Now that we have our idea at least somewhat set, it’s time to actually put things together.

I’ll be real with you, I’m not trying to be that casual with this. If I’m gonna play this format, I’m going to make sure I secure wins however I can. I won’t sacrifice too much fun for it, but I’m not really interested in unnecessary chaff, from me or my opponents. I want to have a gameplan, and I want to do my best to execute that gameplan.

With that in mind, we’re going to lean fairly heavily into the midrange/stax type of build, specifically focusing on slowing the game down and establishing inevitability as early as possible. 

Our Commander is not really meant to be at the forefront, but he’s definitely going to be a centerpiece. He won’t necessarily make our deck work, but he’ll make the middle part of the gameplan much easier. If need be, we’ll use him to end the game almost on the spot. This allows us to more freely be this midrange/stax deck, and should also make it a bit easier to put combo pieces together as well.

Now, for the cards I had in mind.

Future Sight effects come to mind first, as they combo with Urza and Sensei’s Divining Top. One with the Multiverse, is a bit too costly for my liking, but Mystic Forge is at the forefront as it’s an Artifact. The Reality Chip is of a similar vein. From there, I would like ways to stop the busted things from happening. Many of what I’m mentioning I talked about last week; Containment Priest, Hushbringer, Aven Mindcensor, Archon of Emeria, Teferi, Time Raveler, and Karn, the Great Creator all making it in. I seem to value spot removal more highly than many others, with Rapid Hybridization and Pongify making the cut alongside the usual suspects of Swords to Plowshares Dispeller’s Capsule, and an assortment of broad counterspells. 

What I want to focus on here are the lands, not necessarily because they’re one of the most overlooked parts of commander decks (though that remains true), but they’re going to be essential to how I want my curve to look, and how I want my lands to function. I’m a big proponent of playing more lands than not, and even though I’m planning on keeping my curve low, I also plan on having an ample amount of spells and abilities to dump mana into. I’m going to start with 38 lands, then adjust accordingly.

I want to mitigate any incidental hate as much as possible. Things like non-basic land destruction, Choke or Blood Moon effects, and the like. The tension point here is that Islands get hit by Choke, but non-basic blue sources get hit by Blood Moon. The easy solution is more blue-producing mana rocks, but those are even more vulnerable to hate due to how prevalent Treasure tokens are. Additionally, since we’re specifically looking to glacialize a given game, leaning into Treasure tokens wouldn’t be as viable for us. Let’s back things out a bit; how often will we even run into both of those cards, or one of those cards and a similar effect, at the same time? My guess is not very often. Those kinds of decks are a bit more identifiable early on as well, so I can prepare with a tutor ahead of time. Even so, I would still want more basic lands than not. 14 Island and 13 Plains should be a good start.

Now, there are some non-basic lands I deem mandatory, such as Ancient Den, Seat of the Synod, and Darksteel Citadel. These are extremely potent in their role, and are non-negotiable, even if they’re a little bit soft to non-basic/artifact hate.  Command Tower is a shoe in of course, but after that, we’re looking to get a bit more synergistic.  Academy Ruins, Inventor’s Fair and Buried Ruin are extremely powerful for very little investment. After this, some utility like Castle Vantress, Eganjo, Seat of the Castle, and Tolaria West should round things out nicely. 

Lastly, the meat of the deck, the combos (outside of Urza).The aforementioned Karn, the Great Creator would be remiss without Mycosynth Lattice, and to a lesser extent, Liquimetal Torque. Even if its second ability is much more restricted than in competitive formats, it’s still worth including here. Dramatic Reversal and Isochron Scepter are easy includes as well, as this enables infinite mana with mana rocks. I might consider Twinning Staff, but it’s a lot more of a narrow application, which I don’t want. Elite Arcanist is a bit more risky and fragile, but can be more spontaneous and on demand. I’ll potentially add two combo pieces for Dramatic Reversal, then go from there. Lastly, my favorite combo, Decree of Silence and Solemnity. I already want to play Solemnity as a niche way to deal with corner case poison counters, +1/+1 counters, and other effects that may blindside me, so this combo will just completely lock out the table and provide an easy win. 

Next week, we’re going to finally put this deck together and give it a spin. I’m very close to getting everything together, and I look forward to battling as much as I can!

Anthony Lowry (they/he) is a seasoned TCG, MMORPG, and FPS veteran. They are extensively knowledgeable on the intricacies of many competitive outlets, and are always looking for a new challenge in the gaming sphere.

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