This Deck Was Made By Those Who Are Dead
Hello, and welcome back to Conditions Allow. In this series I take a legendary creature with a drawback and build a deck to turn it into a strength. Continuing in our string of Tales of Middle-earth commanders, this week I'm building around one of the most interesting legendary creatures in the set,.
Phasing is a strange mechanic from Magic's past that perfectly captures how spirits of the undead can be present, but not entirely there. Whenever a permanent phases out the rules treat it as if it no longer exists, but it never technically leaves play. This means that your spirit tokens can phase out and still exist, bringing reinforcements with them as long asis in play. The only problem is a lack of good ways to phase creatures out.
While Orzhov colors give you all the tools needed to abuse, you can't always count on having a particular card. Luckily, has a built-in method to phase your spirits out, but it comes at a steep price. Targeting your own creatures with spells will phase them out and help build an army of spirits, but it prevents those spells from actually resolving. won't draw cards, and can't blink any of your spirits. Of course, giving each of your removal spells the optional ability to phase out one of your creatures isn't a bad thing. It also means that any spell that can target multiple creatures has the potential to quickly build a lethal army of tokens.
Army of the Dead
Before we get to swarms of tokens, we need a few spirits to start with.may not be a spirit itself, but is easily the best token producer in the deck. It isn't unusual for it to make three spirit tokens a turn. works well alongside and to replace the two spells a turn it takes to trigger. There are fewer ways to consistently trigger , but it helps replace spirits used for chump blocking and the occasional .
Whileis very good at keeping your spirits safe from removal, I still want to include a couple non-creature token makers for the deck. Your commander has flying, so can regularly recruit more spirits to battle. The flip side of also helps to steadily build up tokens, while incidentally providing card advantage and ramp. Finally, no Orzhov spirits deck would be complete without .
Of course, not all your spirits need to create tokens.is a token engine on his own, so you just need spirits in play to start raising an army. and are graveyard hate, while and protect your life total. helps pick off troublesome enchantments, and provides a little card selection.
A Whole Necropolis
The next step is to phase out as many spirits as you can at once. I am, of course, includingand , but the best actual phasing effect for this deck is . As a creature this is the spell is best able to reuse multiple times. is a particularly flavorful method of resurrection, but I'm also including and . has been a powerful tool in every deck I've played it in, and is the only persistent way to phase creatures out in this deck. It can only generate one spirit a turn for you, but sometimes that's enough.
For when just one token isn't enough, we have several spells that target any number of creatures.is the most played of these, but you may also have come across . is another surprisingly useful card, and joins and as the only one mana effects that can phase out all of your creatures with in play. Because phasing doesn't destroy tokens, these each double the number of spirits you control each time you cast one, as well as protecting them from removal. Once this deck starts moving it is incredibly resilient.
In order to keep the deck moving, I'm including as many ways to draw cards from tokens entering play as possible.even comes with a spirit of its own. I'm also including in this category because will usually have a safe attack. Having at least one of these draw effects in play is vital for this deck to function smoothly, and having more only helps. The goal is to chain one into and so on to quickly overwhelm the board. is excellent at digging to your next phasing spell, easily drawing eight or more cards.
Handy in a Pinch
Just being resilient isn't enough, however; you need to hit hard as well.is a staple of token decks, and stacking anthems is a tried and true strategy for victory. and are your best anthems, closely followed by . Normally I avoid anthems on creatures, but helps protect , , and safe. And for those times you really need to punch through, nothing gets the job done quite like .
King of the OathbreakersView on Archidekt
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When I first looked atI wasn't sure how well it would come together. There are a surprising number of spells in these colors that can target all of your spirits at once though, making this deck shockingly difficult to deal with. It hits hard as well, giving a sense of inevitability that can be hard to find in token based decks. How would you build around ? Are there any cards or synergies I've overlooked? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading!