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Storm on the Horizon: Breaking Commander, Part 2

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If you read my article last week, you'd know all about the theme of this article series: to prove that Commander is meant to be fun, not competitive. It certainly does not belong in a tournament setting. If you do come across a Commander event for prizes that's based strictly on wins, rather than a fun-point system, bring one of these decks, win quickly, take the packs, and run. Then, go back to playing Commander casually, as it was meant to be.

Last week's deck was vicious, but somewhat easy to disrupt if you can keep Hermit Druid off the table. This one might be worse.

March of the ANT (Ad Nauseam Tendrils, That Is)

The main combo in the Zur ANT deck is a resolved Angel's Grace, followed by an Ad Nauseam. Draw your entire deck and then win that turn through cards like Tendrils of Agony, Exsanguinate, the good old combo of Power Artifact and Grim Monolith or Basalt Monolith combo. Unlike other Storm decks in Commander, this one is capable of finishing off three other players in the same turn, not just one.

Angel's Grace
Here's a typical win sequence for this deck:

There're certainly ways to cut steps out of this combo if you study the deck hard enough, but that's what I came up with as one example.

If there are only three players remaining, you can also use actual Storm to win (using Caleb Scherer’s Storm token card, naturally). Generate your mana as in Steps 1–5 above and then cast Tendrils of Agony to finish off one player. Then, when you’re heads-up, use either Yawgmoth's Will or Snapcaster Mage to cast Tendrils of Agony from the graveyard a final time.

What if Ad Nauseam Is Countered?

If your combos are disrupted, the deck acts as a good control deck with a lot of counterspells and removal. Cards like Bitterblossom act as a win condition and, of course, Zur the Enchanter can tutor for ridiculous enchantments that wreck the board state, such as the aforementioned Contamination and Necropotence. (Remember that Necropotence is a strict Plan B—it doesn't interact at all well once you reach negative life totals with Angel's Grace.)

Zur ANT ? Commander | TestMonkey

The Mono-Black Version

For those who like their Commander combos in all black, here is a version that’s more all-in on the combo and a little less resilient, in exchange for better mana and a somewhat more budget build.

This deck has a similar win condition as above, with one fewer card needed. Since the deck has such a low average converted mana cost, you can simply cast Ad Nauseam to draw your deck, cast everything that costs 0, and then Exsanguinate or Tendrils of Agony your way to victory. Maralen of the Mornsong is an emergency backup tutor, but the fact that she gives each of your opponents a tutor before you is not good. If you cast her, you'll probably be losing anyway. Therefore, another good mono-black commander might work just as well or better here.

More Brokenness

Keep watching this space, as there are a whole mess of Commander decks still to be discussed that win on the first few turns. There are about as many infinite-mana, infinite-damage, or infinite-hasty-creature combos out there as there are Deceiver Exarch tokens created in all Splinter Twin games put together. And don't expect Splinter Twin to go anywhere in Commander!


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