As players who have been around for a few years will remember (perhaps all-too-well), energy was a mechanic that dominated Standard for quite awhile. With Aetherworks Marvel powering out huge cards like Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger way ahead of schedule, energy allowed people to do obnoxiously broken things. Since energy left Standard, however, how well has it ported to older formats like Commander?
Pretty well, it turns out, especially with the power of Atraxa as a commander. This deck, designed by Sanz, brings together all the old energy hits and adds some new cards here and there that synergizes nicely with the overall theme of the deck: accumulating counters (especially energy counters) and putting them to good use.
Commander: Atraxa, Praetors' Voice Creatures 1 Aether Theorist 1 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner 1 Longtusk Cub 1 Servant of the Conduit 1 Shielded Aether Thief 1 Winding Constrictor 1 Architect of the Untamed 1 Electrostatic Pummeler 1 Empyreal Voyager 1 Evolution Sage 1 Janjeet Sentry 1 Lae'zel, Vlaakith's Champion 1 Rogue Refiner 1 Soulherder 1 Aetherstorm Roc 1 Bristling Hydra 1 Peema Aether-Seer 1 Aethertide Whale 1 Demon of Dark Schemes 1 Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider 1 Aethersquall Ancient 1 Aetherwind Basker Noncreature spells 1 Attune with Aether 1 Swords to Plowshares 1 Arcane Denial 1 Contentious Plan 1 Cyclonic Rift 1 Damn 1 Demonic Tutor 1 Farseek 1 Nature's Lore 1 Rampant Growth 1 Three Visits 1 Torment of Hailfire 1 Anguished Unmaking 1 Beast Within 1 Eerie Interlude 1 Live Fast 1 Fuel for the Cause 1 Glimmer of Genius 1 Insidious Will 1 Tezzeret's Gambit 1 Brokers Confluence 1 Confiscation Coup 1 Austere Command 1 Farewell 1 Astral Cornucopia 1 Everflowing Chalice 1 Sol Ring 1 Arcane Signet 1 Decoction Module 1 Deadlock Trap 1 Dynavolt Tower 1 Fabrication Module 1 Aetherworks Marvel 1 Panharmonicon 1 Gonti's Aether Heart 1 Gonti's Machinations 1 Era of Innovation 1 Rhystic Study 1 Consulate Surveillance 1 Teleportation Circle 1 Inexorable Tide Lands 1 Aether Hub 1 Bountiful Promenade 1 Command Tower 1 Dreamroot Cascade 1 Exotic Orchard 1 Fabled Passage 1 Flooded Strand 4 Forest 1 Gavony Township 1 Hallowed Fountain 1 Indatha Triome 4 Island 1 Karn's Bastion 1 Overgrown Farmland 1 Overgrown Tomb 4 Plains 1 Spara's Headquarters 4 Swamp 1 Temple Garden 1 Undergrowth Stadium 1 Verdant Catacombs 1 Watery Grave 1 Windswept Heath 1 Zagoth Triome
As energy was a central mechanic of two sets, Kaladesh and Aether Revolt, there’s a solid core of cards that act as both enablers and payoffs. You start to collect energy with cards like Servant of the Conduit and Rogue Refiner, and then proliferate that energy with Atraxa (or collect more than your fair share of it with Winding Constrictor and Lae’zel, Vlaakith’s Champion). Before long, you should have an overflowing energy reserve, ready to pump into the top-end cards.
And what top-end cards are there? From the six-drop slot and up, there are some juicy threats that can use all that energy you’ve collected. Aethersquall Ancient can reset the board, in case things are a little too crazy. Aetherwind Basker can grow colossally large and trample over for massive damage. Demon of Dark Schemes can help to clear the board, and then reanimate your best stuff at a very competitive price. Best of all, Gonti’s Aether Heart can turn that energy into an extra turn!
There is, of course, Aetherworks Marvel as a free way to keep churning through spells, and even if this deck isn’t as dense with huge heavyweights as Marvel decks of old, it’s still a great place to put six energy a turn. There are also things like Consulate Surveillance to protect yourself from damage, Dynavolt Tower to bolt things and Shielded Aether Thief to draw extra cards.
It’s not just Atraxa proliferating your counters, however. There’s Brokers Confluence, Inexorable Tide, Evolution Sage and plenty of others. Not to mention, of course, that Vorinclex will help you rack up a ton of energy as you play cards that collect it naturally. The proliferation and extra counters also synergize magnificently with other cards in the list, like Astral Cornucopia and Everflowing Chalice.
The only thing I see lacking in this deck is a suite of dedicated finishers. There’s Torment of Hailfire – maybe the Astral Cornucopia and Everflowing Chalice are there to help power that out as a win condition – but apart from that, the deck is lacking in overwhelming, game-ending threats. Maybe you don’t need them – maybe just feeding a bunch of energy to an Aetherwind Basker is enough to get you there!