Conditions Allow - Dynaheir, Invoker Adept in Commander

Ben Doolittle • July 4, 2022

(Dynaheir, Invoker Adept | Art by Caroline Gariba)

Eldritch Invocations

Several weeks ago Gavin Verhey released this episode of Good Morning Magic about the history of Magic's Invokers, and why they made a reappearance Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate. At the end, he mentions a deck headed by Dynaheir, Invoker Adept that includes all ten of the appropriate Invokers, and while this would have you play Starlight Invoker and Glintwing Invoker, you'd also be playing Dawnglare Invoker and Bhaal's Invoker. I thought about this deck built around eight-mana activated abilities and thought, "I have to do this". And to make sure it fits into the spirit of Conditions Allow, I'm going to set Zirda, the Dawnwaker as my Companion.

Zirda not only requires every permanent card in the deck to have an activated ability, but also interacts with Dynaheir, Invoker Adept's effect in an important way: Dynaheir can only copy the effects which you pay at least four mana for. With Zirda in play, this means you can't copy Timestream Navigator or Plargg, Dean of Chaos, two of the most popular creatures in Dynaheir decks on EDHREC. Instead, your effects need a base cost of six to still be copiable after Zirda's discount.

Of course, all the Invokers fit this bill. These are the center point of the deck, so let's quickly go over what each of them does, and how I'll build around them. First up, Bhaal's Invoker is a win condition all on its own. Eight mana for twelve damage is a solid rate, which you can double with Dynaheir, Invoker Adept. If a game goes long, this Dragon Shaman will be your go to backup plan. My primary win condition is going to involve Lavafume Invoker or Bane's Invoker. Both of these creatures represent a significant power boost to your creatures, and they reward you for having at least three creatures in play. Lavafume Invoker plays extremely well with tokens, but giving a few nontoken creatures +6/+0 is plenty capable of stealing a game too.

If you're familiar with any of the Invokers, chances are it's Dawnglare Invoker. Tapping all of an opponent's creatures is powerful, both offensively and defensively. With Dynaheir, Invoker Adept, you can potentially tap down two opponents, leaving them vulnerable not just to your creatures, but to the fourth player's as well. Using Dawnglare Invoker on an opponent's turn also leaves you free to activate abilities and cast spells on your turn, ensuring that your creatures deal enough damage with Lavafume Invoker, or drawing that crucial piece of removal with Spectral Sailor.

The rest of the Invokers range pretty dramatically in usefulness. Valakut Invoker and Flamewave Invoker are useful for picking off creatures and planeswalkers, while Glintwing Invoker could become a threat on its own, but it isn't likely to be relevant in most games. Finally, Starlight Invoker is easily the weakest of the bunch.

So the questions that the rest of the deck needs to answer are twofold: how will you put creatures into play to attack with, and how will you find an Invoker or two to actually win the game?

You Activated My Card Draw

The second question is the easiest to answer, so let's start there. Zirda, the Dawnwaker only requires permanents in your deck to have activated abilities, so all your favorite draw spells can find a spot. Two that I've been throwing into more and more decks lately are Mental Journey and Behold the Multiverse. Behold the Multiverse is fairly popular, but Mental Journey is just as good at what you include early draw spells for. You can land Cycle it early to ensure you hit land drops, and later in the game it draws more cards than Preordain and Opt. This deck is going to ramp a lot as well, so that six mana isn't as steep as it seems.

But the goal of this deck is to abuse activated abilities. That means Spectral Sailor, Azure Mage, and Faerie Formation are key creatures you'll always be happy to see. It's also these creatures that reward you for including Zirda as a Companion. With just Dynaheir, Invoker Adept, you'll get a onetime "discount" on each ability. Zirda gives you that same discounted rate, two mana per card, for as many times as you can use the ability. Faerie Formation is particularly valuable because it also makes flying tokens, which become a win condition with Lavafume Invoker.

Finally, we have a card which benefits from Zirda, the Dawnwaker and Dynaheir at the same time: Planar Bridge. With this artifact you could potentially pay six mana to put any two permanents from your deck into play. This will usually find you Bane's Invoker and a medium-sized creature since this deck can't play most of the Eldrazi Titans, ancient artifacts, or Dragons that commonly accompany it. Still, being able to tutor any two cards directly into play is a powerful ability that ensures your deck "does the thing".

Invoke Victory

Which brings us to the "thing" this deck does. Other than Bhaal's Invoker, this deck needs creatures to attack in order to win. In order to work best with Bane's Invoker and Dawnglare Invoker, I've chosen creatures with solid power and toughness instead of relying on just tokens. Because of Zirda, the Dawnwaker, the available options are slim, but not nonexistent. Osgir, the Reconstructor is a prime example. Not only is he a decent attacker, but he has two useful activated abilities. This deck is going to be extremely mana-hungry, so Osgir creating multiple copies of mana rocks will ensure you can use the expensive effects this deck relies on. Jazal Goldmane is another great example, whether you need to use his anthem ability or not.

I've already mentioned Faerie Formation, but Hoard-Smelter Dragon is another flier with a useful effect. For extra tokens, I'm also including Skycat Sovereign and Heliod, God of the Sun. Timeless Dragon is another excellent way to ensure you hit your land drops while becoming a solid body later on. Finally, it's my new goal in Commander to win a game with Glarecaster. This bird turns Blasphemous Act into a burn spell and blocks like an absolute champ. Just like Dawnglare Invoker, its ability makes you very hard to attack, but it also advances the game forward by redirecting damage rather than just stopping attacks. That's assuming, of course, that you have enough mana.

Speaking of mana, you're going to need a lot of it with this deck. Even with Zirda in play, each Invoker requires six mana to activate, and you'll want to keep some mana up to protect yourself too. To help get there, I'm including a ton of mana rocks, including some bigger ones you don't see as often. Both Azorius Locket and Izzet Locket make the cut for this deck, since their draw ability can be copied with Dynaheir. At the higher end, Gilded Lotus immediately gets you up to eight mana, which is the exact range you want to be in at minimum.

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This deck was a ton of fun to put together. Searching for expensive activated abilities felt exactly like flipping through dollar bulk bins and pulling out obscure cards that couldn't work anywhere else. Despite the increased speed of Commander I feel this deck has potential. You could make it better by trimming the less useful Invokers and dropping Zirda, the Dawnwaker as Companion.

But what do you think of the deck? How would you approach building around the Invokers, or just Dynaheir, Invoker Adept? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading.



Ben was introduced to Magic during Seventh Edition and has played on and off ever since. A Simic mage at heart, he loves being given a problem to solve. When not shuffling cards, Ben can be found lost in a book or skiing in the mountains of Vermont.