Red-Green-Blue, a.k.a. Temur, a.k.a. R/U/G, a.k.a. a super sweet color combination in EDH! But how do you choose a general? Which creature should you pull from under the R/U/G for a total Temur takeover? Join me in breaking down my top 3 favorite R/U/G generals and the decks that make them sing!
Note: The lists I post will not be budget conscious. If there is a card that you don’t own or cannot purchase there are usually cheaper alternatives out there, especially when it comes to the mana base. But I believe that these lists are good starting points!
Animar, Soul of Elements
Animar is the most popular Temur general in Commander and it’s easy to see why. Built-in protection from the most common removal colors, a low casting cost, and an amazing and powerful build-around ability are all ingredients in the recipe for this top-tier general. Recently being slated for a reprint in Masters 25 slashed Animar’s price tag in half. But even more importantly, Imperial Recruiter also got a much needed reprint in Masters 25, which even further reduces the price of a solid Animar list. So expect to see lots of this Elemental running around your local EDH tables. With the new price cut and an ever-growing popularity, today is the perfect day to think about what a good Animar list looks like.
But before we do that, just one more thing! You might be wondering why exactly Imperial Recruiter’s reprint matters for our lovely little Animar. Well, Imperial Recruiter is part of a powerful combo that combines Shrieking Drake, Phyrexian Metamorph, and your general to churn out powerful Eldrazi. Let’s break it down—here’s how it works:
Step 1: Get Animar, Soul of Elements in play
Step 2: Play Imperial Recruiter searching for Shrieking Drake (1 counter on Animar)
Step 3: Play Shrieking Drake bouncing your own Imperial Recruiter (2 counters on Animar)
Step 4: Play Imperial Recruiter again searching for Phyrexian Metamorph (3 counters on Animar)
Step 5: Play Phyrexian Metamorph, paying 2 life, copying Shrieking Drake (4 counters on Animar)
Step 6: Play Shrieking Drake bouncing Phyrexian Metamorph (5 counters on Animar)
Step 7: Repeat step 5 and 6 until you have 8 counters on Animar.
Step 8: Cast Phyrexian Metamorph on Imperial Recruiter (9 counters on Animar)
Step 9: Cast Imperial Recruiter fetching up Fierce Empath (10 counters on Animar)
Step 10: Cast Fierce Empath and fetch up Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre or another monstrous Eldrazi (11 counters on Animar)
Step 11: You can now cast your Eldrazi titan (preferably one with annihilator) on an early, underdeveloped board. This should carry you to an early victory.
Step 12: ???
Step 13: Win the game?
Alternatively, if you have just one opponent, you can repeat steps 5 and 6 until you end up with a 21-power Animar at the end of the chain. Provided that Animar has already been in play for a turn, this should give you a clear path to victory on the spot, attacking for 21 general damage. This can be a bit risky in a multiplayer table since it will cost you roughly 20 life to achieve an Animar this large. But no risk, no reward, right?
Now let’s talk a little about what traditional Animar decks look like. Animar is a creature-based combo deck, but it doesn’t need to rely on combos to be fun and competitive. You can aim for more value-based builds with cards that generate oodles of craziness and tomfoolery. You can build a deck around haymakers, using cheaper creatures and +1/+1 counters to make your huge spells come down cheap and repeatedly.
The following list is more combo-oriented, but do note it isn’t 100% dedicated to combo’ing alone.
Commander: Animar, Soul of Elements
Some powerful inclusions for Animar decks include:
It didn’t take long from when this card was spoiled in Khans for players to realize the implications of this card with Animar. Make your general infinitely large and limit the creatures in your deck only to their color requirements. Just make sure to end this loop with Ancestral Statue in hand in case anything goes wrong.
These cards allow you to churn through your deck. Don’t forget that you are a blue deck, and though you may not want spell-based card advantage, you still need to find a way to keep the engine running smoothly. Include these effects in your Animar lists and never run out of gas. You will rarely end up with a glut of creatures in hand since your general facilitates easy casting.
