I fared rather poorly in the prerelease this weekend. I mean, I went 2-2, which isn’t terrible, but it was worse than I had hoped. I did learn a valuable lesson, however: if you have the protection, always leave mana up to protect your [casthaven]Akroan Conscriptor[/casthaven]. That card is bonkers, even if it’s just getting you a second scry off your [casthaven]Sigiled Starfish[/casthaven].

But that’s not what I am here to talk about. So, at the prerelease a lucky (and deserving, and pretty cool, but also lucky) lady opened one of those fabled “God Packs.” You have heard about these, yes? They’re packs of Journey Into Nyx that, instead of containing the usual mix of commons and uncommons, just contain one each of the fifteen gods. It’s a virtual packtheon, and all the murmuring about how all the gods turn each other on got me to thinking. What would an all-god Commander deck look like?

First, we need a general. Now, there are many options to choose from, but for obvious flavor reasons I’m going to go with [casthaven]Karona, False God[/casthaven]. She’s dangerous, but she’s the closest thing we have to a god lord, and it’s not like we HAVE to play her out until it’s advantageous for our board position.

Next, we need a solid manabase. I think, for the sake of convenience, I am just going to steal the manabase from [casthaven]Sliver Overlord[/casthaven] (with the Gate theme traded out for the Temples, of course) and make any needed tweaks down the line. So, this is what the lands will look like:

Temples (11): [casthaven]Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx[/casthaven]; [casthaven]Temple of Abandon[/casthaven]; [casthaven]Temple of Deceit[/casthaven]; [casthaven]Temple of Enlightenment[/casthaven]; [casthaven]Temple of Epiphany[/casthaven]; [casthaven]Temple of Malady[/casthaven]; [casthaven]Temple of Malice[/casthaven]; [casthaven]Temple of Mystery[/casthaven]; [casthaven]Temple of Plenty[/casthaven]; [casthaven]Temple of Silence[/casthaven]; [casthaven]Temple of Triumph[/casthaven]

5 Color (9): [casthaven]City of Brass[/casthaven]; [casthaven]Command Tower[/casthaven]; [casthaven]Exotic Orchard[/casthaven]; [casthaven]Mana Confluence[/casthaven]; [casthaven]Vivid Crag[/casthaven]; [casthaven]Vivid Creek[/casthaven]; [casthaven]Vivid Grove[/casthaven]; [casthaven]Vivid Marsh[/casthaven]; [casthaven]Vivid Meadow[/casthaven]

Basics (18): 3 [casthaven]Plains[/casthaven]; 3 [casthaven]Island[/casthaven]; 2 [casthaven]Swamp[/casthaven]; 2 [casthaven]Mountain[/casthaven]; 8 [casthaven]Forest[/casthaven]

Obviously, a manabase like this will need to be supplemented with some mana rocks and ramp spells. Since we only have 18 basics, and since Karametra fetches up 11 of them, we don’t want to go too overboard with the mana search, but [casthaven]Font of Fertility[/casthaven], [casthaven]Khalni Heart Expedition[/casthaven], [casthaven]Cultivate[/casthaven], [casthaven]Kodama’s Reach[/casthaven], and [casthaven]Peregrination[/casthaven] should be a pretty good start. And let’s supplement the always-excellent [casthaven]Chromatic Lantern[/casthaven] with the traditional [casthaven]Sol Ring[/casthaven] and new friend [casthaven]Astral Cornucopia[/casthaven]. Counting the gods, this puts us at 61 cards, still leaving us with plenty of room to play around.

So it sounds like it is time for another subtheme. Since the gods are all enchantment creatures, it seems like we could use a few enchantresses. [casthaven]Eidolon of Blossoms[/casthaven] is an obvious inclusion, and going back to pick up [casthaven]Mesa Enchantress[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Verduran Enchantress[/casthaven] shouldn’t be too much of a problem. I am going to skip on [casthaven]Enchantress’s Presence[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Argothian Enchantress[/casthaven] because they’re pricy, and this deck doesn’t need to be…but also because three of these effects should be fine, and I am trying to cut back on overkill when it comes to redundancy in the effects I like.

Let’s also bring in some of the constellation cards, since they play well with a stream of enchantments entering the battlefield. [casthaven]Agent of Erebos[/casthaven], [casthaven]Doomwake Giant[/casthaven], [casthaven]Forgeborn Oreads[/casthaven], [casthaven]Goldenhide Ox[/casthaven], [casthaven]Grim Guardian[/casthaven], [casthaven]Harvestguard Alseids[/casthaven], [casthaven]Humbler of Mortals[/casthaven], [casthaven]Thoughtrender Lamia[/casthaven], [casthaven]Underworld Coinsmith[/casthaven], and [casthaven]Whitewater Naiads[/casthaven] seem like all the ones remotely strong enough to play in Commander, although the reasoning behind a few of these cards might not yet be clear. Still, it’s good that we’re adding in some cannon fodder, since Athreos, Pharika, and to a lesser extend Xenagos all require a bunch of other creatures, and preferably ones that can die.

This brings us up to 74 cards, which leaves some room for my next set of inclusions: the god weapons. Yes, that means the [casthaven]Spear of Heliod[/casthaven], the [casthaven]Bident of Thassa[/casthaven], the [casthaven]Whip of Erebos[/casthaven], the [casthaven]Hammer of Purphoros[/casthaven], and the [casthaven]Bow of Nylea[/casthaven] all have a place in this deck. The inclusion of that cycle also suggests we should include the other cycle of ability-bestowing enchantments: [casthaven]Archetype of Courage[/casthaven], [casthaven]Archetype of Imagination[/casthaven], [casthaven]Archetype of Finality[/casthaven], and [casthaven]Archetype of Aggression[/casthaven]. Now, as much as I hate to play with an incomplete set, that green one is way overcosted. Still, these play very well with all the other enchantment creatures we’re running. Which brings me to my last major inclusion on this theme: [casthaven]Extinguish All Hope[/casthaven]. I mean, that’s a cheaper [casthaven]Plague Wind[/casthaven] in a deck like this, which to me says “play me!” Anyway, while I do love me some cycles, 15 cards left suggests it’s about time to consider fleshing out our shell with some of the utility players.

Namely [casthaven]Zur the Enchanter[/casthaven]. He tends to draw a lot of aggro as a general, but when you play him as a utility tutor, and not some combo piece, he’s actually quite fun. He’s the reason to play [casthaven]Harvestguard Alseids[/casthaven], because they let him swing in with impunity, and he can also fetch up the [casthaven]Underworld Coinsmith[/casthaven] and the [casthaven]Grim Guardian[/casthaven] as well. Plus Thassa, Athreos, and Pharika. Oh, and two of the Archetypes and [casthaven]Hammer of Purphoros[/casthaven], [casthaven]Bow of Nylea[/casthaven], and [casthaven]Spear of Heliod[/casthaven], in case all that wasn’t already enough. But Zur means that there’s a good reason to play [casthaven]Oblivion Ring[/casthaven], which gives us some of our needed spot removal, and [casthaven]Banishing Light[/casthaven] gives us a second copy of that effect. For the third, let’s add in [casthaven]Detention Sphere[/casthaven]! That card is solid, and on theme. Let’s also add some draw to this baby, specifically [casthaven]Underworld Connections[/casthaven], [casthaven]Phyrexian Arena[/casthaven], and [casthaven]Dictate of Kruphix[/casthaven], all enchantments that draw us cards while giving us some needed devotion and being tutorable by Zur.

By my count that leaves us with eight slots left. First, since we are anchoring ourselves in Theros block with the gods, let’s throw in [casthaven]Chromanticore[/casthaven]. Sadly, that amazing card isn’t quite legendary enough to head up this deck, but it still deserves a slot. Also, since we’re looking to have some devotion, let’s include a [casthaven]Gray Merchant of Asphodel[/casthaven], since that card only gets better in multiplayer games. [casthaven]Courser of Kruphix[/casthaven] is another super-solid card to play with, and it triggers our constellations, so it’s in. [casthaven]Eidolon of Countless Battles[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Nighthowler[/casthaven] both seem like strong enough bestow cards to make the cut.

Final three? [casthaven]Odunos River Trawler[/casthaven], [casthaven]Scholar of Athreos[/casthaven], and [casthaven]Hypnotic Siren[/casthaven]. I know, the Scholar isn’t directly tied into the enchantment theme, but it’s a good manasink and it looks like we’ll need one of those with Kruphix holding on to all our excess. And [casthaven]Hypnotic Siren[/casthaven] is basically just [casthaven]Spirit Away[/casthaven] in this deck, but in the enchantment creature form. [casthaven]Odunos River Trawler[/casthaven] should be obvious, given the high number of enchantment creatures, but in case our gods get [casthaven]Mutilate[/casthaven]’d we now have a way to get them back.

Of course, this probably plays messy, and just because you can do something (in this case, play around with 15 gods), doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. But I like the idea of having my otherwise underwhelming creatures getting every static ability in the book and swinging in hastily, and I think, if the deck could get there, that might be a sufficiently powerful late game to make up for running a bunch of draft commons alongside a fairly pricey set of gods.

Anyway, that’s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed this tour through the deck building process. Next week I’ll probably be talking more about the Journey Into Nyx cards that are making it into my EDH decks, and after that, who knows! I do, thank god. Gods. <end scene>

Jess Stirba is where Brooklyn at.

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