The Commander's Workshop - The Plan With Lands
Hello readers, and welcome to another instalment of my odyssey of improving upon one of the 2014 Commander decks. For any new readers out there, here is a quick recap of what’s happened so far. In the first week I took votes on which deck to buy, and then which of the three generals I would build around. The red and green decks both tied, so it came down to my decision and I chose Green. Then Titania, Protector of Argoth was chosen by the community to be the commander. Last time I had a few games with the deck as is, and at the end of the article I made a few changes based on my budget of $25 per article. Expect more of the same in this article.
As was always the case, I turned up at Hobbymaster Takapuna on a Wednesday night, paid my $5 and was soon put into a pod. That night they were doing pods of 5, so it could be expected the games were likely to last a while. I’m afraid I only remember one of the decks that were at the table that night, so apologies to everyone else at the table. I (obviously) played my Titania deck, and the only other deck at the table I can remember was the Omnath, Locus of Mana deck that eventually won. On the third turn. It was an honestly rather unpleasant experience, and no one else at the table besides the Omnath player seemed particularly pleased either. After they left, we had another game and that one went a lot better. I managed to win it just in the nick of time with Titania and a bunch of Tokens + an Overrun. For the second round that night, I decided to test out my Xira Arien deck I had been working on, which went pretty well. I left that night feeling a bit bitter over the first round, but as always I had a good time.
The next week I once again turned up hoping for a good time, and this time around I definitely got it. My first pod was another set of 5, and it consisted of:
Rather a guild leader heavy pod! I got out the gates reasonably quickly with a bunch of Mana elves, but not too much land to back it up. Balthor and Isperia, Supreme Judge player’s didn’t really do much for a lot of the game, though the Supreme Judge player was able to keep up some pressure on the Niv-Mizzet player, something I heartily approved of. Eventually my board got wiped, and I was stuck trying to rebuild. The Balthor player eventually managed to get everyone’s graveyards into play under his control and proceeded to take out the Isperia the Inscrutable and Niv-Mizzet players, and also put the Isperia, Supreme judge down to a rather low life total. Fortunately this left him tapped out, and at the end of his turn I was able to Chord of Calling for a Sylvan Safekeeper, sacrifice all but 5 lands to make around 6 5/3 elemental tokens. I then cast Overrun in my turn to take out the Balthor player. I passed to the Supreme judge player hoping they had nothing. They drew and revealed a hand of 4 lands, and scooped. I was the winner. After taking my result to Alan at the counter, I was told this put me on the “big boys table” as he called it. I wondered what kind of decks I would be facing there and some rather unpleasant flashbacks to the Omnath deck the week before.
The second pod of the night consisted of:
The game started off rather slowly, with everyone mostly just playing lands and passing turn. Things however got crazy quickly when the Mayael player dropped a Turn 4 Lurking Predators thanks to a Sol Ring. Looking at the Desert Twister in my hand, I figured we’d let him have it for a turn or two before dealing with it. This however wasn’t to be. Johan was up next, and on the first spell he cast, the predators flipped up an Avacyn, Angel of Hope. Things were looking bad already, and when I cast a spell on my turn, he blind flipped a Sigarda, Host of Herons. The game went mostly downhill for the rest of us, though if the Johan player had drawn a land on the turn he needed it for Terminus, the game would have perhaps gone a lot differently. Overall though, I still had fun with this game as it went longer than just turn three.
So that being two weeks worth of games, it’s the time everyone’s been waiting for. New additions! I’ve decided to try and go a bit more in depth on the cuts and additions I’m making, so here goes.
Strip Mine – The quintessential land destruction card, the only reason this wasn’t in earlier was that it wasn’t on my budget. It’s already excellent with Life from the Loam and will be even better should I manage to get a Crucible of Worlds.
Glacial Chasm – This card is insane, simple as that. I’ve found using it in my Xira Arien deck that many decks simply have no way of dealing with it, or few enough that it’ll protect you for a decent amount of time.
Spitting Spider – This is good as both flying defence (a definite weakness of the deck) and a way to close out the game by sacrificing all of my lands. All around solid in my opinion.
Edge of Autumn – Both modes are good, either ramping or making a 5/3 with Titania in play.
Squirrel Wrangler – Yet another solid method of sacrificing lands, and can also act as an overrun of squirrels in a pinch, and who doesn’t like Squirrels?
Greater Good – Some card draw the deck is sorely lacking, whilst also filling the graveyard up for Life from the Loam shenanigans. Works best with the elemental tokens that Titania herself provides.
Crop Rotation – An excellent tutor that provides considerable versatility to the deck. Can fetch an Evolving Wilds to provide a pair of 5/3 blockers, can grab a Strip Mine to take out a problematic opposing land or the aforementioned Glacial Chasm to both fog and provide another blocker.
This week’s purchases all total up to $24.80 so still within my budget. Of course, with additions must all come some cuts. Out this week are:
Most of these are cuts to remove the chaff. These cards primarily don’t work with the game plan I’m building on now, which is primarily based around Titania and her abilities. This deck doesn’t particularly need the fatties, it wants ways of getting lands into graveyards. Of special note is Grave Sifter which was just awful every time I had it in hand, and would not recommend to anybody.
So there you have it, another fortnight and another article. As always, if you have any comment or critique please get in touch or just come have a chat at Wednesday nights at Hobbymaster Takapuna. Thanks for reading.