378127_10150441621792624_1477312954_nBetween our theme weeks and the Commander 2013 coverage, my original article concept (a step by step building of your perfect EDH deck) is going to have to be shelved. I just do not have enough articles left before the end of the season to do it properly, and if I can’t do it properly I won’t do it at all. But luckily, I can still talk plenty about upgrading decks and janky synergies. My original idea is being overshadowed, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

And speaking of things being overshadowed, I feel like the new commander product has kind of taken the spotlight away from lots of other cool new EDH cards. Why, I feel like just recently we got another product with a bunch of new legendary creatures. And I think it may have even had a cycle of really cool ones that played differently than any other generals before them. Seems like they would be worth talking about, and maybe suggesting some tech for them. If only I could remember what they were. I seem to remember something to do with enchantments, and a new creature type…

Oh, that's right! These guys! They might be a little relevant.

Oh, that’s right! These guys! They might be a little relevant.

Right, our new pantheon of indestructible generals! With all the hub-bub (note to self: use the phrase “hub-bub” more often) about Commander 2013, I completely forgot to talk about deck building with these flashy buggers.

Alright, time for some remedial religious studies.

Heliod, God of the Sun

I (like many other people) gave Heliod a lot of flak before his release. And for the record, I stand by what I said about his ability being ridiculously over costed. However, just because the ability is expensive doesn’t mean that it can’t be exploited. And the fact that he is one of the only mono white generals capable of actually producing tokens on his own (and really, who plays Darien, King of Kjeldor? Only masochists) has somewhat endeared him to me, once I got a chance to see him in action.

A Heliod deck is pure tokens, that’s it. Where a Kemba deck has some aspects of voltron and a Darien deck relies heavily upon synergies and combos, Heliod just wants to make tokens to smash your face with. The key to victory with him is to not try and get “too cute” and over-complicate the deck. However, there are some synergies we can run to abuse the fact that the tokens are enchantments, and we can abuse the fact that they are clerics by pointing out to your opponent that they were beaten by an army of Fat Friars.

You're welcome, Hufflepuffs of the world.

You’re welcome, Hufflepuffs of the world.

Mentor of the Meek is a card that probably belongs in every white token deck ever. However, Ethereal Armor and Ajani’s Chosen are cards that are uniquely great in Heliod. Throw in a Greater Auramancy for protection and a Cathars’ Crusade for massive power, and you are well on your way to a pretty nasty token deck. SWARM THEM, MY ZEALOTS! SWARM!

Thassa, God of the Sea

Hooray! This god had no reason to cost less than the others, except that WOTC loves blue! And this is the only general with evasion at all! Every possible huzzah!

There we go, the obligatory blue hate is out of the way. Lucky for me, this general was not nearly as popular as I expected, as blue players seem to despise anything that involves the combat step. Unluckily for me, an unblockable, indestructible, five-power general is just as powerful as I feared it would be. In addition to being great in a multitude of decks for her draw fixing and providing evasion, Thassa also functions very powerfully at the head of her own aggro deck.

She is great with upping the value of equipment by removing the ability to block, eliminating many drawbacks or guaranteeing powerful triggers (Inquisitor’s Flail, Quietus Spike, Sword of anything and whatever, etc). She also doesn’t necessarily need equipment, because blue has many creatures that you don’t want to get hit with all on its own. The ninjas from Kamigawa and any ophidian creatures are good examples, or even unique effects like Thada Adel, Acquisitor. But the worst is Cephalid Constable. If he is able to get any kind of power pump at all while Thassa is out, the game is just over.

And this is all before we include blue’s usual tools of overpowered ridiculousness, like Bribery, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Mana Drain or True-Name Nemesis.

Sigh.

Indeed, my monochromatic friend. Indeed.

Indeed, my monochromatic friend. Indeed.

Erebos, God of the Dead

Hey, while we are on the subject of cards that were just as good as I expected, look at this gentleman over here. Would you want to f#%^ with him? Because I would not.

Somewhere between the solid gold shoulder pads, the exposed rib cage, and the whip that covers a country side, I get the feeling that I shouldn't mess with this guy.

Somewhere between the solid gold shoulder pads, the exposed rib cage, and the whip that covers a country side, I get the feeling that I shouldn’t mess with this guy.

