CUT #17 Finals - Yedora vs Dina

Travis Stanley • December 4, 2022

Yedora, Grave Gardener - Svetlin Velinov
Dina, Soul Steeper - Chris Rahn

Everyone started somewhere, that's what we learned last time, like how I got started with a Merfolk deck that I now own through a series of events. Folks all have their own Magic journeys that they go through that lead them to where they are now. That's what I love about Magic, no matter where and how you started you usually end up at a table playing with friends and sharing a wonderful hobby. Speaking of stories, I'd love to hear your origin stories, and how much Magic means to you. This past year has really tested some folks in their love for the game we all play, so it's nice to look back and see where we came from and how we got started playing this fantastic game.

First, before we reveal who made it to the finals, let's see who ended up winning Single Slice: Warhammer 40k edition!

Congratulations to Emma Partlow with Mortarion, Daemon Primarch as the winner of the second Single Slice! I hope you all had as much fun building as we did reading all of your wonderful creations. A big thank you again to all of our guests, and heres where you can find them!
Emma Partlow - LinkTree
RebellSon - Youtube, Twitter
Jake FitzSimons - right here on Commander's Herald
Thanks to everyone who read and voted, that article was tons of fun and I hope to see all of our guests again sometime!

Now it's time for the main event! Our finalists are...

Congratulations to Vex and Jaret on making it to CUT#17 finals! I want to thanks John for sharing his Magic start with Chainer, Dementia Master! Go and check him out on twitter, and his website!
The challenges our winners had to face in this finals are as follows:

- Must use a Commander from your most recently built deck (last article doesn't count)
- Must use at least two of these cards: Meteor Golem, Approach of the Second Sun, Scholar of the Lost Trove, Sepulchral Primordial, Sunbird's Invocation, Avenger of Zendikar
- Must use your favourite Magic card, a Magic card you think represents your playstyle, and a Magic card that you think gets overlooked
- Max 17 Mythics/Rares (including your commander)

First up we have Vex! Let's see what they brought to the finals!

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CUT Finals - Mighty Morphing Value Rangers

Earlier this month I was looking through my Khans of Tarkir cards and remembering how much fun Morph was to play. Each creature was like a mystery box - it could be anything! (Sadly, not a boat.) I decided that building a Commander deck around Morph would be fun. Kadena, Slinking Sorcerer was an option, but it felt a bit too "This is the Morph commander" for me, so instead I put together a Temur build, with Animar, Soul of Elements at the helm. One of the most popular commanders in the format, but something that I could build in a new way.
When Travis told me that I'd made it to the CUT finals and I had to use a legendary from my most recent deck, I had four options. Given that Avenger of Zendikar already had to be in the deck and it was pushing me towards landfall, the choice was obvious.

Let's build the Mighty Morphing Value Rangers

The beautiful thing about Morph and Yedora, Grave Gardener is that when your Morph creatures die, they come back as forests - but they come back as forests that are showing their back face. Because of the Morph ability, you can pay to flip these back (getting their face-up value as well) and you have creatures again - it's a solid, sneaky value train.

So what's this about value?

I'm running eleven Morph creatures that have triggered abilities when they turn face up or die. As long as Yedora is out, the morph creatures dying isn't a problem - it's a positive. They come back as forests, ready to be flipped up again.

But what if nobody kills my stuff?

That's what we have sac outlets for! Each of these outlets both helps me recur my Morphers, but also gives me value (and you can't beat a name like Skullmulcher, really). Thelonite Druid also has the potential to help me generate a bunch of mana - when those forest-creatures die, they come back as... forests!

Sure, but what about my non-Morph creatures?

Well, that's where the Rangers part of Mighty Morphing Value Rangers comes into play - specifically Quirion and Scryb. If my Meteor Golem died and came back as a forest? I can return it to my hand to cast it again.


Oh, you betcha. It's a secondary theme, but it's going to do good things when it comes out. Insects, Saprolings and Plants galore when all of those creatures come back as lands.

So if all creatures become lands, and then lands can become creatures...

...then all that's left is creature-lands! With Yedora out, if my creature-lands die, they'll come right back as creature-lands again. Basically endless ranks of the Forest, ready to throw themselves at attackers...or opponents.

Infinite life, as a treat?

Okay, okay, I couldn't resist. With my commander, a creature-land enchantment, and the Orb of Zur, I can gain an arbitrarily large amount of life at instant speed. But infinite life doesn't win you a game, so that's fair, right? (Now, infinite snakes, on the other hand...)

