March 2, 2018

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Budget Commander: Get Big, Smash Mouth

Oh man, this is one of my favourite fun decks.

What we’re looking at today is a budget Commander deck with all-star Saskia the Unyielding at its helm, backed up by a bunch of support to make her stronger, make her hit more, and make her unstoppable. Basically, get big, then smash mouth. You can reliably take out two unsuspecting players in one turn with it, provided you have the right combination of cards on the field.

It may be a simple premise, but this deck actually does fairly well in most local playgroups, at least when it’s given a chance to unfold and isn’t under the pressure of facing a competitive deck with a turn three win. It’s a fun little mine field where things could go crazy if allowed, but it’s not meant to win a tournament by any means. I’ve never enjoyed another deck that’s so brutally simple as much as I enjoy this one.

Somebody Once Told Me the World is Gonna Roll Me

Commander (1)
Saskia the Unyielding

Artifact (17)
Argentum Armor
Boros Cluestone
Chitinous Cloak
Commander’s Sphere
Conqueror’s Flail
Darksteel Ingot
Dowsing Dagger
Fellwar Stone
Golgari Signet
Gruul Cluestone
Gruul Signet
Lightning Greaves
Mage Slayer
Selesnya Cluestone
Sol Ring
Thaumatic Compass

Creature (20)
Angrath’s Marauders
Combustible Gearhulk
Ankle Shanker
Soul of the Harvest
Elvish Mystic
Ghalta, Primal Hunger
Harsh Mentor
Iroas, God of Victory
Managorger Hydra
Mirror Entity
Odric, Lunarch Marshal
Ravos, Soultender
Ruric Thar, the Unbowed
Samut, Voice of Dissent
Sram, Senior Edificer
Stonehoof Chieftain
Viridian Acolyte
Whisperer of the Wilds
Zhur-Taa Druid

Enchantment (15)
Authority of the Consuls
Beastmaster Ascension
Breath of Fury
Cathars’ Crusade
Dictate of the Twin Gods
Eternal Thirst
Growing Rites of Itlimoc
Hardened Scales
Path of Mettle
Pia’s Revolution
Sigarda’s Aid
Spirit Loop
Unhallowed Pact
Untamed Hunger

Instant (10)
Crackling Doom
Deflecting Palm
Doom Blade
Haze of Pollen
Lightning Bolt
Settle the Wreckage
Utter End

Planeswalker (1)
Samut, the Tested

Sorcery (4)
Nissa’s Pilgrimage
Oblivion Strike
Traverse the Ulvenwald

Nonbasic Land (13)
Blossoming Sands
Command Tower
Ebon Stronghold
Nomad Outpost
Opal Palace
Orzhov Basilica
Rugged Highlands
Sandsteppe Citadel
Savage Lands
Temple of the False God
Timber Gorge
Tranquil Expanse
Wind-Scarred Crag

Basic Land (19)

While there are a few cards here that aren’t exactly in budget range, the deck average without basics sits at just under a dollar per card in USD. This makes the deck extremely attainable, and fairly easy to improve and tweak to meet your own needs. I’m aware that the mana base is kind of all over the place, but that’s another part of what I mean when I say that it’s easy to improve.

While this isn’t exactly a combo, these are the cards you want out if you want to win quickly. The turn after you get these pieces out, if not on the same turn you play Saskia, drop Mage Slayer on Saskia so that every time she swings, whether she lives or dies through the attack, the defending player and Saskia’s ETB target both take damage equal to her power.

Dictate of the Twin Gods doubles that damage, and if you have Saskia’s power to 10, which isn’t hard thanks to cards like Beastmaster Ascension, you’ve essentially just knocked two players out of the game just for declaring Saskia as an attack.

Of course, getting to this point is going to be slow and a little difficult, so I’ve included some pieces in here to help you out a little. You have your typical Jund-stereotype destruction spells like Terminate, Doom Blade and Lavalanche but the focus on certain cards will, hopefully, get us to the point where we can start swinging for wins.

Between those, you should be able to get a little breathing room so you can get your big pieces out. Personally, I love the surprised reactions I usually get from playing Lavalanche, Deflecting Palm, or Settle the Wreckage.

I suppose I could put a Combat Celebrant in here, but I don’t like the idea of having creatures that can exert in this deck if there’s no real lasting benefit for doing so. That’s why I included Breath of Fury, in hopes that if you manage to get everything out and it resolves, you essentially win the game. Provided you have a large enough board presence and you’re not in something like a six-person pod, that is.

Of course, there’s a lot in here that has easy answers. That’s why it’s not terribly competitive, but there’s still a lot of fun to be had here. What are some of your suggestions?