August 25, 2017

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Commander 2017 Breakdown (Part 4)

Hi everyone! Adam here once again to take a look at this year’s fourth and final out of the box Commander 2017 deck, Arcane Wizardry. As with my previous instalments, I will be offering some recommendations for improvements to the deck’s initial design. My main focus will be on keeping the deck on theme, while making it more consistent for a multiplayer environment. Now, let’s see what these Wizards have up their sleeves.

Arcane Wizardry

Creatures (31)
Kess, Dissident Mage
Mairsil, the Pretender
Galecaster Colossus
Magus of the Mind
Portal Mage
Vindictive Lich
Izzet Chemister
Taigam, Sidisi’s Hand
Havengul Lich
Marchesa, the Black Rose
Vela the Night-Clad
Arcanis the Omnipotent
Azami, Lady of Scrolls
Body Double
Harbinger of the Tides
Serendib Sorcerer
Apprentice Necromancer
Magus of the Abyss
Puppeteer Clique
Etherium-Horn Sorcerer
Mercurial Chemister
Nin, the Pain Artist
Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind
Shadowmage Infiltrator
Bloodline Necromancer
Merchant of Secrets
Sea Gate Oracle
Corpse Augur
Izzet Chronarch
Nivix Guildmage

Spells (30)
Kindred Dominance
Clone Legion
Decree of Pain
Necromantic Selection
Comet Storm
Polymorphist’s Jest
Chaos Warp
Memory Plunder
Silumgar’s Command
Into the Roil
Reality Shift
Go for the Throat
Cauldron Dance
Crosis’s Charm
Rakdos Charm
Nevinyrral’s Disk
Mirror of the Forebears
Commander’s Sphere
Darksteel Ingot
Fellwar Stone
Sol Ring
Unstable Obelisk
Worn Powerstone
Shifting Shadow
Curse of Verbosity
Curse of Disturbance
Curse of Opulence

Lands (38)
Exotic Orchard
Mystifying Maze
10 Island
Path of Ancestry
Command Tower
Crumbling Necropolis
Dimir Aqueduct
Dismal Backwater
Evolving Wilds
Grixis Panorama
Izzet Boilerworks
Jwar Isle Refuge
Rakdos Carnarium
Swiftwater Cliffs
Temple of the False God
Terramorphic Expanse
Vivid Crag
Vivid Creek
Vivid Marsh

It has been said, and I’m inclined to agree, that this deck is a perfect example of why deckbuilding is important. It’s full to the brim with awesome cards, but it looks like two or three themes are fighting for our attention. Kess, Dissident Mage wants a deck full of spells if she’s going to be leading the charge. Mairsil, the Pretender wants us to be filling our graveyard with creatures and artifacts that have strong activated or triggered abilities. Inalla, Archmage Ritualist wants creatures with ETB effects. No matter what I choose, the initial design has a good framework to build on. In this case, I think I’ll stick with Inalla and go for wizard copy value.

It’s not the first deck I’ve seen that should have had a Counterspell and didn’t. If I’m making copies of Voidmage Prodigy with Inalla, I’m going to have to put them to good use. What better way than bitter refusing someone else’s choices in game?

It untaps my mana rocks so I can cast more spells, and lets me re-use some pretty busted abilities not just from Galecaster Colossus or Inalla, but also Mercurial Chemister, Azami, Lady of Scrolls, and Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind to name a few. Paradox Engine is not as specifically broken as putting Curiosity on Niv, but has broader applications to a similar effect.

A second permanent at five CMC is a bit greedy, but I can’t say no to that ability. Supreme Inquisitor is absolutely devastating without even considering synergy with Paradox Engine. Aggressive doesn’t even begin to describe having five cards exiled before my opponents even see them. I can’t see a circumstance where exiling cards from my own library would be beneficial, but it’s nice to have the option!

If I’m going to take full advantage of this deck, I need to have a full hand most of the time. Rhystic Study shines in multiplayer, and is a must.

Greatest thief in the multiverse, Dack Fayden may not technically be a wizard, but his shenanigans level is on point. His plus gives me some serious card advantage. His minus can give me anything from my opponent’s signets to Ramos, Dragon Engine. He’ll probably never ult, but if he does I don’t intend to let my opponents have permanents ever again.

And that does it for my fourth and final instalment of this year’s Commander Breakdown. As with my previous articles, if you feel like I’ve missed something or would like to weigh in with your own thoughts, please let me know in the comments!

This Sunday will be the Wizard’s Tower Commander 2017 League debut. If you haven’t checked out all the details on our Events Calendar and you’re in the Ottawa area, it’s not too late! Come on down, check out how other people have shaken up their decks, and we’ll see you at the Tower.