace it. That's great, but we're not always going to draw a creature, so we want to make sure to have ways to keep the cards coming. Skullclamp is a great way; for 1 we slap that on something we've Blitzed out, and instead of one card, we draw three! Great. A number of our creatures will draw us some extra, like Solemn Simulacrum or Archon of Cruelty. Disciple of Bolas is great if we have lots of mana; we can Blitz out a Giant Adephage, attack, make a token (which won't have to be sacrificed at end of turn), then play the Disciple and sacrifice the original Insect, gaining seven life and drawing eight cards (seven for the Disciple, one for the Blitz) in the process. Seems good. Deathreap Ritual and Garruk's Uprising both help us, considering what we're up to. And Evolutionary Leap and Industrial Advancement are neat ways to turn that single card drawn into a guaranteed additional creature. Protection Racket is not only on-theme, but also a great way for us to get some extra cards; how many times are people going to be willing to pay the cost in life?

Most of the time, we're going to win with our big guys. An important thing to remember is we don't have to Blitz things; if it makes more sense to play something out normally, we can. But generally, we're going to Blitz our big guys, keep our opponents unaware of what will happen next, and wallop for good chunks of a life total every turn.

Ravenous Chupacabra is sort of perfect here. We can Blitz it and kill something and then draw, or we can play it, kill something, and have a blocker. Woodfall Primus similarly nails some problems for us, as does Druid of Purification. Bedevil, Windgrace's Judgment, and Putrefy are all examples of the kinds of good removal we get in Jund. Fatal Grudge is a new one which allows us to target our removal in really clever ways. Since we should have enough mana, we're running In Garruk's Wake and Decree of Pain as our sweepers; they are expensive to cast, but the benefits far outweigh the mana cost.

Riveteers Confluence is a great new catch-all card, serving as an Ancient Craving, Firespout, or Seedguide Ash, or some combination of them. How much fun is Supernatural Stamina? We surprise someone with some extra damage then get to keep our creature when we sac it at end of turn!

We also have a couple of ways to get things back. It's not a reanimator deck, but reusing some of our stuff is a worthwhile way to spend a little bit of our time. So Riveteers Ascendancy is great. We Blitz a Noxious Gearhulk, then sac it to draw a card and return an Ognis, the Dragon's Lash to the Battlefield. Now next turn, when we Blitz out a Greenwarden of Murasa, we get to create a Treasure token and return that Noxious Gearhulk to our hand.

It's also worth mentioning Puppeteer Clique. This card was a favorite of mine back in the days of Lorwyn/Shadowmoor, and it's really great here. We Blitz it out and steal something from someone else's 'yard. We attack with both. End of turn, we put our Blitz-Sacrifice trigger and the Exile-our-opponent's-thing triggers on the stack, then do both of those things. The Clique returns and steals something else, but since it's past the beginning of our End Step, we get to keep it until our next end step! And we get to keep the Persisted Clique this time, as well.

The last card I cut was Warstorm Surge. It seems like it would be really good, but seven mana is all of a turn, which means playing it leaves us not doing anything else that turn. In this deck, where we want to be applying pressure from the moment we start Blitzing, that just doesn't quite make the cut.

What would you run in a Henzie deck like this? Would you find a way to fit in Warstorm Surge? Would you do something else entirely? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks for reading.


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