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Universes Within: Bjorna and Hargilde


Streets of New Capenna is right around the corner and while we're not quite ready to get to building any new decks with those cards just yet, it is still bringing something new to the table we can work with. The set boosters that feature cards on The List will soon contain Magic versions of the Secret Lair x Stranger Things cards. These new Universes Within cards, as they're called, are great for people like me who frankly don't have much attachment to the show. I simply never really got too far into it so I could hardly be considered much of a fan, but I liked a lot of what the cards were doing.

Dustin, Gadget Genius
Lucas, the Sharpshooter

Take Dustin, Gadget Genius and Lucas, the Sharpshooter for example. I know nothing about either of these characters, so there's not as much pull to use them like there would be for a number of Stranger Things fans. There are many like me who either aren't fans or don't care enough to want these cards as their Commanders based on the property. Personally, I see a couple cool cards doing neat things with artifacts, which is a thing I'm always down for in Commander.

Bjorna, Nightfall Alchemist
Hargilde, Kindly Runechanter

That's exactly why the Universes Within cards are such a boon. Players no longer need to rely so much on the attachment to Stranger Things to make them want to play with these cards. Instead, they can be played on their own merits and with some cool alternate in-universe flavor attached to them. This made me want to build around these cool cards, with there being a way to ramp out more artifacts and another to sacrifice them. Let's check out a list and see how it ended up:

Bjorna and Hargilde | Commander | Paige Smith

The first thing I did with this list was to go looking for ways to reliably return artifacts from the graveyard. We'll be sacrificing a lot of artifacts and we'll want a way to continuously keep the ball rolling. The easiest way to do this is recursion engines like Hanna, Ship's Navigator and Sun Titan. These are pretty solid mainstays that show up in a lot of my decks, and for good reason. I went a little further and added cards like Scrap Trawler, Academy Ruins, Emry, Tameshi, and so on to make sure there were ways to continually bring back artifacts.

One of my personal favorites here is Feldon of the Third Path. Not only does it effectively bring back a creature, but the creature comes back as an artifact creature. Because of this, it gives us plenty of opportunity to sacrifice it to our commander and other sacrificial methods. This could include sacrificing it to fuel Sai, Master Thopterist's ability or Daretti, Scrap Savant to help you get out bigger and badder cards on a more permanent level.

Feldon of the Third Path
Efficient Construction
Spine of Ish Sah

This in turn leads me to one of my other big themes here: tokens. Tokens make the world go round, and in no case is that clearer than here. It's important to have fodder for our sacrificing commander, Bjorna. That makes tokens ideal, as they're small bodies that can be shot at other targets from a good and solid range. Cards like Efficient Construction, Brudiclad, Telchior Engineer, and Saheeli, Sublime Artificer will fill your board like nobody's business and give you tons of fuel to keep going. If you ever manage to get enough of them, you can even skip the goading shenaniganry so long as you attack and crush their life total.

Obviously, though, the big one is Spine of Ish Sah. If you can get it down, you can easily get to a point where you can blow up tons of your opponents' stuff, sacrificing Spine to Bjorna to pick off opposing creatures. With that you simply build a board and overtake your opponents while making them fight amongst each other. Adding in some cards like Mindslaver and Wurmcoil Engine can make recurring effects even more potent and potentially game ending, but toward the end I was finding it a bit difficult to make cuts for those cards. Definitely run them if you feel the urge to do so as they can be completely backbreaking to your opponents when they go off.

All told, I'm really excited that we're getting cards like these Universes Within pieces. It gives us a new bunch of ways to play with a ton of existing cards without needing to use the original property. After all, I don't have any affinity for the original series they're based around, so why would I want to run them? The designs are too cool not to play, so it's great we still get to use them. Give the deck a try at your next Commander night once Streets of New Capenna is finally out and the cards can get in your hands!

Paige Smith

Twitter: @TheMaverickGal

Twitch: twitch.tv/themaverickgirl

YouTube: TheMaverickGal

Commander HQ: Decklists and Strategy for Stranger Things' Legendary Creatures!

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