It’s my favorite time of year—Commander time! Of course, I don’t have the cards yet, and I’ll have to wait until November to make videos with them, but that’s not going to stop me from building decks. I’m especially unstoppable when something I really love gets released—say, a card depicting a member of the Weatherlight crew.
At first I thought Mirri was a really cool take on Dueling Grounds or Silent Arbiter that let your opponents bash each other with big armies while you took on single creatures with a lone Cat Warrior. Then I re-read the card. Mirri doesn’t have to attack alone! My initial idea was out the window, but for the better. As long as Mirri attacks, your opponents have to play by her rules, and if she manages to stick around past that, the rules continue to apply to their attacks.
All of this means you can build a deck that’s focused on attacking without requiring you to build a Voltron deck that only ever wants to attack with Mirri, or a deck that wants to play Dueling Grounds and Silent Arbiter to force everyone to observe Marquess of Queensbury rules every turn. That makes cards like this one a lot better:
Balan makes blocking a lot harder because he can borrow all of your equipment whenever you want for a very low cost. If unblocked, grabbing multiple Swords becomes an incredible swing, or two incredible swings, I should say, as multiple on-hit triggers go on the stack. Balan actually encourages you to spread your equipment across your vast creaturely holdings, because at a moment’s notice Balan can be the one holding all the swords, collars, hammers, axes, and Phyrexian beatdown machines. Yikes.
It also gives you a better angle on this card:
I cannot tell a lie: This card will chop down your opponents’ life totals. This axe will give your creatures the edge in combat. Get it? Edge? No, not the guy from U2. The—you know what? Nevermind. Somehow this axe has the ability to reproduce by cellular division or something whenever the creature holding it gets through. Sure, it’s a slightly worse Bonesplitter before it triggers, but even a single trigger means that your opponents will be digging for their Fracturing Gusts, Vandalblast, Banes of Progress, Kalemne’s Captains… geez, there sure are a lot of things that destroy wide swaths of artifacts.
All this talk about equipment makes me hanker for some equipment-related synergy. Luckily, there’s a new card that gives me just that:
Okay, this font is pretty small, so let me bust out the magnifying glass. You’ve actually got two new cards here, because one is going to get the other a majority of the time. Nazahn lets you get a very costly Hammer onto the battlefield for free, and that Hammer saves you a lot of mana over the course of the game (theoretically, as long as it sticks around.) Nazahn also wants your equipment to be spread around, as otherwise you won’t get to tap too many things when you swing. It’s also worth mentioning that the Hammer does a good job of keeping Mirri alive, which is important if you want to continue restricting your opponents’ ability to do combat well.
Mirri’s restriction also does wonders for this new gem:
Whose name is on that arrow? You can’t know until you swing, and with Mirri around, your opponents will be pretty disincentivized to attack you with anything good… but attacking you with a mana Elf or something similar won’t be terribly attractive either. Mirri actually stops your opponents from playing around Stalking Leonin in the same way they might play around Blessed Alliance or Immolating Glare in Standard, which is really too bad for them.
If this is going to be a green-white deck focused around attacking, that means that you’re not going to be doing too many enormously unfair things like taking extra turns or blowing up people’s boards. If that’s the case, you’ll need some cards that can help you keep it fair and, in so doing, keep it fun. For you, at least. It’s a good thing you have this new card to help:
If you want to hear me talk about this card for upwards of 8 minutes, you can avail yourself of that option.
If not, you should probably play this card in response to Wheel of Fortune effects or big card draw effects. You can stop people from winning via Laboratory Maniac or stop someone from dying to someone else’s Blue Sun’s Zenith. This card is all about stopping people from doing things and honestly, you’ll need a lot more cards of this nature.
It really seems like you don’t want your opponents to do anything fun, doesn’t it? Well, that’s kind of the idea, actually. If you can’t do broken stuff, you really don’t want your opponents to do broken stuff. Fair is fun! So fun. Spirit of the Labyrinth works together with Aven Mindcensor and Alms Collector to make sure your opponents don’t get too many cards, while the others legislate when cards can be played, or if they can be played at all. The nice thing about a package like this is you can modify it for your playgroup. If you need protection against a Mizzix deck, consider Ethersworn Canonist. Need more search hate? Leonin Arbiter’s your Cat. (Leonin Arbiter was in a draft of this deck when it was much more Cat-themed.)
I also brought graveyard hate, because everyone else will have more graveyard access than I will. I’ve only got a few cards in this list that can reach into the ‘yard and get things: Sword of Light and Shadow, Karmic Guide, and Sun Titan, specifically. So it’s not a huge loss if your graveyard takes a trip to the exile zone.
Okay, so you’ve got some very annoying creatures now, and people are going to want to blow them all up. How do you stop them? Well, you have a few options:
Avacyn, Angel of Hope keeps your friends safe all the time from nearly everything. Most decks have trouble dealing with a resolved Avacyn, Angel of Hope—there’s a small subset of cards that deal with her, and the cards that deal with her permanently are an even smaller subset. You also have some temporary solutions, including the very wacky Ghostway that saves your whole team, even from effects like Hallowed Burial or Final Judgment.
You also need some equipment. I’ve been talking about equipment already, but let’s discuss the equipment cards that don’t come from Commander 2017:
You don’t need me to tell you too much about these, but I will say that between the P/T increase, the protection, and the on-hit effect, it’s a rare draw step that you’re sad to see one of these.
Kusari-Gama has strong synergy with Mirri—if an opponent blocks with one creature, the trigger can really wreck their board, so they probably won’t block the creature holding it. Godsend, similarly, has a much stronger effect when only one blocker is allowed. Darksteel Plate and Lightning Greaves are nice and defensive, whereas Basilisk Collar and Batterskull are ready to help you beat down and gain some life in the process.
With all of this talk about new cards and their synergies with old cards, I’m sure you’re ready for the deck list. Well, here it is!
Commander: Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist
I promise that, when November rolls around, I’ll make a video of this. Seriously, I love all things Weatherlight-related so this won’t be a hard promise to keep. What would you add to this deck, and what would you cut? Would you go further on the Cat theme? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see you next time!