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Building Doctor Who's Me, the Immortal in Commander

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While poring over the many legendary creatures printed in the recent set of Doctor Who commander decks, I wasn't optimistic that I'd find a lot of new cards I'd fall in love with. I've watched my share of Doctor Who, but I'm far from a "Whovian" and I've never been a huge supporter of introducing IPs (intellectual properties) into the game from outside of Magic's long and convoluted lore.

There are a handful of Doctor Who episodes that stuck with me, including many that are on most fans' lists of all-time favorites. Back in 2015, when I saw that Maisie Williams, the actor who played Arya Stark on Game of Thrones, would be in a few episodes with Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor, I couldn't wait to see it. She plays a viking girl named Ashildr who crosses paths with The Doctor and finds her life changed forever. Williams appears in "The Girl Who Died," where that first story plays out, and "The Woman Who Lived," where we find out how her life unfolded after being saved by The Doctor. Williams appears twice more as Me, appearing in the episode "Face the Raven" and "Hell Bent," the final episode of series nine of the long-running BBC show.

Ashildr starts to call herself "Me" sometime in the 17th century. Living forever takes a toll on the mind, and she writes memoirs for the main purpose of reminding herself of things she doesn't want to forget. Immortality does not apparently come with a perfect memory. I hope I've teased this character's story enough to get you to go watch those episodes. Enough about the lore behind this character - let's get down to brass tacks and take a look at her card.

Me, the Immortal

Me, the Immortal is a Temur legendary creature with a 3/3 body who costs five mana. At the beginning of combat on my turn I'll put a +1/+1, first strike, vigilance or menace counter on her. I don't love keyword counters, but this is a deck where they will really shine.

In a way, Me is reminiscent of Skullbriar, the Walking Grave. Counters remain on her as she moves to any zone other than a player's hand or library. That means she can die or get exiled and she'll keep her counters, but if she gets bounced to hand or shuffled into my library any progress I've made on loading her up with counters will be gone.

She can be cast from my graveyard by discarding two cards in addition to playing its other costs. I'm not sure how often I'll want to do that, but I may want to run sacrifice outlets so I can dodge any spell that might put her in my hand or shuffle her away.

Counters Matter

This deck is going to focus on commander damage as a central game plan. I'll load my commander up with counters and will try to make sure that she never gets bounced to my hand or shuffled into my library. In 2020 the Ikoria set gave us a bunch of cards that would put keyword counters on creatures.

Slippery Bogbonder
Avian Oddity
Scavenged Brawler

Slippery Bogbonder is a good enough card that I'm tempted to run tutors to go find it. This Human Druid has flash and hexproof. When she enters the battlefield I'll get to put a hexproof counter on target creature and then move any number of counters from other creatures I control onto that creature. It's a pretty great way to give Me a hexproof counter and a fantastic combat trick with the right boardstate.

Avian Oddity and Titanoth Rex are two cycling cards in my list that will let me draw a card and put a counter on target creature. Avian Oddity lets me put a flying counter and Titanoth Rex lets me put a trample counter on a creature. Scavenged Brawler is a 4/4 Construct with Flying, vigilance, trample and lifelink. If it's in my graveyard I can pay 5 to exile it and put four +1/+1 counters along with a counter for each of its keywords onto target creature.

I'm also going to want to load Ashildr up with +1/+1 counters, as she won't lose them if she's exiled or killed.

Loyal Guardian
Increasing Savagery
Sword of Hours

Loyal Guardian will put a +1/+1 counter on each creature I control at the beginning of combat if I control my commander. I'm also running Ring of Evos Isle, Ring of Kalonia and Ring of Valkas, each of which will put a +1/+1 counter on my commander at the beginning of my upkeep. Ashildr spent some time as a thief and I like the idea that she picked up a few trinkets in her adventures. Those rings each give a keyword ability, but that keyword ability cares about the equipped creature having certain colors. The Great Henge is also in the list and will draw me a card and put a +1/+1 counter on nontoken creatures when they enter the battlefield under my control.

I'm running a few instants and sorceries that can put +1/+1 counters on creatures. Increasing Savagery will put 5 counters on a creature and if I cast it for its flashback cost out of the graveyard it will put a whopping ten +1/+1 counters on that creature instead. Snakeskin Veil and Gaea's Gift each put a +1/+1 counter on target creature and serve to protect it from threats. The former gives hexproof until end of turn, and for one mana more the latter gives reach, trample, hexproof and indestructible until end of turn.

Putting counters on a creature is nice, but I want to be able to increase the rate at which that happens. I'm running Hardened Scales, Ozolith, the Shattered Spire, and Kami of Whispered Hopes, each of which will add an extra +1/+1 counter if I put 1 or more +1/+1 counters on Me. I'm also running a few ways to double my counters. Invigorating Surge will put a +1/+1 counter on target creature and then double the number of +1/+1 counters on that creature. Hydra's Growth is an aura that will put a +1/+1 counter on enchanted creature and at the beginning of my upkeep I'll double the number of +1/+1 counters on enchanted creature.

