Now that Pro Tour Shadows of Innistrad is over, I’m finally able to release my secret tech to the world! Okay, just kidding, I’m a Commander writer. Seriously though, I’ve been able to play a little more Magic recently, which has been nice, and I’ve been putting Standard decks together so that I can play even more. That’s not the point of this article, though. I’m here to talk about a mono-white legendary creature that I’ve discussed before in another form. That’s right, it’s Innistrad’s favorite George Clooney impersonator, Odric!
Odric has been seen before in his Master Tactician form, but this time, I think he’s a bit of a better Commander. After all, I built his deck last time, and I managed to trigger his ability maybe 5 times. Not a great historical showing, but Odric is back with a little more juice this time. His team-oriented style means you won’t need to dictate how creatures block to take charge of combat.
Just an up-front warning: there’s not much tutoring in this list, nor is there a Sol Ring. Odric’s not the kind of Commander that leads to high-powered lists that feature combo kills and blazing-fast victories. He’s a lot of fun at a more casual table—perfect for me—but if your group is more competitive, Odric isn’t going to be the solution to your problems. Fortunately, “good” is relative in Commander, and as long as your table isn’t packing full nuclear arsenals, Odric should be able to complete his mission often enough to be worth building around.
If you want to take advantage of his ability, you’ll need creatures that exemplify the qualities Odric is looking for in a team. Hopefully, they can fulfill more than one of the criterias he’s looking for on their own.
These creatures are real team players and will lend their abilities to one another once combat rolls around. Some are Commander stalwarts—Akroma, Baneslayer, and Wurmcoil Engine are all seen fairly often in Commander—but when was the last time you saw a Shepherd of the Lost?
These two only have one ability that Odric can teach to the rest of the squad, but it’s double strike, so I’m willing to let them slide. I’ve heard double strike is pretty good, after all.
Among the creatures I’ve listed above, I’ve covered nearly all of the keyword abilities on Odric’s list. All that’s no good without an army, but don’t worry—Odric has some good ways to call for backup.
Need a team now? I’ve provided Odric with 3 ways to call in a strike force at a moment’s notice (read: instant speed.) Of course, the Cat army can always come back during your very next draw step—though the odds are it won’t—while Secure the Wastes won’t help you a second time if they end up getting Secured right back. Similarly, a cycled Decree of Justice can blanket the table with Soldiers just once.
Sometimes you’re okay with getting a big team at sorcery speed, and that’s what these cards are about. You’ll notice Decree of Justice is in this section too—it’s not like you have 2 of them, but since it’s almost like a modal spell or a split card, I figured it bore mentioning a second time. Odric’s not a lone operative—he needs a team to survive, and these cards give him the backup he requires in order to complete his mission.
You’ve got a leader, some high-powered agents, and an army—now you need some gadgets. These are just some of the equipment cards (and, in the case of Power Matrix, strange pieces of proto-equipment) I’ve added to Odric’s arsenal. Chariot of Victory, Haunted Cloak, Power Matrix, and Sword of Vengeance all provide 3 or more abilities to a single creature, and Odric’s magical powers, which I assume are related to his cool glowing sword and/or dashing good looks, can transfer those abilities to the rest of the team posthaste. Helm of Kaldra is similarly positioned, and don’t worry, I haven’t stranded it in the deck without its two best friends. Basilisk Collar only confers two abilities, but one of them is deathtouch, which is incredibly powerful when spread across a wide array of tokens.
These unassuming pieces of equipment are great for achieving Odric’s full potential. You don’t have access to too much with menace or skulk in mono-white, so I had to dig a little bit deeper than I might like, but neither of these cards are awful. Plus, if I built a deck where you couldn’t use Odric’s full litany of keywords all at once, I’d be doing you all a disservice.
Odric won’t always be around, and when he’s missing in action, the team is going to need a whole lot of extra juice to stay competitive. That’s where these cards come in. Akroma’s Memorial, Angelic Skirmisher, Eldrazi Monument, and True Conviction help soften the blow of a lost Commander while giving you some time to set up a turn where he can come back. Odric has an impact even if he’s not attacking, but if he’s gone for a full turn, these effects can help tide you over. Jazal and Mirror Entity can secure a victory during combat with or without Odric on the battlefield (of course, if he’s there, you’ll probably benefit from some serious lifelinking action).
There’s only 1 planeswalker in this list, and it’s this version of Ajani. His +1 confers first strike, vigilance, and lifelink upon 1 creature—and Odric makes sure everyone gets a taste of this cat-man’s battle magic.
Look familiar? It’s not quite the same as Odric’s list, especially since many of the keywords on Odric didn’t exist when Concerted Effort was printed. You’re not packing anything with fear, but Akroma and Mirran Crusader can help with the protection angle, and the double strike you have today is the same double strike you had back then.
Enough talk—I think you’re ready for the battle plan. Er, the list. I think I got a little too into the flavor of this article. Or maybe it was that episode of Burn Notice I was watching while I built the deck (hey, no judgment! I have my guilty pleasures!).
Commander: Odric, Lunarch Marshal
Okay! That’s a wrap on Odric. I’ll be making my way through the Commanders I find interesting in Shadows over Innistrad before I move on to some goofier articles I’ve been thinking about. See you next time!