Vorthos Vortex: Celebrating St. Patrick's Day with The Lady of Otaria

Justin Fanzo • March 10, 2023

Greetings, Commander players! Today I return to you with another edition of Vorthos Vortex, the column that builds casual, flavor-filled Commander decks.

With St. Patrick's Day quickly approaching, I thought that it would be fun to craft a deck themed around the holiday and Irish mythology and folklore more broadly. Unfortunately, there is no leprechaun creature type yet (looking at you, WotC!) in Magic. There is the card Aisling Leprechaun from the Legends set, though it is classified as a Faerie. While Aisling Leprechaun will be making an appearance in our deck, the crux of our deck will be Dwarves, as they synergize with our commander and are one of the closest creature types to leprechauns that we have in the game thus far. They also have Treasure synergies, which we will be leaning into to evoke the theme of cauldrons of gold, a popular staple of leprechaun mythology and St. Patrick's Day. The commander of our deck is The Lady of Otaria, who cares about having Dwarves on the battlefield and having Dwarves in our deck that we can fetch off the top of our library. I will also be implementing a sub-theme of luck by including dice-rolling cards, as the four-leaf clover and St. Patrick's Day are both often associated with luck.

I chose this commander because she looks like a warrior or god from western and northern Europe and because her creature synergy, Dwarves, works well with the theme of St. Patrick's Day.

As always, I will be posting a recommended deck list for this themed Commander deck (found at the bottom of the article). Before that, let's take a look at the key pieces of the deck for both strategy and Vorthos.


Creatures, especially Dwarves, are the crux of this deck. While Dwarves can allow us to cast our commander without paying its mana cost and our commander can retrieve Dwarves from the top of our deck when we sacrifice lands, we will not be exclusively including Dwarves in our deck, both because there is not a critical mass of Dwarves to create an evenly moderately viable deck and because there are a number of flavorful and powerful non-Dwarves that we will want to include to make the deck complete.

With that said, Dwarves still make up about a quarter of the deck, so we should still hit them regularly with The Lady's ability. I won't be covering all of the Dwarves in the deck, as many of them are self-explanatory, but I want to highlight a few important ones here.

Bomb Squad is a creative form of removal that also deals indirect burn damage. Druid of the Emerald Grove is a creative form of ramp that also evokes the luck sub-theme. Dwarven Blastminer is an excellent tool for dealing with pesky lands such as Cabal Coffers and Gaea's Cradle--it's certainly a very meta-dependant card, as land destruction is a no-no in some groups, but I had to mention it here. (Note: I've included a number of land destruction Dwarves in this deck build, but you can always include the honorable mentions at the end of the article or cards of your choice to replace them if you don't like running land destruction).

Dwarven Recruiter is a ridiculously powerful card in this deck, as it allows us to fetch as many Dwarves from our deck as we want and put them on top of our deck. In theory, we could fetch every Dwarf in our deck and then activate The Lady of Otaria's ability to retrieve four of them each turn. Of course, we don't have to fetch all of them, we can just fetch our power players and retrieve them with the ability. The wording of Dwarven Recruiter's ability allows for flexibility.

Seven Dwarves is an excellent value card, and what's more, its card text allows any deck to have seven copies of it in the deck. That includes Commander decks, so you can include up to seven copies of the card to help reach a critical mass of Dwarves. I've included five copies for this build, but if you decide to omit any of the other cards in the decklist, you can always replace them with two more of the Seven Dwarves

Storm-Kiln Artist is a well-known powerhouse, but it's worth mentioning that in this deck we will be using the card differently than it is often used in other decks. Our deck generates a lot of Treasure tokens but doesn't have many instants and sorceries, so instead of being a source of mana like it is in many decks, it's an aggressive juggernaut or even a game-ender that seeks to take advantage of the Treasure that we generate from other sources.

Torbran, Thane of Red Fell increases damage from red sources by two. One's mind might initially go to burn spells and direct damage, but it's worth noting that the ability includes creatures, so most of the creatures in our deck (including our commander) will hit for extra damage with Torbran on the battlefield.

There are also a number of non-Dwarves that are important to our deck. Academy Manufactor gives us added value for creating Treasure tokens. Professional Face-Breaker is a Commander staple at this point, and it is an obvious inclusion for this deck. Xorn gives us an additional Treasure whenever we create Treasure, an ability that can get out of hand rather quickly.

Earthshaker Giant is an excellent game-ender, offering a budget version of Craterhoof Behemoth's ability.

