EDITOR'S NOTE: Michael, I've been asked to talk to you about your recent content. As you know, Commander's Herald is a website for hard-hitting, real journalism about Magic: the Gathering's Commander format. We've been the first to report on major stories no other publication dared touch. It is not an appropriate venue to make jokes about how excited you are for the bear sex in Baldur's Gate 3. Or at least, I hope they were jokes. Look, I went along with that article where you refused to use apostrophes the entire time, and that article where you tried to scam all our readers with NFTs, but this is just sad. Replace this note with a REAL intro by the launch date. We're supposed to be journalists, man!
Brawl in the Family
Good morning, humans! How are we all doing tonight!? I can't hear you, Rosemont! Yeah, you're all excited, you've waited all year, but it's finally that time again! I'm Rex Dinotruffle, but you can call me by my persona name, Michael Joseph Celani, because you're at Humatinée, the yearly convention for animals that like to roleplay as people! We got a great show lined up for you today. Once you've picked up your convention license at the DMV, meet some new friends playing games at the Casino, or shop for a commission and that pair of human ears you've been eying at Wal-Mart!
And we've got more great panelists for you this time around! You read it right:is here, and he's running his annual panel, "Alcoholics Afficionados: How to Get Into the Spirit of Spirits." He's a true at heart, a guy who's always willing to buy everyone another round, so of course he's got to have the cash to back it up. And he's got a decklist stuffed full of the most mana-hungry cards you can imagine to prove it! Make sure you check him out on the main stage Friday night!
Living the High Life
That's right: when writing a believable human character, you have to have at least one flaw, and what flaw is more human than alcoholism? Step one to functioning as an alcoholic is to make the perfect cocktail, andhas the first two ingredients: casting , and then ripping a high-cost card off the top to make him a menace. It's a tried-and-true strategy, but since we're running such a high-value deck in the first place, why not take advantage of our top-shelf booze by spicing it up with a few secret ingredients?
(and its older, slower, and less-precise cousin, ) finds the next nonland card in your deck and does damage equal to its mana value to any target. In practice, it'll almost always be three or more, so you can rely on them as bad s in a pinch. Combine them with a , though, and watch it become a potent burn spell that closes out games with very little hubbub.
- lets you choose the highest mana value from the top three cards of your library for damage, and in the unlikely case all of them are terrible, you can take your chance on the hidden fourth card by scrying the first three to the bottom.
- Your opponents can stop you from drawing cards with
at their own peril. Sure, it might be three lands in a row, but it could also be a twelve-drop, an eleven-drop, and a ten-drop, doming them for 33. Are they feeling lucky?
- If you've found your , you should always activate it for three before they make the decision. Did you just stack the deck for damage, or are you just ditching three lands?
- Your big spells will end up in the graveyard eventually, but that doesn't mean they're done working for you. Recur or exile them with , , , or even and clear the board or push through that last bit of damage to kill a player.
- And on the opposite side of things, since the decklist skews so high in terms of cost, is practically guaranteed to search up hits like , , and . You have two commanders, so that's two good low-cost permanents tutored onto the battlefield for free!
Big, Drunk, Beefy Bears
Now, I know some of you just got excited reading that header, but please, this is not an after-dark panel. It's true that in real life, we animals get much weaker and more erratic when inebriated. But humans are fantasy creatures; who says they don't grow a six pack when they chug that many? And just like we took advantage of the naturally high cost of the deck to bombard our enemies with literal sticker shock, we can use the power buff granted fromto enhance the effect of some of our other cards.
- Double strike on a 2/2 isn't very impressive - just look at - but double strike on a 10/2 is much more threatening. , , , , and all grant double strike, and with his natural trample and vigilance, it'll be potent on both offense and defense.
- lets you attack much more safely, since usually doesn't affect toughness at all.
- and are the perfect cards to rip off the top, since they pay for their own discount, a sentence that's really funny to think about outside the context of Magic.
- Of course, the standard value cards are here, whether it's drawing cards from and or ramping all the basics out of your deck thanks to .
- And once you turn into a house so strong it makes Hugh Laurie nervous, equip for cheap and keep him that way. As a bonus, your power bonus is applied on top of the new base 10/10 stats, which probably puts into killing range.
Time To Split
But this is all bog-standard. You've seen this all before; clearly this deck built itself! Why is it on How They Brew It? Well, think about it: aside from, , and , I haven't really mentioned any ramp. At the same time, we've been talking up how mana-hungry all the cards in the deck are. How can you expect to cast a seven-cost card when you only have three lands to your name?
The trick is realizing that the concept of mana value on cards is stupid. When you have a split card likeor , the mana value of that card is the cost of both spells added together. is effectively an that the game thinks costs six, so gets all the alcohol he needs while you only pay half the tab.
And since every mechanic is secretly split cards (which is secretly Kicker), there's a few more ways we can cast spells for way cheaper than we declared on the intake form.'s adventure is another stapled to a seven-drop, whereas and can each be cast for pennies on the dollar, albeit in a weaker form.
If you even deign to cast them at all, that is. These modal double-faced cards have lands on the back of them, so whatsees as a seven-cost sorcery you see as your land for the turn. does say you can play that card, meaning lands are allowed. They say there's no such thing as free beer, but that's only if it's not crafty enough!
Oh, the Humanity
Thanks for coming to visit the panel! That's for all three of you here that actually attend panels instead of just playing Magic: the Gathering in the basements of the hotels and getting transported to the hospital for heat stroke thanks to how suffocating those suits are. Seriously, I think there's more Commander played at these then there was at Magic 30. Now go enjoy the rest of the con, and try not to do anything that'll get an hour-long video essay made about us in a year!
And also, if you enjoy How They Brew It, please check out the Discord and other stuff at my website. On the Discord, you can now force me to make a short roast of whatever commander you want. I've already posted a few to my YouTube channel, so maybe yours will be next! Hope to see you there!
Split Decision (Wilson, Refined Grizzly // Tavern Brawler EDH)View on Archidekt
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