From the beginning, this article series was intended to showcase not just my own creations, but the favorite decks of others as well. This week on My Commander Is, we’re looking at our first reader-submitted deck from Austin “Bones” Hale, and his Wort, the Raidmother deck. Like any good casual deck, it attacks from multiple angles to overwhelm the board and position yourself firmly as the villain at the table.
Mother Knows Best
As Austin puts it, it’s “a feature of Green in EDH, but my opponents are often just drowned in advantage. I’ll ramp so many lands out or draw so many cards from Rishkar’s Expertise/Pirates Pillage(s)/Shamanic Revelation [that] they can’t keep up and my Red finds ways to kill them.” In practice, the deck does just that, pouring out piles of tokens and generating huge amounts of mana to kill your opponent in any number of creative ways and using your favorite goblin godmother to double up on some spells to really shut the door.
Mother’s Famous Recipe:
Commander Wort, The Raidmother Deck List - Austin "Bones" Hale
As with most green decks in Commander, the deck starts with a solid foundation of mana ramp, both in the form of spells and artifacts. In addition to a fairly ever-present Sol Ring, it packs Arcane Signet, Gruul Signet, and Talisman of Impulse for the 2-CMC mana rock trifecta. This is backed up with a suite of ramp spells, adding Harrow and Harvest Season to Cultivate and Kodama’s Reach, as well as a Skyshroud Claim. Claim and Harrow in particular are a neat trick when you have Wort in play with a couple green creatures, since the lands come into play untapped. Copying either of them allows you to break even or even come out ahead in terms of available mana on that turn while also giving you a massive jump for future turns.
We won’t Sleep until he’s Dead
A solid chunk of the deck’s creatures actually come in the form of spells that produce tokens. Sprout Swarm offers a steady stream of Saprolings, a stream that can quickly become a flood with cards like Parallel Lives to pump up the production. Tempt with Vengeance offers a devil’s bargain to everyone else at the table, one that benefits you more than the rest by a wide margin, and it only compounds if anyone actually takes you up on the offer of their own pile of Elementals. Sapling Symbiosis, Second Harvest, and Parallel Evolution can take a board of just a few tokens and quickly make an overwhelming force. Chancellor of the Forge can fill a similar role, or can even come down after one of the other doublers to give you an even bigger kick with a swarm of hasty Goblins.
Fairly often, though, you won’t even need to swing with all these tokens to get a win. Purphoros, God of the Forge and Impact Tremors are staples that throw some damage all around the table with each creature entering your side of the board, and with the sheer amount of tokes you can produce, it’s not difficult to take everyone from alive to significantly less so in short order. Furystoke Giant can take a board that’s just sitting around and turn them all into superpowered pingers for a turn. Goblin Bombardment lets you throw all of your tokens into the meatgrinder to burn your opponents to cinders, made doubly effective with an Outpost Siege set to Dragons.
I’ve got Voodoo, I’ve got things I didn’t even try
If you don’t have any of the ways to convert your tokens into an immediate win, they still serve plenty of purpose past being little bodies. In addition to the traditional ramp, there’s a full suite of cards that are focused on more explosive bursts of mana, either temporarily or by utilizing a wide board state. Brass’s Bounty can create a stack of Treasures to fuel current or future turns, while Rude Awakening and Early Harvest copied even once net huge leaps in mana, and that’s not counting any of the other ways that the deck copies spells. Battle Hymn fills a similar role as the two land untappers, generating that massive burst to dump into some of the finishers we talk about later. Along with Battle Hymn, Cryptolith Rites and Citanul Hierophants turn all of your creatures into mana dorks, and Utopia Mycon can let you mulch extra Saprolings to get a nice little boost.