Finally, I'm including Aisling Leprechaun for purely Vorthos reasons.

Instants and Sorceries

Besides the staple ramp cards, such as [elCrop Rotation[/el] and Rampant Growth, most of the instants and sorceries in this deck are Treasure-related cards that either create Treasure tokens or utilize Treasure tokens to gain advantages in the game.

Particularly powerful instants and sorceries include Unexpected Windfall, Brass's Bounty, Inspired Tinkering, and Seize the Spoils. I also want to highlight You've Been Caught Stealing as a flavor win, as in Irish Mythology, leprechauns are known for hiding their gold in difficult-to-find locations such as the ends of rainbows. I like to think of that card as a depiction of unlucky travelers being caught by a leprechaun.

One particularly powerful card is Reckless Endeavor, which is a potential board wipe that also evokes the theme of luck and creates Treasure tokens--a synergy trifecta!

Artifacts and Enchantments

There aren't many enchantments in this deck, but the ones that are in it are incredibly powerful.

Rain of Riches gives the first spell we cast each turn with Treasure Cascade, and the great thing about this deck is that we're okay with casting almost every card in the deck off of Cascade. We don't have counterspells or response cards that would fizzle off of a Cascade trigger.

Shiny Impetus and Sticky Fingers both enchant creatures and give us Treasure tokens off of the enchanted creature's attacks, though the important difference is that Shiny Impetus goads a creature, so we can actually use it as a form of pseudo-removal in multiplayer games.

When it comes to artifacts, we have an assortment of flavorful and useful cards that will generate Treasure and draw us cards. Loreseeker's Stone allows us to pay 3+X mana (x is equal to the number of cards in our hand) to draw three cards. Treasure Chest is a luck-themed piece that allows us to either draw cards, create Treasure, or tutor for artifacts depending on the result of a D20 roll. Treasure Map is particularly nifty, as it transforms into a land that allows us to sacrifice Treasures to draw cards.

Tempting Contract is an incredibly fun political card that allows our opponents to create a Treasure token on our upkeep. The catch? We get to create a Treasure token for each Treasure token that our opponents create. It creates a fun political dynamic where players barter to see who plans on creating a Treasure and weigh whether it's worth letting the owner of the card create multiple Treasure tokens (it almost never is).

Finally, I'm including Entrancing Lyre as a Vorthos piece, as lyres and harps are an important aspect of Irish myth. Entrancing Lyre allows us to tap down an opponent's creature for as long as the Lyre remains tapped. While the ability doesn't initially sound very powerful, keep in mind that this ability allows us to tap down problematic haymakers such as Eldrazi or even shut down commanders with tap abilities, such as Krenko, Mob Boss and Shorikai, Genesis Engine.


The most important thing to consider about this deck when it comes to lands is that we will want to be able to sacrifice lands in order to activate The Lady's ability. On top of including cards such as Crop Rotation that allow us to sacrifice lands, we'll want to include lands with sacrifice abilities as well. Obviously, the incredibly expensive fetch lands will come to mind, and if you have them you should definitely include ones relevant to this deck, but there are a number of budget lands with sacrifice abilities that I've included in today's decklist that will help us consistently activate The Lady's ability.

Probably the most powerful land in this deck is Treasure Vault, as it not only has a sacrifice ability, but it also allows us to potentially generate a ton of Treasure tokens.

Honorable Mentions

These cards are rather expensive, so I omitted them from the decklist. They fit the deck well for synergistic or strategic reasons, however, so if you have them or are willing to pay for them, they are certainly worth including:

Ancient Copper Dragon The Reaver Cleaver Fable of the Mirror-Breaker Old Gnawbone

Expensive fetch lands such as Wooded Foothills are also worth including, as they will trigger our commander's ability.

Final Thoughts

I hope you find this St. Patrick's Day deck to be fun and flavorful. It provides interesting synergies and an extra dose of luck that leads to interesting and unexpected outcomes while also providing a degree of consistency with the Dwarf synergies. With that, I hope that you all enjoy some Irish cuisine, St.Patrick's Day parades, and friendly festivities this St. Patrick's Day! Until next time, happy gathering Commander players!

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I'm an avid gamer with a passion for game design and both critical and creative writing. I've been playing Magic: the Gathering for over 15 years, and I've been playing the Commander format since its official adoption by Wizards of the Coast in 2011. My articles focus on vorthos deck building, designing decks for overlooked commanders, and designing commander cubes.