PokeDecks: Kami, the Lunatone

Unsummoned Skull • August 4, 2023

Blue Moon, You Know What I'm Here For!

One of the topics du jour is signature decks for content creators. Over the next few articles, I'm going to discuss the various PokeDecks that came from my former signature deck, Simic Burn.

Like the Klothys Enchantress deck from last week, Simic Burn showed my affinity for colorshifting strategies, something I share with the illustrious Philomene Gatien, of Do Your Worst fame: https://edhrec.com/articles/author/philomene-gatien/.

Check out her version of Simic Burn!

As for mine, well...it is my most popular deck on Moxfield, but, sadly, it no longer exists in physical form:


One the decks born from its ashes, however, is my Kami Moonblast!

Kami of the Crescent Moon!

Simic Burn, helmed by my all-time favorite goofball commander, Vorel of the Hull Clade, was one of the first decks I built when I developed an online presence. I wanted to make a deck where Unsummon, my favorite card, could be used as a win condition. I did that by using hand-size-matters cards, like Storm Seeker, in concert with mass bounce, like Evacuation, for big blasts of damage. The biggest weakness of the deck was that Vorel did very little and seemed like a waste of a commander spot. Since the deck was mostly blue, I decided to drop the green.

Dropping the green allowed me to put a Howling Mine effect in the command zone, making the deck reminiscent of the first Pro Tour deck to pique my interest: Owling Mine! Owling Mine used Howling Mine with Ebony Owl Netsuke and bounce spells to deal similar damage to what Storm Seeker did for the Simic Burn deck.

With a plan in mind, I started looking over water-type Pokemon that fit the vibe. I was looking for a small Pokemon with high special attack, but nothing really called to me. Then, I thought about how my mom loves going to her family's lake cottage in the summer, watching the beautiful sunsets and remembering enjoying them with her parents. I decided that Lunatone overlooking a lake at sunset would be a gorgeous alter. But how could I make this into a deck that felt mine and embraced both the card and the alter?

Kami's Abilities

The first challenge was to figure out what Kami brings to the table. Switching commanders was a big reason for cutting green, so there was a lot of pressure on the new commander to justify unseating my favorite commander and cutting a color. Thankfully, Kami was absolutely worth it. As a Howling Mine on a cheap defensive body, Kami dictates how the game is played, makes the game exciting from the get-go, and ensures that hands are always full.

Howling Mine is the original version of the effect, and the deck wants as much of the draw as possible to be universal. There are instants and sorceries that operate in a similar way, but putting the effect on permanents helps to make sure the hands stay full. Stroke of Genius is almost like a Fireball with the right setup, and enables a secondary plan of incidentally milling opponents if the burn plan doesn't work. Fascination walks that median, as it can either be a big mutual draw spell or a mutual mill spell. Since opponents draw from the Howling Mine effects first, mill is a viable backup strategy.

Lunatone's Moves

The next challenge is to figure out how to cross the IP from Pokemon to Magic. Lunatone isn't a water-type, nor does it have a blue-colored motif, so it is a bit of a stretch to use it as a blue commander. It is moon-shaped, though, and Kami's full title is Kami of the Crescent Moon. Moonblast is not only a special-type move and one Lunatone knows, but it sounds like an incredible deck name. But, how does it translate into Magic?

The deck needs to find a way to blast, the same way that the old Owling Mine decks used Ebony Owl Netsuke (which is still in the deck) and Sudden Impact. Losing Storm Seeker from the Simic Burn list hurts, but there are plenty of ways to blast opponents for their hand size, and the deck should have enough mutual draw to find them.

Black Vise is similar to Sudden Impact in that it can only hit one opponent. Granted, it's a permanent, so that player will get hit again and again. Once that player is gone, however, it needs to be reset in order to hit someone else. Iron Maiden, by contrast, hits all opponents. This deals massive amounts of damage over the course of the game, with or without help. Unfortunately, without green, the deck has to play some subpar cards. Trinket Mage and Tribute Mage alleviate this somewhat. Instead of having to play mediocre burn spells, like Skullcage or Misers' Cage (which I do use in other decks), I can effectively run extra copies of Vise and Maiden.

After all, who wouldn't want "two tickets to Iron Maiden, baby"?

The Perfect Fusion

Arguably, the most difficult job is to fuse together the commander and the Pokemon. Kami draws everyone cards, while Lunatone represents the Danny-DeVito-style blasting. But there's one element missing from the Owling Mine deck: the bounce spells!

Evacuation is a nasty card to spring on unsuspecting opponents. As an instant, I can choose when to spring it, resulting in big bursts of damage. I can also use it defensively, like Aetherize, to protect myself. Since the deck doesn't run very many creatures, it can get away with running a universal board wipe.

Speaking of universal board wipes, Flood of Tears sends everyone back to the Stone Age. It doesn't discriminate between types of permanents, which helps up the count of cards bounced. It does run the risk of hitting our own stuff, which is especially problematic when we run Black Vise instead of Storm Seeker, but it does allow a permanent to be played without paying the cost. It also enables a reset of the Vise, so it's all good!

Last but absolutely not least...the card that inspired the original list, the new list, and my content creator persona: my one true love, Unsummon! Why I love Unsummon is a matter for a different day, but what it does in this deck is act as a solid roleplayer. How can a bounce spell be a burn spell? When it's cast in response to a hand size damage trigger!

Kami, Use Moonblast!

Here is the most recent iteration of the deck, which is still one of my favorites.

Is it an improvement over the original Simic Burn?

How would you update either deck?

And how do they compare to Philomene's takes?

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Teacher, judge, DM, & Twitch Affiliate. Lover of all things Unsummon. Streams EDH, Oathbreaker, D & D, & Pokemon. Even made it to a Pro Tour!