Courtesy Wizards of the Coast

I’ve been getting my Magic fix lately with both trips home to see the family and weekly jaunts up to Cyborg One in Doylestown on Thursday nights. The Commander games are free, but gas is not and so I must pass this week. However, it hasn’t stopped me from trading online and assembling a few decks. My goal has been to move away somewhat from the pre-constructed decks provided by Wizards of the Coast while still using some of the conveniences they provide. After all, a big part of the fun for me is to come up with Magic decks that don’t follow established patterns exactly (if at all) and still manage to win. Gamers up at Cyborg will refer to this deck or that deck and how close they are to completing one of their own.

Me? I like to surprise people.

Karrthus, Tyrant of Dragons

Quite a few of the Commanders out there are dragons. And many players have dragons in their decks. What better way to undermine what could be game-winning creatures in the decks of my opponents than to summon a Commander who takes control of every single dragon on the table?

The downside to playing a deck rooted in these flame-breathing flying lizards is that some of them are a bit pricey to summon. But there are ways around that, be they lurking in my hand or in the graveyard. And while Sarkhan Vol may not get as much love as some other planeswalkers, in this deck he really shines. Even when he goes nuts.

Sharuum, Queen of All Cosmos

Lots of people use Sharuum as a Commander. Artifacts are pretty neat, in my opinion, and have a variety of uses. The right combination of cards can produce an indestructible, gleaming wall of metal opponents will be hard-pressed to overcome. I’ve been a fan of artifacts for a long time and after seeing my brother-in-law use Sharuum, I pondered how to make her style of deck my own. By the time I got one in a trade, along with a few other essential artifact-related cards, I had a pretty solid idea.

Courtesy WotC & Namco
“Yes, we were naughty. Completely naughty. So, so very sorry.
“But just between you and us, it felt quite good.”

That’s right. The Katamyri deck is back. With Innistrad coming I was afraid this fun little tribal deck would no longer be viable. Not so! Some of the cards I’d like to acquire for the deck may be a bit hard to come by, but with adorable little myr coming out of every corner of it and folks like Venser and this fine young woman it should really turn some heads. Into goo.

Arcanis the Omnipotent Cage Fighter

“Do not concern yourself with my origin, my race, or my ancestry. Seek my record in the pits, and then make your wager.”

My sister told me that she, her husband and some friends had been putting together mono-colored Commander decks to play against one another. In the same conversation, she reminded me of how much she loathes control decks. I remembered that in my old (and reviled) Chronomancy deck, one of the wizards I played was a legend named Arcanis the Omnipotent.

Courtesy WotC

Arcanis and I had the same reaction. “Challenge accepted.”

As it turns out, this deck is also effective against my father’s modified Heavenly Inferno deck. There’s been at least one occasion where he’s needed to off his own creature after I’ve taken control of it, and it won’t be the last. The crux of the Arcanis deck is to be insidious. It has win conditions of poison counters & proliferation, as well as titanic leviathans that lock down creatures who aren’t flying or islandwalkers. The bulk of the deck is all about counterspells, tapping and untapping creatures, bouncing permanents and assuming direct control. A few more wizards in addition to those present would help beef it up, as well as ways to avoid decking myself, some of which are in keeping with the leviathan theme.

Other Decks

While I’ve made some modifications to Counterpunch since that first fateful skirmish the deck still feels a bit helter-skelter to me. I’ve benched it for the time being, and am considering narrowing its focus to elves and saprolings. I gave Arcanis control of its proliferation artifacts to help with poison and level counters, among others. I’ve also toyed with the idea of transitioning my old Chronomancy deck to EDH much as I did the Katamyri, but unfortunately Jhoira would be a vulnerable commander and I wouldn’t be able to do my favorite trick of having both Akromas in the deck. Numot, perhaps?

I also think I could make an interesting EDH deck out of my old Sliver deck.

But no. That’s too insidious.

…For now.