We Pillage, we Plunder, we Rifle, and Loot
Once you have all that boosted mana, you need somewhere to put it. Circling back to a huge Tempt with Vengeance isn’t a bad plan, but dumping it all into a Clan Defiance or Electrodominance that is then copied for each opponent is a good way to melt each of their respective faces. Reap the Past can pick up an entire graveyard, or Finale of Promise can recast a couple spells and with enough mana even add a few extra copies to the party. I do love doubling up on tokens over and over.
I Wanna Be Like You
Wort loves using the creatures of the deck to Conspire all of the spells, but that’s just the beginning. Double Vision lets you double dip on the first spell you cast each turn, which is potent on its own or in tandem with something like Repeated Reverberation. Fury Storm can be especially potent, giving you at minimum one copy of a spell, and scaling quickly to two or three as you bring Wort out to play. It’s notably one of the spells that can copy other peoples’ instants and sorceries, not just your own, which can allow for some powerful interaction from this otherwise fairly linear deck. Twinning Staff passively makes all of these other copy effects better, while also providing a mana sink and a way to generate a copy of a spell in a pinch.
Sound the Drums of War
Sometimes, though, replicating all these spells in some kind of shamanic fury just isn’t an option. In those cases, your tokens can crack their knuckles and get in the business of knocking some heads together. Beastmaster Ascension is an old standby for go-wide strategies, coming down and easily filling in a single attack to become a huge force multiplier. Eldrazi Monument fills a similar role, trading the sheer damage potential for evasion and 1durability. Keeping key creatures like Wort and Krenko alive is easily worth the pittance the artifact asks for in return. Tendershoot Dryad will reach its full potential almost immediately, and offers a similar boost in power, though only to Saprolings. It makes up for its narrower application by also building up its own little army, buoyed by the extra upkeeps that a multiplayer game provides. Throne of the God-Pharaoh doesn’t explicitly require you to attack, and Wort can help turn a few creatures sideways in a less combat-oriented way for its effect, but the easiest way to trigger it with a whole board is to pick a few unlucky faces and send in the whole team.
Those Poor Unfortunate Souls
Both of these routes belay some of the more intricate loops and surprising wins the deck can pull off. Ulasht, the Hate Seed and Utopia Mycon can combine to give a huge burst of damage in conjunction with the Tremors effects or an Outpost Siege. Pay one mana to remove a counter from Ulasht for a Saproling, then sac the Saproling to the Mycon to pay to remove another counter, with each loop triggering the relevant effects. Given the beef Ulasht can come down with, that alone might knock a few opponents out that thought they were safe. Simply copying some of the token doubling effects can lead to a surprise win. Copying Second Harvest or Parallel Evolution twice, which is more than achievable for the deck, with 6 relevant creatures out to start the chain results in 48 by the end, with 42 triggers on an Impact Tremors or a Purphoros. If any of the tokens being copied have haste, all the better to clean up anyone who had the audacity to gain life above their starting 40. Benefactor’s Draught is also apparently a bit of a sleeper MVP in the deck, alongside Mob Rule, allowing for repeated untaps of all your creatures. That along with Furystoke Giant can burn out a table, or in Draught’s case, it can be combined with Cryptolith Rites and a Dual Casting to generate a massive amount of mana and draw as deep into your deck as you need to find the right tool to overwhelm your victims… err, opponents.
So, what do you think of this versatile deck poised to overwhelm your commander tables? Want to pick up the list and cackle maniacally while the rest of the table tries to band together to stop your armies from running roughshod over their faces while you blast them with copy after copy of huge spells? Well, box up your extra cards and ship them in to Channelfireball. No other hassle required, just send them in, and you’ll receive an offer. Should you choose to accept, you can even get a 30% bonus if you trade them in for store credit, so you’ll be well on your way to the full 100 in no time, with your own personal spins on the deck, of course. Now, let me know in the comments what you think of the first reader-submitted deck, and if you want me to take a look at your own list, you can tell me who your Commander is on Twitter @TheLeoRiser. Next time, though, we’re going to be starting to look at some of the new goodies we’re getting to play with in Zendikar Rising.