When I first saw Nalia de’Arnise from Battle for Baldur’s Gate, I imagined it leading a sweet party deck with cross-tribal synergies from Zendikar Resurgent and a who’s who of the best Clerics, Wizards, Rogues and Warriors from Magic’s history. Instead, Melodic_Minor has taken a different path, building what has to be one of the most impressive hatebears decks I’ve ever seen in EDH.
Anyone can build a hatebears deck – what’s impressive about this one is the fact that it is, in addition, a functioning party deck that also gets the most out of Nalia de’Arnise, as essentially all the hate pieces happen to be one of those four creature types!
Nalia Hatebears by Melodic_Minor
1 Esper Sentinel 1 Giver of Runes 1 Mother of Runes 1 Serra Ascendant 1 Archivist of Oghma 1 Containment Priest 1 Dark Confidant 1 Dauthi Voidwalker 1 Drannith Magistrate 1 Ethersworn Canonist 1 Golgari Thug 1 Grand Abolisher 1 Leonin Relic-Warder 1 Mindblade Render 1 Zulaport Cutthroat 1 Archon of Emeria 1 Aven Mindcensor 1 Fleshbag Marauder 1 Maralen of the Mornsong 1 Opposition Agent 1 Ranger-Captain of Eos 1 Sanctum Prelate 1 Sigrid, God-Favored 1 Tymna the Weaver 1 Academy Rector 1 Grim Hireling 1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet 1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence 1 Ruthless Technomancer 1 Yawgmoth, Thran Physician 1 Abdel Adrian, Gorion's Ward 1 Solitude Noncreature spells 1 Karn, the Great Creator 1 Imperial Seal 1 Demonic Tutor 1 Diabolic Intent 1 Praetor's Grasp 1 Dark Ritual 1 Enlightened Tutor 1 Entomb 1 Path to Exile 1 Silence 1 Swords to Plowshares 1 Vampiric Tutor 1 Tainted Pact 1 Vanishing Verse 1 Chalice of the Void 1 Chrome Mox 1 Jeweled Lotus 1 Lotus Petal 1 Mana Crypt 1 Mox Diamond 1 Mox Opal 1 Sensei's Divining Top 1 Sol Ring 1 Arcane Signet 1 Cursed Totem 1 Fellwar Stone 1 Grim Monolith 1 Orzhov Signet 1 Talisman of Hierarchy 1 Thorn of Amethyst 1 Wishclaw Talisman 1 Deafening Silence 1 Animate Dead 1 Blind Obedience 1 Chains of Mephistopheles 1 Dance of the Dead 1 The Meathook Massacre 1 Necromancy Lands 1 Ancient Tomb 1 Bloodstained Mire 1 Brightclimb Pathway 1 Cabal Pit 1 Caves of Koilos 1 City of Brass 1 Command Tower 1 Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire 1 Exotic Orchard 1 Fetid Heath 1 Flooded Strand 1 Geier Reach Sanitarium 1 Gemstone Caverns 1 Glimmervoid 1 Godless Shrine 1 Mana Confluence 1 Marsh Flats 1 Phyrexian Tower 1 Plains 1 Prismatic Vista 1 Scrubland 1 Silent Clearing 1 Snow-Covered Plains 1 Snow-Covered Swamp 1 Spire of Industry 1 Swamp 1 Urza's Saga 1 Vault of Champions 1 Windswept Heath
What would a hatebears deck be without its restrictive two-drops? There’s everything from Drannith Magistrate to Ethersworn Canonist to Grand Abolisher in here, and this theme continues up the curve. Aven Mindcensor, Sanctum Prelate, even Opposition Agent – all these cards are Clerics, Wizards or rogues (not many hatebears are Warriors, it turns out)!
This means that with Nalia out, you have what is effectively a Future Sight for most of your team, and of course they’re not all just hatebears. There are some terrifically powerful creatures in this deck, such as Dark Confidant (a Wizard), Tymna the Weaver (a Cleric) and Yawgmoth, Thran Physician (a Cleric as well). Even Academy Rector – which can go and get Blind Obedience or Chains of Mephistopheles – is a Cleric as well!
As it’s an Orzhov deck, you can bet your bottom dollar it’s got the very best in the way of removal spells and tutors – Swords to Plowshares, Demonic Tutor, the gang’s all here – and the deck also goes very hard on mana rocks as well. Personally speaking, however, I’d be cutting the Mox Diamond and Mana Crypt for, like… Marble Diamond and Charcoal Diamond to save myself a grand or two.
This isn’t the friendliest deck and probably veers well into the territory of cEDH, but I could see making some changes, taking the edge off it a bit, and bringing it to a table where you don’t mind being the villain for a few games. Certainly you’re going to make the most of a sweet new commander from Baldur’s Gate!
We don’t often cover spiky commander decks like this in this column but I was very impressed by this rapid build put together around one of the sweet new legends from the upcoming set – I’m keen to showcase more CLB commanders, so if you’ve got a list worth sharing, send it in! The best place to do so is on Twitter, via a DM.