Death is Part of Life
Hello, and welcome back to Conditions Allow, where I take a card with a drawback and build a deck to turn it into a strength. Wizards finally announced our impending return to Kamigawa, one of my favorite planes. To commemorate that news, it only seemed appropriate to talk about one of my favorite legends from the plane, .
is the fusion of and in just about every way. It’s power and toughness and mana cost are equal to the total of its two halves, and its effects are more powerful versions. Where puts spirits into your graveyard, searches one directly into play. Where returns creatures to your hand, puts them right onto the battlefield.
This is undeniably powerful.is both a tutor and recursion in the command zone, but it does come with a few restrictions. First and foremost, Iname costs twelve mana, making it the third most expensive commander just behind . Second, Iname’s first ability only triggers if you cast it from your hand. Finally, its second ability requires you to exile from your graveyard to actually revive a spirit. This makes Iname prohibitively expensive as solely a reanimation commander. In order to make this deck work, we’re going to need to get into our hand, search for a powerful spirit, and ensure it sticks around.
Out of the Zone
Starting off with effects to getinto hand you may be expecting , but I want to start with . The sanctum is the easiest way to cast from your hand multiple times. Searching for any Spirit card and putting it directly into play is Iname’s most powerful ability, especially with the printing of . Most decks try to abuse ‘s ability to combo with lands and tokens, but I’m looking to take advantage of Iname’s monstrous mana cost. Whether you like enchantments, planeswalkers, or creatures, Kodama and Iname combo to put the most powerful permanents into play for free.
Which makesa magnet for removal. Luckily, can bring it back, but then we will need . Iname is simply too expensive to cast from the command zone more than once. In order to have access to this effect as reliably as possible, I’m also including and . isn’t very popular, but this is the perfect place for it. The life you pay is easily offset by and , both searchable with . The altar also stays in play, easily retrieving your commander multiple times.
Wait, It Costs How Much?
As awesome as all that sounds (seriously, who doesn’t want to playfor free?) it still takes a lot of mana. Utilizing both two and four mana ramp spells helps you to get there, but seven mana on turn four is still a long ways from the fourteen or fifteen it takes to put into your hand and cast it. Which is why you’re not ramping towards . You’re ramping towards interaction, and card advantage.
Black and Green are both great at playing a long game of attrition, and this deck relies on that to last long enough to take advantage of. By ramping on turns two and three, you can cast or on turn four. and can come down even earlier. The goal is simply to clog up the battlefield so you can build up enough mana to start casting .
There are plenty of powerful instants and sorceries to supplement these planeswalkers as well.is a powerful tempo swing that offers more flexibility than . I particularly like , as it combines removal and ramp. It’s also a permanent, meaning it can be put into play with if you happen to draw it later in the game.
The Spirit of the Game
Once you get all the mana you need though, what are the best spirits to search for?is possibly the most impactful option, especially in conjunction with . Putting , , or even just into play for free will have a huge impact on the game. Ugin in particular is fun. Most of the time he’s a glorified board wipe, but you’ll want to aim for his ultimate in this deck. Putting any seven permanents from this deck into play should be more than enough to take over a game.
Depending on the texture of your hand, you might instead choose to search for. Kokusho is a great reanimation target, and applies immediate pressure on your opponent’s life totals. In conjunction with ‘s reanimation effect, Kokusho can take over a game all on its own. If, on the other hand, you have all your removal spells in hand might be a better place to start. is essentially a much bigger . It pairs especially well with , giving all your tokens virtual vigilance. Just keep in mind that doesn’t only untap your forests.
Finally, I’m includingand as well. When you cast from your hand and put into play you can put every spirit in your deck into your graveyard. Then, sacrifice to revive . When the Life Aspect dies, you can exile it to return all your spirits to your hand. From there you can play them as needed.
What is Dead Cannot Die
To round out the deck, I’m including a couple of reanimation spells.is one of my favorite spells for a reanimation sub-theme. Getting back multiple creatures is powerful, especially when they have the impact of or . is even better, putting all of your spirits back in play. Just make sure you’re paying attention to what tribes your opponents are playing, as they might get more out of your spell than you do.
The last card I want to mention briefly is. With it in play, could search for, or reanimate, any creature regardless of type, but I don’t think that makes it worth playing. You already have to do so much to make work, it doesn’t make sense to add another step to make it work slightly better. And while there are plenty of splashy creatures, I’m fairly confident that the best creature to search for is . It will continue to enable a powerful game plan whether you can recast your commander or not.
With that out of the way, here’s the final decklist
Iname as One EDH
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer
is a clunky commander, but it also has a powerful effect that encourages you to play powerful cards. It isn’t difficult for this deck to take off without you needing to cast your commander. Ramping hard into or is a recipe for success no matter what card is in the command zone. This particular list does lean on ‘s search ability to compensate for the low amount of card draw.
How would you approach? Are there other spirit synergies I overlooked? Am I undervaluing the utility of ?