Legends Legends - Rasputin Dreamweaver

Jeff Dunn • May 21, 2024

Rasputin Dreamweaver by Andi Rusu

Hello, and welcome back to another exciting installment of Legends Legends, the weekly column where we build a thematic, playable Commander deck around one of the original legendary creatures from 1994. This week we're brewing a Rasputin Dreamweaver Commander deck based on blinks, flickers, and turning his dream counters into big mana. Cozy up under the covers and let's get dreaming!

General Thoughts

First off, please listen to this while you read the article.

Rasputin Dreamweaver is a perfect example of a Legends Legends. He's six whole mana for a 4/1, he makes counters that only showed up on his sequel card, and he's an Azorius-aligned creature that creates colorless mana for some reason. His abilities are confusing, he's incredibly fragile, and I love him. 

Grandpa Dreamweaver creates some unique play patterns for a blue and white deck. Running out Rasputin usually means you'll have seven more mana to spend, which we can use immediately to further ramp into a Chromatic Orrery, or bank until we have enough to cast one of our Eldrazi. Rasputin refills his dream counters one at a time during your upkeep (if he's untapped), but we can get back to seven counters much quicker by flickering him with an Ephemerate

This makes him extremely effective for enabling those mana-intensive combos. Cards like Deadeye Navigator and Peregrine Drake require a lot of set up, but Rasputin's seven extra mana make it easy! With just an Eldrazi Displacer, our commander can create infinite mana, perfect for dumping into a massive Braingeyser or pounding out extra turns for dirt cheap.

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And if we can capitalize on some other classic ETB combos along the way, that's even better.

Rasputin's Dreams

Rasputin's dreams are prophetic visions of things to come, foretelling future combos and synergies. In game terms, we'll spend the early game prepping for our key combos by tutoring up the important pieces, then protecting them with our counter magic. This means using Mystical Tutor and Merchant Scroll to find our Ghostly Flicker and Blue Sun's Zenith.

If we can find our Laboratory Maniac, we'll search for Enter the Infinite, too. Our Eldrazi Displacer is so important we're running Eye of Ugin specifically to fetch it. 

Fabricate grabs our artifact combo cards, including Nim Deathmantle and either Ashnod's Altar or Altar of Dementia, to sacrifice and reanimate Rasputin Dreamweaver infinitely, or we can grab Isochron Scepter and bank our Ephemerate or Ghostly Flicker early.

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Ultimately, much of the play for this Commander deck will be learning to read your opening hands and identifying which combo you have the most pieces for, then tutoring for the final card. The deck can putter along generally well by blinking the classically valuable ETB creatures, like Mulldrifter and Agent of Treachery, but those won't end the game on the spot.

Rasputin's Nightmares

You could write a book on how many ways there are to assemble an infinite combo in these colors. All of the essentials are here: Deadeye Navigator, Peregrine Drake, Archaeomancer, and Mnemonic Wall; all the hits, but these infinite combos don't end the game alone. No, we need something fun to do with all those triggers.

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Creatures from the darkest corners of Rasputin's subconscious make the best threats, so even without our near-infinite mana, we can easily ramp into an Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger or It That Betrays once Rasputin's on the field. [e]Blue Sun's Twilight[/el] makes up for only running a few of our threats by stealing and doubling down on one of our opponents'. Finally, I like Ancient Silver Dragon since it digs for more combo pieces we otherwise wouldn't be able to tutor for. 

The Curse of Knowledge

One of the best play patterns in this deck is casting Rasputin Dreamweaver with two Islands left up, then adding six or seven colorless from Rasputin and rolling right into Karn's Temporal Sundering or Expropriate. On our extra turn, use a blink spell to refresh Rasputin's dream counters, then have fun with something like 14+ mana on your free turn! Keeping an Energy Refractor or Chromatic Orrery around helps ensure we'll have the colored mana for this, too. 

Personally, I have trouble divorcing my inner Timmy from my deck builds, so your outlets for your combos may differ according to taste. This Rasputin Dreamweaver deck wields Braingeyser and Blue Sun's Zenith like a Fireball and dumps 100 mana into its X-cost. We can target either our opponents or ourselves with this spell, depending on if we think we can hit Laboratory Maniac and stick it this round. 

Mana Base

With a six-mana commander, we can't afford to miss a land drop, and we ought to drop a mana rock or two early on as well. To that end, we're running what some might consider a few too many lands at 37. In addition, we've got seven of the more basic mana rocks in Azorius colors, notably Chromatic Orrery, which can follow up Rasputin the turn he comes down and gets blue or white mana out of his dream counters.

Budget Options

This deck clocks in at a resounding $472 at time of writing, $124 of which is Rasputin Dreamweaver alone. While many Commander decks end up around that price range, there are some easy cuts that'll drive this deck's price down. 

First, Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines is a great control piece, but its price is driven up by its Standard format legality. Swap it out for more consistent blink effects and grab an Abuelo, Ancestral Echo

Mana Drain and Braingeyser are both awesome spells, but they can easily be replaced for something that'll work just the same. Commander's Insight and Stroke of Genius can replace Braingeyser easily, and you can grab any Cancel instead of Mana Drain

Rasputin Dreamweaver Deck List

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Wrap Up

While this Rasputin Dreamweaver Commander deck focuses on using Rasputin's dream counters to quickly assemble combos, there are tons of ways you could build around him. For an example of a more flavorful approach, build around the foretell and plot mechanics to lean into his reputation as a mystic and prophet. Whatever you choose, this legendary Legend is a fun commander to build around. I can almost guarantee you'll be the only Rasputin player in your pod, too!

Thanks for reading! Check back next week when we tackle another Legends Legend. 

Jeff's almost as old as Magic itself, and can't remember a time when he didn't own any trading cards. His favorite formats are Pauper and Emperor, and his favorite defunct products are the Duel Decks. Follow him on Twitter for tweets about Mono Black Ponza in Pauper!