Sling Dark Magic With Tor Wauki in MTG Commander

Spellslinger strategies, or decks that aim to win through casting instants and sorceries, are a very fun way to play Magic: The Gathering. With a majority of games decided by turning creatures sideways, there is something refreshing about winning with spell synergies, potentially without ever taking advantage of the combat step. Surprisingly, outside of Toshiro Umezawa, Black has largely been lacking in spellslinger option, and Tor Wauki, the Younger is the first real option in Rakdos (Black and Red), assuming we’re moving past some partner or background options like Livaan, Cultist of Tiamat. Here, I’m going to highlight some of the strengths and soid synergies offered up by our new Rakdos spellslinger.

Tor Wauki the Younger

Peerless Pingers

Being able to toss out two lifelinking damage at a time is already solid, but Tor Wauki the Younger also buffs any other non-combat damage while he is on the board. This includes all “ping” damage dealt by other creatures- instances of small little hits of damage. A lot of pingers share the commander’s “on cast” trigger, but there are other sources of incremental damage like Syr Konrad that can very quickly get out of control with Tor Wauki’s assistance. Finally, Obosh buffs any odd pingers, like Guttersnipe and the Commander himself!

Thermo-AlchemistGuttersnipeSyr Konrad, the GrimObosh, the Preypiercer

Pestilent Pyres

While filling the deck with pingers and spells is likely already enough to maximixe the effectiveness of Tor Wauki, there are also a lot of interesting ways to modify or buff Tor Wauki’s pings and the spells he’s casting. Pestilent Spirit transforms damage dealing spells into kill spells, and something like Street Spasm into a Plague Wind. Gorgon Flail does the same for Tor Wauki’s pings, giving deathtouch to his damage and letting him remove threats while you’re casting away. Grafted Exoskeleton then is the meanest thing you can do, turning his damage clock from 40 life points to 10 poison counters. Finally Toralf helps any damage dealing spells you have do even more work, making him an easy inclusion.

Pestilent SpiritGorgon FlailGrafted ExoskeletonToralf, God of Fury // Toralf's Hammer

Pauper Powerhouse

Pauper Commander, decks lead by an uncommon creature and otherwise filled with nothing but commons, is an increasingly popular subformat in which Tor Wauki is poised to do a lot of work. Many of the best pingers in the game are commons, and there is a huge number of exceptionally strong damage, draw, and removal spells at the lowest rarity. Kessig Flamebreather and Firebrand Archer can both ping down a table with relative ease, cards like Nights Whisper or Sign in Blood fuel the fires, while Terminate and so many other removal spells can stop the opposition from doing their own thing while Tor Wauki whittles them away. If I were to pick any one pauper commander to recommend from the set, Tor Wauki is it, but you can safely run all these uncommonly good commons in any deck without being even remotely sad.

Kessig FlamebreatherFirebrand ArcherNight's WhisperTerminate

Wauki Over the Competition

Tor Wauki the Younger is perfectly positioned to do something new for Rakdos, which is really all I can ever ask for in a commander. I love seeing new enablers, and getting rewarded for casting some of the best spells in the game is exactly what I want. While I’ve had a good time casting spells with Mizzix of the Izmagnus and Talrand, Sky Summoner, adding a dark splash to the pool is in my wheelhouse and looks like something that I would very strongly recommend. What powerful black and red spells are you looking forward to slinging?

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