C-c-combo! These are the cards that let you truly combo off. Intruder Alarm pairs nicely with mana dorks and Lightning Greaves/Concordant Crossroads to generate mountains of mana. Cloudstone Curio is a really complex card that can go infinite in a number of ways. It is a card that could use its own article one day.
Maelstrom Wanderer is my personal go-to Commander of choice in Temur colors. I love cascade and I love everything about doing it twice. Maelstrom Wanderer oozes value and creativity, even though it may often be at the expense of the rest of the table. Trust me—just because this general wanders does not mean he is lost. The ever-changing nature of the cascade mechanic makes for some very fun EDH stories. There are a dozen different ways to craft a deck around this Alara-born, Planechase monster. My favorite version is one that may get a few eyes rolling and some audible sighs—land destruction. Okay, now hear me out. There aren’t that many ways to tutor or churn out land destruction in most Maelstrom Wanderer decks. It will still be quite random and there are times where you will just cascade into a couple of mana rocks. But when the lands go boom, so does my heart.
Maelstrom Wanderer is a great general for both multiplayer and 1v1. Three hits from this hasty general will leave your opponent dead in no time and cascading into “misses” (ramp spells) allows you to recast him later for more value. Because of this, Maelstrom Wanderer is quite strong against permission and control decks especially due to the nature of cascade. Wanderer can be built and tuned to beat almost any type of specific threat or opponent and is good in any but the most cutthroat cEDH metagames.
Commander: Maelstrom Wanderer
Some powerful Maelstrom Wanderer inclusions are:
Taking extra turns is great and taking them for free off a cascade is just downright dirty. Having a 7-power general coming right into play with haste makes efficient use of your next turn and these will always be backbreaking hits to cascade into.
These cards let you do crazy things with your general. Food Chain in particular is disgusting since you get two extra cascades off of each one mana extra you pay after removing Maelstrom Wanderer to it. If you hit a creature off those cascades… yeah things CASCADE out of control real fast.
In lieu of land-based acceleration (cards like Explosive Vegetation and Sakura-Tribe Elder) this deck utilizes artifact-based acceleration (mana rocks). Casting your general as early as possible is the name of the game with this deck and even if you cascade into too much acceleration, you will make good use of it after a mass land destruction spell to recast your Wanderer later.
While these didn’t make the cut, if your metagame makes heavy use of nonbasic lands these should also be included. Note that you will also have to reconfigure your mana base around these cards if you wish to include them.
Riku of Two Reflections
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the most broken of them all? Oh, it’s me, you say? Perfect!” (This should be Riku’s honorary flavor text.)
Riku of Two Reflections was printed in the first WotC Commander product and he has been a staple of EDH since. His synergy with both spells and creatures in the Temur colors make him flexible and powerful. Why choose between Mulldrifters and Eternal Witnesses or Recurring Insights and Time Warps when you can simply do it all?!
My favorite way to build Riku is just value upon value upon value. I don’t necessarily need a hard theme—I just toss spells and creatures that I love to copy in the deck and see what happens.
Commander: Riku of Two Reflections
My favorite Riku inclusions are:
These spell creatures are just gushing with value and can be cast in a pinch before you even play your general. When you copy them with his effect things really go crazy.
Mana ramp goes a long way in Riku decks. His abilities are mana hungry, and by copying these effects you get plenty more mana to play with down the road. Try your best to always save these for copying, but knowing when to fire off an early Cultivate to ramp into Riku himself is a skill of its own.
These are the haymakers of the deck. You can both copy the creature itself (getting two triggers) and then you can also copy the spell (or two different ones with Snappy) that is being copied by the creature’s ability. And you can do that for both of them, which results in +4 spells and plenty of chaos for everyone! You follow all that? Good, then you’re a Riku player after all!
I just… I don’t even know where to begin…
I love how Riku doesn’t require the creature to be cast to trigger the copies. He simply checks that something entered the battlefield under your control. Unleash your army of Progenitor Mimics!
So, do you have R/U/G burn yet? I hope that I inspired you to give one of these Temur generals a run. What are your favorite R/U/G commanders? I’d love to know in the comments. Thanks so much for reading, and until next time, don’t let Cloudstone Curio-sity kill the cat.