CUT #25 - Kellan vs Neva vs Hylda

Travis Stanley • September 15, 2023

Hi all! It's that time again, time for another edition of CUT, the deck building challenge series where intrepid deck builders take on various challenges and put that deck building skills to the test.

Last time on CUT #24, Cooper and Nick faced off on the finals, let's see who the really Commander Master(s) was:

Congratulations Nick, you did it! You also helped redeem Anikthea, as last time she was on CUT she wasn't as successful. A big thank you to both of them for participating on CUT and I hope to see them again soon!

This week's CUT is themed around the Wilds Of Eldraine. It's only been out a week as of the release of this article and there are already plenty of cards that have found themselves in Commander decks. Speaking of decks, let's see what challenges our deck builders had to face:

- Commander Must be from Wilds of Eldraine

- All cards in the 99 must be from Throne of Eldraine or Wilds of Eldraine

- You may play with up to 5 cards from the Enchanting Tales bonus sheet


Up first is Jordan! You may remember Jordan from the recent CUT #21, he's back to bring us some more jank!


 

 

View this decklist on Archidekt

Hey there! My name is Jordan and I am an actor and music producer, but more contextually important: I am an MTG content creator! I run the EDH Jank Center on Youtube and I am also a writer for EDHREC! My channel is all about janky, budget, and under-utilized cards. It is my belief that every card can shine given the right deck-building context, and I am continuing to bring that spirit to the CUT series!

So, today I will be building around: Kellan, the Fae-Blooded

Throne of Eldraine was the set that was out when I first got into Magic in 2019. This set and plane have a special place in my heart and I am so excited to have been asked to build a CUT deck around Wilds of Eldraine

In keeping with my brand (hate saying brand but here we are) I wanted to do something truly janky, since the main stipulation of this challenge was that we must only have cards from Throne and Wilds of Eldraine. There's lots of cool stuff that's extra-supported with this second Eldraine set: Enchantress, Adventures, Faerie Typal

So I went with Voltron//Go Wide!

Kellan wants to get huge and then anthem a bunch of creatures until they're a beefy army!

There isn't a ton of support in either set for this but I did my absolute best and what came out of it was a deck that i don't think will win a ton of games, but if you love turning stuff sideways, this is a very fun deck, and will obviously be even better when allowed to include all the sets that are excluded from the challenge.

With the intro out of the way, let's get into it...

The deck works like this:

1. Get Kellan out

2. Equip some equipment, attach some auras to Kellan

3. Make an army of tokens and attack with our beefed up army!

With the general idea out of the way, let's have a chat about the nitty gritty challenges Travis has given us:

The Challenges

1. Commander must be from Wilds of Eldraine

There were lots of fun ones to choose from, but like I said I wanted a real challenge so i went with Kellan who, by the way, is a Boros faerie?? So cool!

2. All cards must be from Throne of Eldraine or Wilds of Eldraine

Indeed, I complied and then some! I also didn't include anything from the Commander precons either.

3. You may play with up to 5 of the Enchantments from the Enchanting Tales bonus sheet

I only used one of the special reprints with the dope alternate art and that would be Dragon Mantle as it's a really great way to get an enchantment on Kellan early. Additionally, being able to pump mana directly into it to buff Kellan (who, oh by the way, has double strike) is amazing for us if we need to just one-shot a player!

The Rest of the Deck

For a set centered around a fairy tale land of fairies, sorcerers, and KNIGHTS there is a surprising lack of equipment! What do these people carry around? Are they just swinging Redcaps around?

We have included basically every equipment and aura we could, BUT lucky for us Wilds of Eldraine has included a new lil game mechanic/feature with Role tokens. Role tokens are Enchantment Auras that count for Kellan's ability! So with those cards included we definitely have a good amount of ways to put something on Kellan to buff up our army! The decklist is included but let's take a look at some of my favorite includes in this build:

1. Outlaws' Merriment: this card from Throne of Eldraine might just be the best outright token generator in both sets. Every single one of our turns we are getting a token with some sort of useful ability. All of them also have haste meaning they can enter as huge creatures (if we're doing our strategy right) and immediately start swinging and dealing damage

2. Song of Totentanz: This is probably my favorite card for the build from Wilds of Eldraine! We can pour as much mana as we want into it and if we have, say, three permanents attached to Kellan then we will have an army of 4/1 rat tokens that can come in and start swinging immediately. I saw this card and immediately thought "Wincon". So it was written, so it shall be

3. Embercleave: Truly the bane of my MTG Arena experience in early 2020. However, it's SO GOOD in this build. Kellan will become quite beefy throughout the game, and with it already boasting double strike, adding trample to the mix just seems like a no-brainer. Add to that the fact that we can flash this lil sword in and we are on the way to CLEAVING our opponents. No? Cheap pun didn't land? I expected as much so let's move to the last card in the list:

4. Three Blind Mice: First of all the flavor here is off the CHARTS dude. This card does everything we want for this build and all for three mana and under a dollar! THAT is what the jank center is all about baby! We get two tokens out of it and then a sweet lil anthem effect that we can use to swing but still be able to keep up blockers since we'll have vigilance. Vigilance is very important in an aggro build like ours because it doesn't allow us to be hit on the crack back. I love the art as well!

