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Jolene's Here to Cause Anarchy


On Wednesday, I wrote about making upgrades to the Cabaretti Cacophony preconstructed deck. That deck focused on two things: token making and goading creatures. I thought that the goading and the chaotic nature wasn't what should be focused on so much with upgrades. This was because tokens are a bit more fun and that was clearly the greater focus and changing to more of a chaotic natured deck wasn't the best for a newer player looking to upgrade a basic preconstructed deck. Plus, the face legend - Kitt Kanto, Mayhem Diva - did a lot of the goading quite well on her own as is.

Today, though, I want to focus on that more chaotic side. Instead of focusing on creature tokens, I want to make treasure tokens - and lots of them! Not only do I want to make them, but I want everyone to get in on the action as well. Enter Jolene, Plunder Queen.

Jolene, the Plunder Queen

I saw Jolene and immediately was intrigued. Giving your opponents so many treasures isn't always ideal, as you're never wanting to give other players at the table too many resources. However, Jolene can only make the treasures for your opponents if they don't attack you. That critical part got my mind working and the juices flowing. Goading was something that came to mind, but not before the Vow cycle from Commander 2011 and similar types of cards. It was a strategy I would use in my old Karona, False God decks to be able to play my commander - which would entice players to start attacking - but to not attack me in the process.

So, I set out to make a deck around Jolene that would pit opponents against one another however I could. I think the results speak for themselves quite well, so let's take a look at a list!

Chaotic Jolene | Commander | Paige Smith

While writing this entire piece, it's hard to not make a reference to the famous Dolly Parton song "Jolene." However, we're not really in the business of stealing another woman's man or anything like that. Heck, this deck isn't in the business of stealing away creatures at all. No Act of Treason, no Threaten, nothing like that - though I imagine someone will do that and have a good time. With this deck, however, we're more in the business of pitting our opponents against one another. Who needs to do the dirty work themselves when you can just get everyone else to do it for you?

There's two ways we can do this. The first - as mentioned previously - is goading. By utilizing goading, we make the opponents fight amongst each other. This can lead to players taking oodles of damage or else lose some of their best creatures, leaving less to retaliate back at you with in the process. Agitator Ant, Geode Rager, and Bloodthirsty Blade are all great ways to get the train rolling. If you really need to get things crazy and hectic, then you can cast a Disrupt Decorum to get every single creature into the fray without touching a single one of your precious life points. Finally, there's Laurine, the Diversion. This isn't exactly a sacrifice deck or anything, but we're making so many artifacts thanks to treasures that there's really no shortage of fuel to get your opponents attacking.

Geode Rager
Laurine, the Diversion
Curse of Hospitality

The second way to coerce opponents into attacking is curses. Admittedly, there's a bit less on the curse front than there is goading - especially with more coming right around the corner in Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate. However, that doesn't mean there aren't good options. Curse of Bloodletting helps get people on board to take down a particular problem creature and Curse of Opulence gives everyone - especially you - even more treasures! Curse of Hospitality is extra great because people get to cast spells off the target player's library too, creating a little extra chaos. And speaking of chaos, Maddening Hex brings a lot of it as it just goes around the table slowly picking opponents off. If the goading isn't enough to force some attacks, Curse of the Nightly Hunt can always help. Just make sure you have the safety Crawlspace up to protect yourself in the process!

To round the deck out I sought out - apart from the usual Gruul staples - cards that care about treasures. Jolene makes a lot of them, after all, so why not make good use of it? There're some obvious inclusions here like Xorn and Goldspan Dragon, both of which give you lots of extra value from your tokens. You can also use Academy Manufactor to get food and clues as well for each treasure you make, and I sure included a ton of ways to make treasures beyond just Jolene! Gala Greeters, Glittermonger, Tireless Provisioner, and Old Gnawbones will all make you an endless supply of treasures. These not only fuel Jolene, though, but several other cards as well!

Rain of Riches presents so much value it's almost gross. You're spitting out treasures left and right, so why not make it so casting spells off of them get cascade as well? It'll provide you nonstop cards! If you don't want to cascade - or simply lack the Rain of Riches to make it happen - both Professional Face-Breaker and Scion of Opulence will help back you up with tons of extra card advantage in exchange for some treasures. If need be, Magda, Brazen Outlaw can use your tokens to get the big game-ending dragons into play fast as well - ensuring you have some mighty evasive ways to finish the job of taking your opponents down. If all else fails, Stimulus Package can make you tokens both for protection and to keep the attacks rolling through.

Rain of Riches
Fangren Marauder

There're some good utility cards in the deck as well. Using cards like Manifold Key, Trailblazer's Boots, and Whispersilk Cloak will all ensure your giant Jolene will be able to crash through your opponents' ranks to close out games fast. If you need some help at getting damage through, Reckless Fireweaver will no doubt deal monstrous amounts of damage with all the treasures you'll be dropping. And speaking of treasures, dropping a Fangren Marauder can net you some ridiculous amounts of life. Remember: the Marauder not only counts artifacts you sacrifice, but the ones your opponents sacrifice as well! This means it's not hard at all to get your life total into the hundreds in just a few short turns.

All in all, what you get is a tremendously fun deck. It's admittedly kind of simple, but sometimes that simplicity is good. It brings an aggressive and chaotic deck to the table without devolving into absurd Grip of Chaos or Thieves' Auction style madness. There's no doubt that if you show up to a Commander pod with Jolene, you'll have one hell of a good time. Don't take my word for it, though - build her for yourself and try her out at your next Commander night!

Paige Smith

Twitter: @TheMaverickGal

Twitch: twitch.tv/themaverickgirl

YouTube: TheMaverickGal

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