Every Rogue needs their rapier, so I also included Sword of Hours. When a creature equipped with Sword of Hours attacks I'll put a +1/+1 counter on it, and when it deals combat damage I'll roll a d12. If the result is greater than the damage dealt or the result is 12, I'll double the number of counters on that creature.

Odds and Ends

Me, the Immortal has a fairly straightforward game plan, but I still want to play cards that will support that strategy and will give me options if she gets locked down somehow.

Herald of Secret Streams
Guardian Augmenter
Kediss, Emberclaw Familiar

I'm running a few ways to make a creature unblockable. Herald of Secret Streams and Aqueous Form will both serve that purpose. The former is a Merfolk Warrior who makes creatures I control with +1/+1 counters unblockable. The latter is an aura that makes enchanted creature unblockable and will have me scry 1 when they attack. I'm also running Sword Coast Sailor, a background enchantment that gives my commander the ability to be unblockable if it's attacking an opponent with the highest life among all of my opponents.

I've also got Guardian Augmenter in the list as a way to protect Me. It will give her +2/+2 and hexproof. Swiftfoot Boots is also in the mix along with a number of instants that can help keep her safe. Kediss, Emberclaw Familiar will give my commander the ability to push out noncombat damage to the opponents she didn't attack if she deals combat damage to any one of them.

Goro-Goro, Disciple of Ryusei
Moraug, Fury of Akoum
Ancient Bronze Dragon

My commander will almost always be a modified creature, so this deck is a great excuse to run Goro-Goro, Disciple of Ryusei. For five mana, two of which must be red, I can create a 5/5 Red Dragon spirit creature token with flying, but only if I control an attacking modified creature.

Moraug, Fury of Akoum is a six mana Minotaur Warrior who can give me extra combat steps if I play a land. I'll very much want to play those lands in my second main phase based on how Moraug's ability is designed. Ancient Bronze Dragon is a seven-mana 7/7 Elder Dragon who will have me roll a d20 when it does combat damage to a player and I'll put that many +1/+1 counters on each of up to 2 creatures. Not only does this work nicely with my commander, if I roll well it will let me set up another creature as a legitimate threat.

In "The Woman who Lived", the second of the Doctor Who episodes featuring Maisie Williams as Me, she works with a Leonin sidekick named Leandro. While I won't spoil his role in that episode, I did want to include a card to represent him in this deck.

Runadi, Behemoth Caller

Runadi, Behemoth Caller can tap for a Green mana, and if I cast a creature spell with mana value 5 or greater, that creature enters the battlefield with additional +1/+1 counters. Me has a mana value of five, and will enter with one +1/+1 counter. This deck isn't full of big creatures, but I'm happy to have Runadi in the list for the flavor.

Voltron Ashildr

The one shortcoming I might have in this list is a lack of cards that give me extra combat steps. Me, the Immortal is in red and adding a few of them would do nicely to balance out the colors in the deck. Right now the list is leaning towards green more than any other color. With any of my first drafts, I would expect to play it a few times and switch out what isn't working. I always expect new decks to evolve over time.

Me, the Immortal EDH | Commander | Stephen Johnson

If you wanted to tune this list up, you might well add in some fast mana and more powerful wincons. Triumph of the Hordes might make sense, or Jeska, Thrice Reborn to set up some one-shot kills if you've gotten Me up to 7 power and have made her unblockable. The ceiling on voltron decks is usually a little lower as you are usually aiming to kill each opponent one by one. That gives the remaining players extra turns to pull into answers.

If you wanted to tune this down you might drop out The Great Henge and The Ozolith, along with Ancient Bronze Dragon, but this is already a fairly casual build. The deck's biggest weakness is probably a reliance on its commander, so you might do well to add in a few more big creatures, but I'd play it a few times to get a feel for how it fits into your meta.

Final Thoughts

Before I wrap up, it's worth noting that playing a voltron deck isn't for everyone. When everything goes right, you knock out the table in consecutive turn cycles. You might take a few turns to build your commander up to the point where she can swing for lethal, but once you're killing folks you pick the biggest threat first and work down from there.

In a worst-case scenario you kill one person early, someone finds an answer, and the game drags on for a couple of hours. That one person might jump into another game if you're at an LGS or there are lots of games going on, but if you're just a small playgroup they might be out of luck.

I used to play more voltron decks but I've been moving away from them in recent years because of exactly this problem. They can be a lot of fun, but I generally prefer to kill a table all at once so we can all start up a new game together. There are just less "feel-bads" that way, and I can always switch to a non-combo deck if a combo win didn't go over well with my tablemates. Some people just don't love certain types of game-ending plays.

Do what makes sense for your playstyle and your meta, and if you are interested in building Me, the Immortal, I hope I've given you a few ideas to consider for your own brew.

That's all I've got for today. Thanks for reading and I'll see you next week!

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