And that about does it for me, feel free to use the decklist as a jumping off point. Kellan starts to get SUPER crazy once you make upgrades outside these two sets. Or don't! Embrace that jank baby.

Thank you Travis for having me, and thank you so much for reading. Hope you enjoyed it and remember: every card deserves a chance to shine!


Thanks Jordan! You are so welcome, and thank you so much for coming back, it's a pleasure to have you on. After you've finished reading this go and check out his youtube channel The EDH Jank Center, or his articles over on EDHREC!


Next we have a newcomer to CUT, everyone meet Adelaide The Proxy Queen! Let's see what she brought today!


Nevas Rat Nightmare

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Commander (1)
Enchantments (16)
Artifacts (5)
Creatures (30)
Sorceries (6)
Instants (7)
Lands (35)

 

 

View this decklist on Archidekt

Hey ya'll! Adelaide The Proxy Queen here and this is the commander deck I made for Neva, Stalked by Nightmares! Well, more like haunted by rats! This deck's goal is to utilize the new Role aura's and adventure creatures that came with the set, Wilds of Eldraine. Neva, Stalked by Nightmares is a 2/2 Human Noble with menace and when she enters the battlefield, we get to return an enchantment or creature from our graveyard to hand. On top of that she has "Whenever an enchantment you control is put into the graveyard from the battlefield, scry 1 and put a +1/+1 counter on Neva".

So the game plan is to use role tokens, sagas, adventure and bargain spells to get Neva big to attack our opponents to death, or overwhelm them with a bunch of cursed rats!

Speaking of enchantments, The Witch's Vanity is the perfect example of what the deck wants. A cheap saga that creates a Wicked Role token on one of our creature's and then sacrifices itself, triggering Neva's ability, making her bigger and potentially scrying us into another enchantment.

To further aid our goal of sacrificing enchantments, the new bargain mechanic is perfect for this. We get an upside for bargaining with our nightmares! I really like this deck and I hope you all do too! <3


Great submission Adelaide! Short and sweet! You can find Adelaide over on the EDH Jank Centre discord, as she is part of the team there.


Finally we have Arnaud! You may remember Arnaud from CUT #20, he's back and ready to boogie!


Hyldas Tappity Dance

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Commander (1)
Artifacts (9)
Creatures (23)
Sorceries (6)
Enchantments (12)
Lands (37)
Instants (12)

 

 

View this decklist on Archidekt

Let it taaaaaap, let it taaaaaaap!

This instance of the CUT challenge is tricky indeed, as the pool of available cards is all in all quite limited.

Initially, I thought of going for an all-in aura build, but frankly, given that the set is all about enchantments, that seemed a little too obvious.

Then I saw Hylda, and I fell in love.

This commander is very versatile. While at core you need a significant amount of support to make it work, the payoffs are varied and can eventually become overwhelming.

Aside from the obvious draw value, you can decide to either build up a solid army of beefy 4/4s or go the wider route and pump a threatening token army.

As Fred would have put it, it's all about the tap.

Do the tap dance

I first had doubts whether I could pull this off. Without sufficient means to tap down your opponents' stuff, Hylda is pretty much useless. Thankfully, both sets contain a significant number of tap abilities, enough to give this is a shot.

In the end, my list contains 18 spells that can tap down creatures, one way or the other. The best one is probably Hylda's Crown of Winter, as it can repeatedly target a creature for one measly mana and potentially provide a massive influx of cards at some point.

Giant killer is no pushover either, combining a solid removal spell with a great activated ability.

Oh, and several of these spells come with a stun counter, to keep the scariest threats at bay.

Adventure Time

Unexpectedly, several of the enablers in the deck are actually Adventures as well. While there are only about 10 or so of these, I feel like the card influx should be consistent enough to justify the addition of a couple of spells benefitting from casting said Adventures.

These couple up nicely with the slew of draw spells, that will make up for the sadly underwhelming ramp suite available in these colors.

A good Plan B is not repeating Plan A until it works

That's all well and good, but what if our commander gets whacked repeatedly?

This is where the alternative win cons come in, sending beaters in the red zone. Realm-Cloaked Giant will make for a nice monster after wiping the field, while Harmonious Archon will make sure our creatures are bigger than our opponents', thanks to the build-up of +1/+1 counters from both our commander and Virtue of Loyalty.

To round things up, I decided to add some classic staples from the Enchanting Tales selection, including some classics such as Land Tax and Smothering Tithe. Given our small ramp package, we need all the help we can get.

Are you ready for the sexy tappity untappity dance?


Thanks Arnaud! Lovely to see you and your fantastic deck building (read:dancing) skills. Go and check out Arnaud's articles over on EDHREC!


Thanks to all the deck builders and their wonderful creations. It is always a pleasure to see such creativity and awesome decks that come out of this series. Remember to vote for who you want to see in the finals, and until next time, if you don't love it CUT it!

If you and/or a friend would like to participate in a future CUT article feel free to send an email to the.only.travis.staney@gmail.com, or contact me on X (formerly known as Twitter) @chipman007.