Uncommanders - Ley of the Land

Ley Down and Listen Up!

Welcome back to Uncommanders! So far on this series, I've built pretty casual decks focused on a few simple synergies, but today's deck is a bit different. This time, I was inspired by a Modern deck that uses some of the most ridiculous shenanigans to storm off. The deck is known as Twiddle Storm, and it focuses on getting a single copy of Lotus Field into play. The next turn, it just wins. All that it needs is a few copies of the card Twiddle, and with The One Ring in play, it can draw through the entire deck to win with Thassa's Oracle. While the EDH format doesn't allow for the consistency of casting Hidden Strings variants over and over again, we do have what we need to make an absolutely absurd amount of mana by untapping and tapping lands over and over again. 

Lands Are Only What You Make of Them

The pEDH commander we're playing today is Ley Weaver and her twin, Lore Weaver. Both are pretty fair at first, but that's not what we want. Let's start by breaking Ley Weaver. Our first commander is essentially just a big mana dork who taps for two, but as demonstrated by the Twiddle Storm deck, untapping can be pretty busted. First things first, we're not allowed to play Lotus Field in Pauper, so we'll have to build our own. Conveniently, every single Market Festival effect seems to be printed at common. We'll take, um... all of them! The more of these we have, the more mana our commander produces. The goal is to put them all on one land to get the most out of an untap. All we really need is two of these effects, and we'll have mana for days. More often than not, we've got excess. Good thing mana burn isn't still around!

While our commander's great, the more times we can untap those stacked lands, the better. Clever Conjurer, Vizier of Tumbling Sands, and Voyaging Satyr will often tap for four mana, and while less effective than having a repeatedly tapping creature, Hidden Strings and other one-use untappers all have a place in the deck. Mana is never an issue in the deck, but there will be times when we want as much as possible, and a Dramatic Reversal untapping our commander and another dork will double our production. 

Mana Sink, Mana Sank, Mana Sunk

But making mana won't win us the game: spending that mana will. There's not a lot of great ways to spend a million mana with commons, but there are a few gems. Big Eldrazi are big threats no matter what format you're in, so Ulamog's Crusher and Hand of Emrakul are great ways to apply pressure. Still, we can go bigger. Fractal Summoning and Ivy Elemental make the sky the limit, and if our opponents should be so foolish as to allow a bold Mulldrifter to go unblocked, we can hit them with an Untamed Might. In addition to putting raw damage onto the board, there are some mana sinks that get pretty good with a ton of mana. Arcane Investigator is slightly better than our commander, and we need to draw cards badly. Casting Capsize with buyback over and over can be pretty brutal for our opponents, and Sprout Swarm grows an army faster than you'd think. 

Laying Down and Standing Up Infinite Times Would Give Me a Headache

Unfortunately, Pauper doesn't have enough mana sinks and massive creatures to effectively end a game. If Rust Goliath gets destroyed, it takes far too long to get another big beater. We can draw two extra cards every turn with Lore Weaver, but that doesn't progress our gameplan into a victory as long as our opponents have answers for the few monsters in our deck. That's why we're gonna lean into another aspect of the Twiddle Storm deck. The deck doesn't just make a ton of mana: it uses that mana to mill/draw itself into a Thassa's Oracle win. Once it gets its pieces on the board, it almost immediately wins, making itself into what is known as a combo deck. We can also lean into the combo side of things with Freed from the Real and Galvanic Alchemist. Because our commander taps and often produces four mana, either of these will allow us to untap the Ley Weaver infinitely, making as much mana as we need. And what to do with ten-million mana? Turns out our commanders were designed with going infinite in mind. Lore Weaver can force our opponents to draw cards, whether they like it or not. Activate her infinite times, and our opponents will be milled out. 

Luckily, we're not short of ways to find these two cards. Shrine Steward can find Freed from the Real, Muddle the Mixture can find Vedalken Aethermage, which can find Galvanic Alchemist, and Drift of Phantasms can find either. That gives us six ways of drawing into our instant win. This combo is blazing fast, as well. If we ramp on turn one or two, we can cast our commander turn three. Follow it up with Freed from the Real, and it's an instant win, turn four. 


For our interaction package, I designed it as if we were playing against other combo decks. That means an excess of counterspells, mostly to protect our commander as we're attempting to go off, but also to prevent our opponents' combos. There are a lot of good counterspells in Pauper, including the original, but also some ones with hidden utility, like Rewind and Unwind, which are both mana-positive, and although we can't play Force of Will, we still have a free counter in the form of Foil. With only two colors in the deck and a stupid amount of ramp, there's no need for a mana base with more than just basics, so having an Island in hand isn't unlikely. While we've got a lot of good counterspells, we can also run Cancel variants with a straight face. Like I said, this deck makes mana very easily. Unsummons as removal are quite effective, as bouncing a creature in response to a combo piece can often be a game-winning move. 


The deck is quite speedy, often going off on turn five or six. That being said, there are a few improvements that can be made. The easy one is replacing a few counterspells with cards like Tamiyo's Safekeeping. Because roughly half our counters are reserved for protecting our own combo, there's no reason to not swap the worst ones out for cheaper protection. The next problem is a bit harder to solve: our mana curve sucks. As an aggressive combo deck, there's no reason we shouldn't be able to play a spell every turn, including turn one. To be as mana-efficient as possible, we need to look at our ideal curve. We need a turn-one Llanowar Elves every game, but if we have that, then playing a two-drop on turn two wastes a mana. Therefore, we're swapping almost every two-drop piece of ramp out in exchange for a card with a mana value of one or three. After that, we're at turn three, and because most of our three-drop ramp adds one additional mana, we'll have five mana if we hit our land drop, enough for our commander and an additional one-drop. If we'd missed turn one and only cast a two-drop on turn two, we'd have one mana less when we cast our commander. One more point: try and avoid cards with the same mana cost as your commander, or you'll have an annoying choice to make when it comes time to cast them. 

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Is this a Pubstomper Deck?

The deck's a lot smoother now, and even though it was really good before, now, it can definitely claim its place as my best pauper deck. In fact, in sheer efficiency, it's probably one of my best decks ever. The problem is, however, that it's a combo deck in what is definitely a casual setting. Does using purely commons justify playing a deck that's only goal is to go infinite? As much as I like this deck, I struggle to see a place where it would be okay to play. It's not close to competitive enough for cEDH, but it's far too strong for casual play. How do you go about building a casual combo deck? Do you have a place where this deck would be acceptable?

Alejandro Fuentes's a nerd from Austin Texas who likes building the most unreasonable decks possible, then optimizing them till they're actually good. In his free time, he's either trying to fit complex time signatures into death metal epics, or writing fantasy novels.