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Around the Wheel: Intet, the Dreamer


There are times when the best thing you can do is simply ask for help. As I approached this week's article, what I should do with Temur (gur for the uninitiated), which is one of my favorite color trios, was a mystery to me. I have a Maelstrom Wanderer deck my friends really don't like to see. I've always been a fan of Sarkhan Vol. Gruul (rg) was my first deck way back in '93 when I first started playing, and adding Blue just makes it stronger and cleverer. But I was stumped as to what to do.

So, at the most recent CSI Writers' Club meeting (yes, we have them; yes, they're secret; no, you don't have the password) I asked the assembled:

"What's up, CSI writers? Next up in Around the Wheel is Temur. Anyone got a suggestion?"

Ideas popped up from everywhere, unsurprisingly for this group. But one shot to the front, loud and clear.

"Why not do the least-used Temur commander?" came the dulcet tones of Abe Sargent, Magic: The Gathering's resident history expert. "I'm pretty sure it's Intet, the Dreamer."

Abe making a suggestion is kind of like getting a call from the Queen: you say yes.

Intet, the Dreamer

I've spent the last few articles leaning into power and trying to beat tables with decks. That's great, and a puddle to splash in sometimes. But Jason Alt's 75% theory of deck-building and Bruce Richard's reminder that, in the end, this is a game and it should be fun for everyone were ringing in my ears as I considered Intet. The fun of Intet is getting to play big spells for free. There are ways to do that really, really consistently, and that's fine if that's your thing. But I thought it'd be more fun to limit the free spells only to Intet, seriously limit the ways the Dragon can deal combat damage (aside from the native Flying, of course), and keep ways of manipulating the top of our library to a lower level, if not a minimum. Oh, and make the things we hit fun (Skyline Despot) rather than unfun (Omniscience).

Intet is still six mana, and we can't really do anything until we've cast her (I have no idea if Intet has a gender, so I'm guessing "her." Feel free to correct me in the comments), so we're running our 40 lands. The mix is a little funny; we're running more basics than normal, in part because we have a bunch of silly fetch lands (we're not running the expensive ones because, well, most of the time there's just no need to spend the money on them for EDH. You do you). Sometimes we're going to know the top of our library, and we're going to be certain we don't want to get that card with Intet's trigger, so the silly fetches let us shuffle it away in the hopes of something better. Rogue's Passage is nice when the skies get clogged and we need Intet to hit, and Alchemist's Refuge is nifty for when we want to flash in a creature we've got waiting face down or cast a Sorcery at Instant speed. There are also a few mana rocks, because it might be nice to occasionally get Intet out before turn six, or possibly hard cast one of our larger spells.

Intet's ability is interesting as we approach card draw. Much like Maelstrom Wanderer or Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder, we don't really want cards in our hand, we want them in the correct location in our library. So traditional card draw is kind of useless, but we get a natural card advantage from Intet adding free spells to our hand. We're going to lean on that. We do have a few ways to draw cards, but they're pretty limited and mostly we have ways to Scry. It will help a lot if we wind up with a Crystal Ball or a Sylvan Library. Yes, the deck probably wants Sensei's Divining Top and, frankly, Jace, the Mind Sculptor. If you want you run those cards in your janky Intet deck, go for it. But Top is a card that elicits mostly groans at tables, and Jace is... well, Jace. Anyway, the theory is we'll get a few free cards banked and be able to keep up with card advantage that way.

In order for a card to be in this deck, it had to do one of two things: be really, really, really good in helping Intet do a good job, or be three mana or more. Why? Because that's the cost of Intet's ability, and we're going to get value out of it. Even a mana rock will break even, but the creatures needed to be BIG. Atarka, World Render big. Drakuseth, Maw of Flames big. Nyxbloom Ancient big. We want our creatures to come down and make a splash. Most of them fly, which is nice because they're going to want to attack and Flying is a great way to keep them doing it. Warstorm Surge plays into the big-creatures thing, throwing around extra damage for us. We've also got enough Dragons to play Crucible of Fire.

We're not too worried about what everyone else is doing. If someone comes out of the gates with a million tokens on turn three, we're going to lose anyway. If they're playing fair it should be a pretty fun game. If they're combo, or are trying to kill Intet, though, that's where we get frisky. We're running a fair few counterspells, most of which cost three or more because with any luck we'll bank one or two and be able to cast them whenever we need them for free. Draining Whelk is up there as one of the most fun counters of all time, but hitting a Gather Specimens at the right moment will make a story you'll tell your grandchildren. Don't over-worry about protecting everything else. Keep Intet alive as much as possible and the threats will keep landing.

Speaking of those threats, there are a few other spells in here mostly because they're huge and fun. Sarkhan Unbroken is not played much, but all of his abilities are pretty great here (that first one with Crystal Ball is sweet) and hitting his Ultimate will likely win the game on the spot. And Genesis Ultimatum is what happens when Intet gets really excited, so that should be fun to watch resolve. Finally, Mind's Dilation gives us a chance to use our opponents' stuff against them. If they complain, we can just remind them they put it in their deck in the first place.

Intet, the Dreamer | Commander | Mark Wischkaemper

This deck will not win you a ton of games. You won't shoot to the top of your local Commander leaderboards. You'll get outpaced by fast decks and overwhelmed by power decks. But at the end of the evening, everyone will be talking about what you did - what you flipped, how lucky you were, how incredible that Gather Specimens was. That's what the game is all about - having fun with your friends.

What's your favorite outlandish story from a Commander game? Let us know in the comments; I'd love to hear some great ones.

Until next time, get out there and have some fun!

Thanks for reading, and stay safe.

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