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8-Mana Commanders: Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger


Building a Commander deck requires a number of things. Cards, of course. A Legendary creature. A plan helps. But most of all, the builder must feel inspired to build the deck. Something has to leap inside of you, compelling you to use that Legend, build that idea, win that way.

For me, few things are more inspiring than a big, dumb, Green deck which makes way too much mana. So, when looking at the final Commander for this 8-mana series, one guy jumped out above the pack.

Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger

I'm going to be honest here. Vorinclex is... rough on tables. The benefit we gain is impressive enough, but the pain he inflicts on the rest of the table is quite real. If you're worried your friends might disown you if you play a deck like this, consider building a Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar deck. It'll play way far fairer. But if you want to bring the hurt and show 'em how Trampling monsters can get it done, Vorinclex is your guy. Let the smashing commence.

We're going to need land and we're going to need a lot of it. Forty lands is a good place to start, and with Green we can hunt them down and put them out early and often. We're running spells that get two lands out of our library, like Kodama's Reach and Circuitous Route. They cost more than spells like Nature's Lore, but the card advantage is worth it. We're not in a huge hurry (we'll lose to a turn-four Goblin deck no matter what we do), but we don't want to wait to turn eight to cast Vorinclex, and we want to keep pulling lands every chance we get.

It's quite possible we're not running enough basic Forests. There are so many good utility lands! After three or four ramp spells, we may not be able to find any more basics. If it turns into a regular problem, we may need to adjust the count and pull some utility lands.

Card draw in Green is almost exclusively tied to creatures. In our case, since we're not going wide with a bunch of tokens, we want to focus on spells which care about the power of a creature. Consider, if you will, Soul's Majesty. This is as straightforward as it comes. For five mana, we'll often draw seven, eight, even 10 cards, completely refilling our hand. Momentous Fall lets us do it to a creature already being killed. Rishkar's Expertise draws too, but for an extra mana we get to cast a spell for free. Garruk, Primal Hunter is almost always a Soul's Majesty which sticks around for a few more turns.

Then we have the "draw cards when we play a creature" effects. Zendikar Resurgent draws whenever we cast a creature spell. Garruk's Uprising works for creatures with power four or more, as is Colossal Majesty; Elemental Bond is three or more. Soul of the Harvest is big and Tramply and draws us whenever a nontoken creature enters the battlefield under our control.

Then there's my favorite for decks like this. When we have a lot of mana every turn (I'm talking 30, 40 mana not at all out of the realm of possibility, regularly), we can run a wonderful card like Tower of Fortunes. Repeatable draw, four cards for eight mana. And you'll still have plenty of mana left to play whatever you draw!

We'll likely win by attacking with really big creatures. We've got a bunch of them. But if that doesn't work, we can always cast a Finale of Devastation where X = 26, or a Genesis Wave where X = 18. Both of those are pretty likely to win us a game. There's also Craterhoof Behemoth. If we've got three or four other creatures out, that should be able to do some damage. After an Avenger of Zendikar it should really end a game. Apex Devastator is likely to cause some problems. If you can ultimate him, Garruk, Primal Hunter's -6 could be a good path to victory. Basically, the idea is to have bigger creatures than the other players, and hit them with those creatures.

We are pretty good at getting rid of non-creature permanents. Terastodon is sort of the classic here, but Beast Within and Rain of Thorns all fall into the category. We also have a few abilities like Lignify, which are sort of like Green Pacifism. We don't really care about a 0/4, but getting rid of a Void Winnower or Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite is probably worth it. Song of the Dryads is a weird Path to Exile in Green, because they get a land but we can hit anything. All is Dust and Scour from Existence are our colorless answers to a number of problems, and then there's our other tower: Tower of Calamities. 12 damage kills most everything, and we'll have the eight mana.

A few more things worth noting. First, we have a bunch of ways to double (or even triple) up on Vorinclex's mana doubling. Mana Reflection and Nyxbloom Ancient are two examples of how we do this. It won't be unusual for each of our lands to be tapping for three, four, or even five mana, so count carefully and watch the triggers. If you can make 36 mana it's probably worth it to draw 10 cards, because you'll be able to play so many of them you won't need to discard.

Second is the card Vigor. It's just great, and I feel like I never see it played. Prevent all combat damage to creatures? Check. Replace it with making them bigger? Check. Sticks around even if it gets killed? Check. Why wouldn't we play this creature?

Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger | Commander | Mark Wischkaemper

This deck is trickier to play than it seems. There will be difficult decisions, and people won't like the Commander from the off, even if they are willing to play with you. Playing cards in the right order, reading the table for potential removal, and timing the massive spells just right so they have maximum impact are all challenging choices and worth taking the time to work out. On the other hand, you get to smash with giant monsters, and for some of us, that's the essence of Magic: the Gathering right there.

As I said earlier, it's possible the mana base should drop a few non-Basic lands (I'd start with the cyclers) and add a few more Forests. Omnath, Locus of Mana could be good to keep mana around. A lot of the big creatures are rather interchangeable: Woodfall Primus for Terastodon, for instance.

Would you play a deck like Vorinclex? If you do, do you still have friends? What would you do differently? Please let us know in the comments!

Oh! We had a $500 budget for this one and snuck under at $471.37 at time of writing. The Commander is close to 10% of the budget, so there's not really a way to make it much cheaper (for that, I recommend - again - Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar). But this deck is quite resilient, and will always gain and lose cards with new sets as new powerful Green creatures and draw spells become available.

Next time we're on to a new mini-series. In the meantime, try running Tower of Fortunes and tell me it's not great.

Thanks for reading.

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