CUT #24 Finals - Rukarumel vs. Anikthea

Travis Stanley • August 25, 2023

| Illustrated by

Welcome to the finals of CUT#24! Last time, we saw how our deckbuilders handled building around the amazing reprints that were in Commander Masters. Today we see how our finalists handle the new legends from the Commander Masters Commander decks. Let's find out who made it!

I'm so happy we got to see both Nick and Cooper make it to this round. Now let's see what challenges they'll face this time:

  • Commander must be from the Commander Masters precon decks

  • From this list pick a set: C13, C14, C15, C16, C17. You may only use cards from the selected set.

  • Max 16 rares/mythics (including your commander.)

Let's kick these finals off with Cooper and see what he's brought!

Buy this decklist from Card Kingdom
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer

View this decklist on Archidekt

How do you have the most fun in a game of Magic? By playing with the most cards. How do you get access to the most cards? By building a five-color deck.

For this CUT challenge, instead of limiting myself to just a few colors, I decided that I would be including all of them in my deck. This meant that I'd be using Rukarumel, Biologist as my commander. This new card is really cool, and I decided that I would be using this Maskwood Nexus in the command zone to full effect with a five-color Elfball deck. I chose to use cards from C14 because I happen to love playing the Peer Through Time precon, so I wanted to include as many cards from that deck as (reasonably) possible.

"Cooper," I hear you saying, "be reasonable. Surely there's a better strategy available to you." There very well may be, but I don't care. It's Elf time.

This deck has 22 Elves as is, but with our commander in play, that number rises to 39. Rukarumel's ability to turn everything into an Elf means that our Priest of Titania and Lys Alana Huntmaster are more effective, turning a pretty janky deck into a relatively functional one with our commander out. Some of the Elves that benefit the most from having a high volume of buddies are Elvish Archdruid and Ezuri, Renegade Leader.

Onto the ramp package, where we see even more Elves! There's Wood Elves, Llanowar Elves, Farhaven Elf, and more. I also included spells like Harrow and rocks like Wayfarer's Bauble to provide the color fixing I'll need to get out Rukarumel.

For draw spells, I had a ton of options because of my commander's color identity. Some of my personal favorite inclusions are Intellectual Offering (which can also untap my many mana dorks), Soul of the Harvest (which I'll hopefully trigger several times each turn), and Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury (which makes Elves AND acts as a removal spell AND draws cards).

Lastly, for removal, I once again had great options. From efficient removal, like Pongify, to personal favorite Song of the Dryads to beefy Terastodon, I'm extremely happy with my removal suite. Just don't mention the Desert Twister inclusion.

This deck is definitely janky. It's a five-color Elf typal deck, which means that 50% of the pips are green. Without Rukarumel kicking my Elf synergies up a notch, it would be almost unplayable, but, with a Sliver-loving biologist in the command zone, I might just be able to overwhelm opponents with a rainbow of Elves.

A man after my own heart, I love me some Elfball! Great stuff, Cooper! Lastly we have Nick. Take it away Nick!

Buy this decklist from Card Kingdom
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer

View this decklist on Archidekt

I did not know what getting through to the next round of CUT would bring me, but I did not expect this much of a challenge. This was a complicated build due to the restrictions, but they always say that restrictions breed creativity, so I put together something I'll call creative. Let me introduce everyone to Anikthea, the Commander 2015 edition.

Anikthea, Hand of Erebos wants us to put enchantments into the graveyard to turn them into creatures and smack our opponents with menacing 3/3s. Thankfully, Commander 2015 had one deck built around enchantments that is in our colors. A deck led by Daxos the Returned provides a great set of bones for our deck. Daxos allows us to get extra benefits from casting our enchantments, making creatures to help us win the game, and he can act as a secondary commander when Anikthea cannot be cast or if our graveyard is taken away. The Daxos deck also gave us some "staple" cards in an Anikthea deck, like Doomwake Giant, Mesa Enchantress, and Sigil of the Empty Throne. These cards provided everything any deck would want when undergoing the building process, and we get to utilize all of them to our heart's content. While Anikthea cannot bring back Auras to the battlefield, we still run Vow of Duty and Vow of Malice in the deck to prevent pivotal creatures from getting at our life total, but people often forget they can still be attached to their creatures. Vigilance and menace go well together if you put Vow of Duty on a Zombie token, and adding intimidate with Vow of Malice might be overkill; I am not saying no to making my Zombie a 5/5.

Even though we're running a three-color deck, our manabase has green in it, so everything can be alright when it comes to fixing. Multiple dual lands and access to Kodama's Reach and Rampant Growth, thanks to C15 green decks, pair nicely with some other notable commander all-stars in Sakura-Tribe Elder and Wood Elves. For the deck being made of primarily common and uncommon cards, those two rarity slots have a lot of heavy hitters.

Some of my favorite cards in this deck are: Necromancer's Covenant, giving us more Zombies, graveyard hate, and life gain; Arachnogenesis (aka Spider Fog), for some always-needed protection; Noble Quarry, to make blocking our creatures even more difficult than before; and, one of the best cards in any enchantment-based deck, Sigil of the Empty Throne. Most decks find themselves weak to flyers, and a team of 4/4 Angels does well to win you a game. Another fun deck to build in a series that flexes my brewing muscles in ways I never knew they could.

Daxos Enchantments? Oh boy, both of these decks have really hit me right in the nostalgia*. Great deck, Nick!

Now that you've see both of the decks, it's time for you to vote! When voting, consider who used the challenges the best, or whose deck inspired you to build something, or look at a certain card a different way. Perhaps you want to build one of these decks and then slowly upgrade it. Whatever you choose to do, remember: if you don't love it, CUT it!

If you or a friend would like to participate in a future CUT article, feel free to email me at, or reach out to me on twitter @chipman007!

*A little context for that bit. My first Precon that I purchased was Daxos the Returned, and the first deck that I built was a copy of the Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury Precon.