Three Special Cards

Aside from the Meteor Golem and Avenger of Zendikar, part of today's challenge was to include three cards - my favourite; a card that represents my playstyle; and a card that I think gets overlooked.
Deathmist Raptor was a card that I fell in love with (and feared when it was across the table) as soon as I saw it. Sure it wasn't a dinosaur yet (it eventually became one), but it was deadly, recurssive, and just an absolute terror. Dryad Arbor is probably the card that has players yelling "Judge!" the most; I feel that this well represents my play style - I like trying new things and figuring out corner case rules interactions. Maze of Ith is the card that I think gets overlooked too much. It's an all-star in nearly every deck. It protects you, it gives a creature pseudo-vigilance, and it absolutely gums up combat math for your opponents.
Seriously, add it into your decks.


If you like value-laden decks with interesting recursion, interaction, and just a soucon of infinite combos, you're going to love Mighty Morphing Value Rangers. There's lots of different lines to play, and lots of places that it can take you over the course of a game.
I'd love to hear what you think - let me know here or on Twitter!

Thanks Vex! Hopefully Yedora can morph into a victory for you! Remember to go and say hi to Vex on twitter!

Last, but certainly not least, we have Jaret! Take it away Jaret!

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Hello Everyone, thank you so much for bringing me back for another round of CUT! I had an easier time with the challenge this week, as this was a deck that was fairly close to my heart in a few different ways. This was a deck that I originally built for my partner, that was just getting into the commander format, and wanted to dip their toes into something simple and straightforward. They found Dina, Soul Steeper through our playing of a chaos draft that a friend had held. They pulled her, and fell in love immediately.

Dina, Soul Steeper offered a simple, and straightforward path to build around. Gain a life, cut your opponents. Looking to try and keep the deck simple enough for anyone to pick up and play, I started by looking through my binders, and draft chafe. What I would end up with here, was actually an earlier prototype of the deck. The current build sporting a few upgrades. Such as a slightly better land base, and a Vraska planeswalker. Using the two cards that I had to choose, I chose Meteor Golem, and Sepulchral Primordial. As both of these can be powerful combo pieces, or even just game finishers in their own rite. Most of the deck revolves around the staple aristocrat build, with a slight landfall backup. If we're going to be playing lands each turn, why not get some kind of small benefit for it?

You must use your favourite Magic card

Not only is Deathrite Shaman one of my favourite cards in this deck, it's one of my favourite cards of all time. This thing is an MVP in any Golgari deck. The original Planeswalker (if you know, you know), and just a monster in the modern format. One of the first decks I tried working on after Horobi, Death's Wail was an Ishkanah, Grafwidow deck. Focused around token tribal, and graveyard manipulation, Deathrite Shaman was the first real "money" card that I picked up for myself, thinking it had a lot of potential with the commander.

A Magic card you think represents your playstyle

Night's Whisper Hands down. Life is a resource. It took me a very long time to come around on that statement. Life. Is. A. Resource.
When I was first starting out, I thought of my life total as this sacred thing, I didn't want to give any of it away freely, that's just helping my opponents kill me faster! Wrong, little Jaret. So wrong, we play in a format where we have double the standard amount of life, so paying two life, for two cards? Just a good deal in general. In Dina where we can easily accrue three, four life a turn? Two words, Free Cards.

A Magic card that you think gets overlooked

Defiler of Flesh - When just under half of your deck is black or and you gain more life thanyou know what to do with, the Defilers are amazing. Any permanents that have a black pip? Two life. In Dina, that's essentially just another free creature or permanent on the board. And being able to help jack up one of our little boio's for a turn? Never underrated.

Thanks Jaret for Witherbloom-ing us a wonderfully crafted deck! Hopefully you and Dina can sip on some lovely victory tea! If you haven't already, go and check out Jaret over on twitter.

If you were thinking "Travis, those are very specific Magic cards you picked for this challenge, do they mean anything?" the short answer is no. THe slightly longer answer is that those are just my favorite seven mana cards (except for Sunbird's Invocation, I love that card too much, and six is close enough) in those colors. That's it. I wanted to see how other people viewed/used cards that I really enjoy putting into my decks. That leads me to this next question, what are your favourite cards in each color? Which cards mean a lot to you personally? Thanks to these awesome folks for submitting their wonderful creations, so don't forget to vote for your favourite deck, and remember, if you don't love it, CUT it!

If you or a friend would like to participate in a future CUT article, please feel free to send an email to, or reach out to me on twitter @chipman007!
Poll Closes: December 12, 2022