Hello all you and welcome back to Shattered Perceptions. Before we get into the article, I want to take a second to once more highlight the guys over at The Brothers’ War podcast, who did an episode last week around my Shattergang Brothers deck that I wrote about a few months ago. It was a really cool to get featured and they have a healthy backlog of episodes so far, so go check them out.

Since coming to Hipsters of the Coast, I never would have believed that I was capable of writing weekly. While it took about month of willing some articles into existence, the real method to my madness has been not letting ideas get discarded until I have given them a fair chance. A half dozen articles are primed to never leave my draft folder, but sometimes—like today—an idea finally boils to the top.

“Wish It Were Legendary” has been written on my metaphorical chalkboard since almost the beginning and there have been weeks where that was my second best lead when brainstorming a new article. I always knew that I would never really dedicate an entire article to writing about a Commander deck that wasn’t actually legal in the format—though for the record, I view the Kamigawa flip creatures as fair game—but I thought maybe there was an article there. Recently while trying to sort some of the piles of cards amassed on my desk, I landed on Heartwood Storyteller and thought to myself, “man, wish this were legendary.”

It took a few minutes to register what my gut was telling me, then I had to determine what it was about the Storyteller that would have made for an interesting Commander. I think I have found that seed of an idea. After perusing Gatherer and Scryfall, I have landed me on what I think is a spiritual successor to the off-beat Treefolk. Ladies and gentlemen, this week we’re building with Dosan the Falling Leaf.

Dosan the Falling Leaf

To my knowledge, Dosan is not a important figure on the larger story of Kamigawa, even though he is legendary. This should not be surprising, as the world of Kamigawa was built around so many notable characters that being legendary wasn’t actually very special.

Kamigawa may have the biggest gap between its gameplay (lackluster) and its story (phenomenal) of any block Wizards has printed. The block has become a flavor hit among casual players and a disappointing Standard era remembered by more veteran players. Single cards get remembered more fondly, since a handful have made their mark on Modern. For Commander the entire block is great as a resource for generals, but underwhelming as everything is monocolored.

While the abilities of Dosan do not align perfectly with the Storyteller, Dosan diverts so much of the common gameplay of Magic that I saw the two cards as thematically similar. Your opponents will likely not be prepared to benefit off the advantage generated. Whereas most decks rely on instant-speed tricks to help control the board or answer other decks, Dosan will push us to place permanents on the battlefield that will allow us to act on other players’ turns. Once our general comes into play, the plan should be to keep him alive at all costs, allowing us to play our turns without interaction.

Mistaken Invisibility

Dosan has a very powerful static ability but no protection when the EDH Inquisition decides to take him out during someone else’s turn. With that in mind, I want to give myself as many ways as possible to keep my general alive turn after turn. Similar to what I wrote about Isao, Enlightened Bushi, I believe Dosan may require at least five available mana before I can be ready to cast him, so that I can regenerate him during the first pass around the table. I plan to accomplish this by stocking my deck with on-board regeneration tricks like Broken Fall, Molting Skin, Ring of Xathrid, Medicine Bag, Trolls of Tel-Jilad, or Asceticism.

Once we can ensure that our general will not be dying to destroy effects, we want to make our general obscenely large with effects like Blanchwood Armor, Ivy Seer, or Narcissism. Conversely, making our general untargetable with a Dense Foliage, Alpha Authority, Spellbane Centaur, or the previously mentioned Asceticism can help to fight not only direct damage but bounce. We may be investing a lot of resources early in the game to sticking Dosan, but after that he should be too obnoxious to deal with.

Mana Package

This is Green, so it’s realistic to assume that you can amass giant swaths of mana. Ramp packages are pretty well defined for Green and you really have your choice of how you want to craft your’s, so I won’t belabor this section. Personally, I would want to fill my deck with Mana Reflection effects if I’m trying to keep my mana flowing, creatures like Karametra’s Acolyte and Joraga Treespeaker, or mana rocks like Gilded Lotus and Astral Cornucopia. If armies-in-a-can like Avenger of Zendikar or Deranged Hermit are more your style, a ramp package like Citanul Hierophants, Cryptolith Rite, and Rishkar, Peema Renegade will go a long ways.

Breaking the Rules

To stay on theme with Dosan, City of Solitude provides redundancy to help gain edges over the rest of the table. My first instinct beyond that was to include Assault Formation, but I soon realized that changes how our creatures interact with the table, while also requiring too much building-around for this deck. But this is an excellent candidate for Hall of Gemstone, which can greatly hamper multicolor decks not equipped with mana rocks.

Since we’re looking to land our general and keep him protected, it is smart to preempt any countermagic with Leyline of Lifeforce, Gaea’s Herald, or Prowling Serpopard. We either catch our opponents with shields down or forced to deal with our preemptive measures ahead of time, plucking more answers out of their hands.

The last suite of cards I want are resilient creatures, either through protection like Petrified Wood-Kin, Great Sable Stag, and Scragnoth. Other good choices are regenerators like Silvos, Rogue Elemental, Mossbridge Troll, Hunted Troll, and Isao, Enlightened Bushi. The last step is to queue up Bellowing Tanglewurm and Roughshod Mentor to add some evasion to our team. Once we’re moving full speed ahead, we should be pretty hard to deal with.

Having Answers

One of my favorite parts of writing these articles is trying to build around the restrictions that different generals create. Sometimes it’s simpler than others. With Dosan the Falling Leaf, the idea of what we’re looking for  is simple—activated abilities as substitutes for spells—but the selections may be more nuanced.

Green is the color of artifact and enchantment control, and as such there is nothing wrong with playing Naturalize and just accepting that it plays like a Break Asunder in this deck—I just advise not. In terms of off-turn interaction stapled onto creatures or enchantments, I recommend Nullmage Shepherd the highest, followed by Ainok Survivalist, Nantuko Vigilante, Sylvok Replica, Viridian Zealot, Wickerbough Elder, and Seal of Primordium.

Since we’re also playing mono green, we get to dig into some generic good stuff that normally doesn’t make the cut. I really have a soft spot for Elephant Grass, which I believe I first stumbled upon when I borrowed my frenemy aka Thomas aka Twitter’s HobbesQ’s Gaddock Teeg deck. The card often does a really great job of buying a few extra turns by being a surprise Ghostly Prison with a laughable upkeep cost in the late game. This card can be dead in the early game, unless you find yourself facing down a vindictive Skullbriar, the Walking Grave player.

In order to counteract Green’s least favorite brand of attackers—fliers—I suggest Gravity Well, Storm Front, Crosswinds, and Downdraft as relatively simple ways to be a rattlesnake against everything from Angels to Dragons. With enough fatties or defender creatures, it should be pretty simple to be perceived as a fortress that is not profitable to engage, deterring attacks.

But now I turn the attention back to the readers: what kind of cards would you plug in? You can find my daily EDH Weapon of Choice post on Twitter, where I give you the general and you get to tell me what your first include would be. Until next time, good luck and thank you!

Ryan Sainio is a Graphic Designer who writes about EDH, the story of Magic and the EDH community in his down time. He has been playing Magic: The Gathering since 7th Edition in 2002 and values flavorful and fun gameplay over competitively optimized decks.
Pet Deck – Shattergang Eldrazi

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