CUT Winter Special

Travis Stanley • January 13, 2023

Goldspan Dragon | Illustrated by Andrew Mar

Wasn't 2022 a wild year? There were so many different sets, Secret Lairs, and other products and cards released that filled our deck boxes and binders. So many new commanders, and with them new deck ideas! Last year we had many new and old faces on CUT, and all came up with fun and new decks and showed their creative spirit. A little later this year, we'll look back on a whole 'nother year of CUT, but first I thought we'd slow down a little and look at some gift decks built by my playgroup made for each other this past holiday.

First of all, though, we need to find out who won CUT #18!

Congratulations, Juli! Looks like Farid, Enterprising Salvager got the job done and salvaged up a victory for you! A big thank you to Minotaur, your Muzzio, Visionary Architect and Mishra, Tamer of Mak Fawa decks were both great reads, and I am so glad both of you could join us for the last CUT of 2022! Be sure to check out both of these lovely folks: here is Juli's socials, and Minotaur's reddit, and articles written here on Commander's Herald!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the CUTs in 2022, it was a lot of fun and I'm super excited for this year! There are a lot of fun challenges and articles lined up, and I can't wait to get to them. Getting to the article at hand, as stated in this article, every year my playgroup decides on a set of challenges and we secretly get a person that we build for using those challenges.

The challenges for this year were:

  • Must use at least one card from 5 selected sets
  • Must use 5/10 cards on the provided wishlist
  • Must be around $120

There was also another more creative aspect applied to the deckbuilding this year. We each gave a statement to go along with the deck that was being built for us. It was meant to encapsulate a theme, or a direction that we would like the deck to go in. I'll talk more about the phrase when I introduce the decks.

First up we had the deck that Sinclair built for me. The phrase I gave him was "Go big, or go home".

My wishlist was: Augur of Autumn, Estrid's Invocation, Aura Shards, Ancient Bronze Dragon, Wedding Ring, Gilded Lotus, Questing Beast, Damnation, Timestream Navigator, and Twilight Prophet.

The sets I requested were Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, Magic Origins, War of the Spark, Strixhaven, and Commander Legends.

Commander (1)
Lands (37)
Instants (6)
Enchantments (9)
Creatures (31)
Sorceries (6)
Artifacts (9)
Planeswalkers (1)


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Next up was the deck I made for Sinclair; for the following decks I will just put it in a list of all of the wishlist cards and set requirements. The phrase that he gave me was "Auto-Pilot".

His wishlist included: Phyrexian Walker, Carrion, Karn, Living Legacy, Gemstone Mine, Shu General, Battle Angels of Tyr, Ancient Brass Dragon, Wasteland, Old Gnawbone, and Thundermaw Hellkite.

Sets required: Ravnica, Dominaria, Kaladesh, Scars of Mirrodin, and Throne of Eldraine.

Sinclair Deck

View on Archidekt

Commander (1)
Artifacts (22)
Lands (36)
Enchantments (15)
Instants (4)
Creatures (16)
Sorceries (5)
Planeswalkers (1)


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Next on the list we have the deck that Ben built for Kenneth. The phrase that was given for the deck was "1 is the loneliest number".

Kenneth's wishlist was: Grim Lavamancer, Tasigur, the Golden Fang, Damnation, Counterspell, Logic Knot, Prismari Command, Cryptic Command, Pyroclasm,Thing in the Ice, and Echo of Eons.

Sets were: Lorwyn, Future Sight, Theros, Saviors of Kamigawa, and Throne of Eldraine.


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Lastly we have the deck that Kenneth built for Ben! Ben's phrase was "A noncreature, creature deck".

His wishlist included: Chromatic Lantern, Helm of the Host, Helm of Awakening, Black Market Connections, Wrenn and Seven, Liliana, Dreadhorde General, Gaea's Will, Bootleggers' Stash, Deathrite Shaman, and Golgari Grave-Troll.

The sets he included were: Apocalypse, Streets of New Capenna, Modern Horizons 2, Zendikar, and Return to Ravnica.

Commander (1)
Planeswalkers (23)
Lands (35)
Sorceries (19)
Artifacts (11)
Enchantments (4)
Instants (7)


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Now that you have seen all four decks, what do you think? Do you think we made the most of the challenges presented before us? Or do you have any suggestions for the decks themselves? Like last year, we will play all of these decks against one another and see who comes out on top! I'll put a poll down below so you can vote on who you think will win. Thanks for joining me in showing off these decks crafted with love, time, and personality, and stay tuned for next time when we jump back into our regularly programmed CUT activities!

As always, remember, if you don't love it, CUT it!