Commander decks scream “supplement” to most veteran EDH players, as they already have the decks they wish to have and look to new Commander deck releases for the next heavy hitter or game changer. I know few people (actually, none) who keep their recently purchased Commander decks intact out of the box. There’s nothing wrong with doing so, especially for the individual new to the format who is just getting used to the layout of the concept and its own inner workings.
But for those of us who are looking for tribal assistance, fancy mana fixing, or just a big beastie to supplant a relic past its prime, we are looking for very specific cards…maybe even a card or two that could function to spice up a Modern deck. Let’s take a look at 3 cards from the new Commander 2017 set and see how we can use and/or abuse them.
The burden of desiring this card is heavy on me, as I am wholely committed to tribal mechanics of all kinds and this card is virtually broken, particularly in EDH. To draw a card every time a creature of a particular type enters the battlefield or attacks is advantageous to say the least. In any tribal EHD deck running Blue, you would almost certainly need a Reliquary Tower (and the like) out just to keep up with the massive hand size you’ll have with this on the field. You literally won’t know what to do with all the cards. Which leads me to think the best scenario for such a card would be a tribal deck based around drawing.
Tomorrow Azami’s Familiar, Niv-Mizzet The Firemind, and The Locust God come to mind as powerful commanders. There’s a pretty crazy combo right there…Make The Locust God your commander and build it around insects and drawing. Play Locust God and Kindred Discovery and choose Insects. Play an insect, and now draw cards and create 1/1’s until you want to stop…wait…you can’t stop, because neither card has a “may” option…so, yes, build that deck if you want to kill yourself. Congratulations. I suppose you could destroy Locust God before you draw yourself to death, but now things are getting weird…
I am including this card because of my affinity towards dragons, and therefore flavor-wise…this is the card all us Dragonspeakers have been waiting for.
But due to its ridiculous CMC, The Ur-Dragon as a commander is a prickly choice indeed. So how can we make it work? First, we’ll need plenty of mana fixing in the deck, running plenty of triple and dual lands, with an Ancient Ziggurat and Command Tower for good measure.
But also, I think these cards would be staples for getting out the multicolored dragons efficiently: Maelstrom Archangel (plays dragons for “free”), Quicksilver Amulet (requires no colors and skips “casting” to avoid countering), Chromatic Lantern (the ultimate mana-fixing artifact for rainbow decks), and Fist of Suns (which reduces the cost of most every dragon if you have good mana-fixing). Add in Dragonspeaker Shaman and Dragonlord’s Servant to assist Ur-Dragon’s Command Zone ability and you are all-set at handling the crazy CMC of rainbow dragons.
It is no surprise that Ur-Dragon has such a ridiculous mana cost. It provides hand advantage and a free dragon (potentially) every turn it’s out. It provides access to every dragon, now including all the dangerous and expansive possibilities from the Tarkir block. But now, unlike the Scion of the Ur-Dragon, we don’t have to try and build graveyard shenanigans into the deck and focus entirely on playing and supporting powerful dragons.
Currently, Jund dragons are still the most efficient in EDH, but Ur-Dragon does make me think twice about trying a rainbow dragon deck again.
Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist
Mirri is one of the clear winners for supplementing Modern as well. The Green/White color identity allows it easy access to many deck styles, and the ability itself provides a ton of advantage in combat, particularly decks that already focus on supporting and protecting its army.
Mirri limits the number of blockers and attackers of your opponents each combat. The only weakness is the 2 toughness. The First Strike helps, but it isn’t enough to keep Mirri alive against the single blocker the opponent chooses, so assistance in the form of enchantment auras and equipment will not only make Mirri more survivable, but any deck running Mirri unstoppable.
Mirri fits exceptionally well in the EDH deck its in, but it provides unique capabilities in countless other decks as well. Mirri would ensure a Selesnya token deck’s numbers would remain its advantage. It would bolster the overwhelming strength of Naya beasts in EDH. Or, provide balance to an equipment-based deck. It essentially fits any combat-centric strategy that fits the color identity.
EDH sets supplement unlike any other set with their overpowered abilities. While legalities are an issue if you are seeking competitive Modern, the unique abilities that are often displayed can make for some great Casual shenanigans.