Erebos is a strong inclusion in any number of decks, but sticking him as your general is where he really shines. Your general being able to draw you cards is such a huge advantage that it can not be overstated. It just defeats decks that rely on forcing their opponents into top deck mode, and guarantees that you always have something to do with your mana. (Four mana at the end of your turn? I’ll just grab up a few more cards for my next turn, thank you very much.)

Often, something as simple as Exquisite Blood is enough to replenish the life loss from Erebos, but I say go all in on the life gain. Run Wurmcoil Engine, Exsanguinate, and Gray Merchant of Asphodel. When you are gaining more life and drawing more cards than anyone else at the table, it’s going to be hard to find a way to lose.

I’m not going to spend any more time on Erebos, since I flattered him enough for Vorthos week. But I do have to mention one more thing.

He shuts down Oloro, Ageless Ascetic. Boo yah.

Purphoros, God of the Forge

Oh Purphoros, I am so sorry. Before your release, I said you would be okay in token decks. I said that you could hold your own as one of the ninety nine cards, but wouldn’t be any good as a general. I said that red’s token production was too weak, and that you were too underwhelming. I said that Marton Stromgald was better.

I was so very, very wrong.

Forgive me, you gorgeous, covered-in-molten-gold, burns everyone to death, b@$%@^&.

Why do only Erebos and Purphoros get there art spotlighted? Because it's my article and they are my favourites, that's why!

Why do only Erebos and Purphoros get their art spotlighted? Because it’s my article and they are my favourites, that’s why!

It’s not my fault though, Purphoros, I just didn’t know! I didn’t know that you would become one of my favourite EDH generals! I didn’t know how well you played with so many other red legends! Norin the Wary. Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs. Rakka Mar. Krenko, Mob Boss. Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker. Tuktuk the Explorer. On their own, any one of these legends can lead a deck. But put them behind your back, and you are like Superman leading the Justice League. A burny, smashy, vicious Justice league.

You make Grinning Ignus good. You make Firecat Blitz phenomenal. You turn Mogg Infestation from wiping out creatures to wiping out players.

Oh, Purphoros. You’re my favourite.

Nylea, God of the Hunt

Wow, wait. Really? I went from Purphoros to Nylea? Ah crap, and this is the last one. Man, way to end this on a sour note, Eric.

So Heliod and Purphoros were both better than I expected. Thassa and Erebos were just as good as I expected. And Nylea was just as garbage as I expected.

Don’t get me wrong, I get what WOTC tried to do. But the card just isn’t good. Rancor is going to be better nine times out of ten. Oh well, at least she makes up for it by getting the best weapon.

Don't play Nylea. Just mug her so you can play with her toys!

Don’t play Nylea. Just mug her so you can play with her toys!

Nylea is maybe okay as one of the ninety nine a green deck. But on her own she is just… blegh. I mean, I understand that Sylvan Primordial and Gaea’s Revenge are much better with trample. But there are so many ways to give your creatures trample, I just don’t see a point in playing her.

I suppose she is alright if you just want a big, green, stompy general. If only I could think of something else you could play…

Oh, what's this here?

Oh, what’s this here?

… anything at all that could be better…

Oh, and this? Is this some strange bookmark?

Oh, and this? Is this some strange bookmark?

… anything that could fill that same role, but maybe do it without sucking…

Hello blue players, I am your worst nightmare.

Hello blue players, I am your worst nightmare.

… Nope, I got nothing for you. Looks like your stuck playing Nylea, goddess of suckitude.

Special Post-Script!!!

Those of you who checked out my article on Commandercast last week know that we are going to run a precon general through every deck building column on this site! Well, the votes are in and we have…

A tie. Fudgecakes.

It was a two-way stalemate between Shattergang Brothers and Gahiji, Honored One, probably because you guys thought it would be cute to stick us with the two hardest-to-build generals in the set.

Well, there can only be one! So we left it in the hands of Brian to cast the deciding vote, since he would be the one building the initial list. And he chose…

C’mon, you didn’t actually think I would tell you? His article, with his deck list, goes up tomorrow. Check it out then to see who your winner is!

Eric is the worst tease on the planet. You can get in contact with him in the comments below, through email at EricBonvie@gmail.com, or via twitter @ThatBonvieGuy. And don’t forget to check out Rival’s Duel, to hear him slowly drive Nole Clauson down a pit of insanity and despair!