For a long time, we’ve had cards that have teased a “creatures with no abilities” theme. Muraganda Petroglyphs came along in Future Sight, Ruxa, Patient Professor joined us in Commander 2021, and now Jasmine Boreal of the Seven is here to captain our ability-less squad. She’s brings with her a pretty potent suite of abilities – are they enough to offset the downside of just having to play vanilla creatures?
Bigmanstyrone thinks so, and has built this Jasmine Boreal of the Seven deck as a result. Filled to the brim with undercosted, over-statted vanilla creatures and ways to get the most out of them, this deck hits very hard indeed, and is perfect for the mage who is too busy to spend time reading all the boring rules texts on these newfangled cards the kids seem to love. Back in my day, we had Hurloon Minotaur, and we were grateful for it!
Vanilla Creature Tribal by Bigmanstyrone
There’s a very consistent approach taken to building out the creature suite, which I like a lot. Two-power one-drops (Elite Vanguard, Isamaru), three-power two-drops (Watchwolf, Swordwise Centaur), four-power three-drops (Orazca Frillback, Leatherback Baloth) and so on. Up at the top end, we have things like Quilled Slagwurm and Ancient Brontodon, but even they aren’t as big as the mighty 10/10 Gigantosaurus (I do think 11 Plains is a bit ambitious for this card, however).
With no lack of vanilla creatures, Muraganda Petroglyphs and Ruxa, Patient Professor help power them up. But that’s not enough, surely – even if Jasmine makes them unblockable, we’re still playing very basic creatures. Surely the solution can’t be to… make them bigger? It sure is! From Gaea’s Anthem to Mirari’s Wake to Collective Blessing, this deck is going to allow you to attack with the biggest Devilthorn Fox you’ve ever seen.
There’s a token subtheme running through the deck as well, which is very sensible as many tokens qualify as creatures with no abilities. Grand Crescendo, Martial Coup, Sandwurm Convergence and many others all make unblockable creatures once Jasmine has had her say, and the formula of tokens plus anthem effects has always been a successful one.
Of course, there are some creatures with abilities, as a little treat, but they work very well in the deck. Beast Whisperer and Toski help to draw extra cards, Maja, Bretagard Protector and Tolsimir Wolfblood make tokens and Elesh Norn is both an anthem and a sweeper. This light touch of creatures with abilities helps to power up the list without robbing it of what makes it so special – its identity as a no ability deck.
Jasmine isn’t about to break EDH in half with her power level, but that’s not the point. There’s something so sick about getting to play cards like Armored Wolf-Rider in EDH while everyone is chucking about cards with half a novel on them. People don’t sit down to play Commander expecting to be attacked by a Garruk’s Gorehorn, particularly not a Garruk’s Gorehorn that is now an unblockable 12/8 thanks to a bunch of anthem effects. With this deck, overlooked vanilla creatures are given a chance to shine – and I, for one, think that’s terrific.