This entry is part 7 of 23 in the series Savor That Commander Flavor

By William aka BlueRam
You know what? This hasn’t been a fun week, AT ALL.

Writing a weekly column about flavor can be awesome…when you actually have ideas for it. So what do I do? I end up spending over half a day diving through old “Savor the Flavor” articles looking for inspiration. And boy did I find it.

Planeswalkers as commanders? Creatures unique to commander? Sure! Why not? I could even write about why we start with larger life totals. I’m sure there’s PLENTY of yarn I can spin off of this stuff! Hell, I’ve got a secret project I’m working on involving people I like to call “Tommy” and “Bob” that could be the next breakthrough in target demographics for Wizards! (Think something along the lines of Timmy, Johnny, and Spike)

But now I’m two days away from my deadline, so all of these awesome ideas need to pushed back so I can flesh them out properly. I even stopped working on an article that was almost finished for this one, just because I didn’t feel it was up to snuff, and I’m tired of putting out a half-baked articles that receive little to no feedback.

But when will I get a chance to get to it? I work a 36-hr shift from Saturday to Monday, so I only have the two days before my deadline to actually work on the meat of these stories.

Even then my computer screen keeps flickering in the most obnoxious way. It keeps me from reading anything I need to read to write my article, AND it forces me to type blind. It’ll clear up for a couple of hours afterwards, but 20 mins of non-stop flickering is a part of my life that I will NEVER get back. Instead, I spend it clenching my hands at the screen like a mystic, trying to WILL it to settle the static down and conform to my eyesight. Sometimes it even works.

I’m still relatively inexperienced too. I’m perpetually losing in my regular playgroup, and I’m tired of living through the growing pains that come with trying to get better. I refuse to make the generic good decks that are required to win in my group, and when I DO win with decks I built myself, I can’t enjoy it because of the sour mood everyone else gets in. I want to win, and win NOW! Not to mention- DAMN IT, STOP FLICKERING, YOU GOD DAMN SCREEN!!!

All of this just keep piling on, and on, and on. It’s too much to take in stride. Thinking about it just makes me so…so…ANGRY! It just makes me want to…to…AAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THAT’S IT. I’m TIRED of thinking about this stuff! I want pain! I want destruction! I want retribution and reward for my hard work and effort! I’m letting go of reason and giving into emotional rage and embracing pure savagery! KARRTHUS, WHERE ARE YOU?!!!


THERE YOU ARE! We’re going out, NOW!

Karrthus was one of the first generals I’ve ever used, and I always bring him out for situations like this, that is to say, when I’m in a murderous frenzy.

The deck works like this: Play dragons, smash. YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?!

Dragons don’t worry about flickering screens. They don’t worry about typos and going back to correct them over, and over. They don’t give a damn if someone got Hazezon Tamar out with 15 lands in play. They just don’t give a rat’s ass! And they ESPECIALLY don’t care if their parents have been nagging at them for over a year now to cut their hair! I fucking LIKE my hair long, thank you very much!!!

But this dragon doesn’t fly solo. I run around with the nastiest flock…or pack…or whatever the hell a bunch of dragons call themselves, around. So who do we have besides Karrthus, who’s our unquestioned king of the mountain?

Since we’re bringing our own gang of dragons, let’s go ahead and bring some lizards that bring their own lizards with them too. Dragon Broodmother constantly in heat, in more ways than one, and quickly takes over the board with her token broodlings. And if they get hungry, we’ll just let them eat each other alive to get bigger. Broodmate Dragon ALWAYS comes with its partner in crime, so what everyone else thought was one card in your hand just turned into TWO. That means they’re going to need TWICE as many removal spells, and whatever they had just became half as effective. Ain’t math a hoot?

Hellkite Overlord is a fucking BEAST! He hits the board swinging, and survives anything as long as we can pay his regenerate cost. If I actually cared, I’d feel sorry for chump blockers and value creatures that try to stand up to him, since he goes right THROUGH everything with trample damage. Mana-Charged Dragon is another trampler in our arsenal, but with the added bonus that everyone else can chip in to help us one-shot whoever we want to rip apart at the moment.

With all of these high-cost dragons sitting in our hand, Kilnmouth Dragon has the chance to get HUGE and fast. Combined with haste granting effects like Dragon Breath (which can be sneakily discarded due to hand size early on), and Fires of Yavimaya, he’ll easily wipe out a quarter of someone’s life by himself.

Speaking of one-shot destruction, do your opponent’s run a lot of tokens and utility creatures? Nothing says “Welcome to the Jungle, BITCH!” quite like Balefire Dragon, Steel Hellkite, and Ryusei, the Falling Star. The first two have the power to lock people out of their creatures, and the other is a ticking time bomb that barely bothers us since we’re flying high in the sky, not giving a shit.

Furnace Dragon and Hoard-Smelter Dragon give us a way to get rid of artifacts that clutter up the board and confuse us with their overly-complicated combinations. We’re running, maybe, six artifacts ourselves so we get to mess everyone else’s game up without hurting ourselves ONE BIT.

Even with all of these huge-ass dragons, I’m not satisfied. I want them to be even BIGGER. I want them to be GODZILLA-sized monstrosities. I’m on a rampage here, not a damn charity run!

Increasing Savagery is our quintessential pump effect. It automatically turns Karrthus into a two-turn kill clock, gives Kilnmouth Dragon a chance to burn anything on the field, and flashes back for TWICE the amount of counters, even if they counter it the first time. Jugan, the Rising Star is a body first, pump effect second, and you BETTER believe that I’m going to be pissed that one of my dragons just died, even if I’m the one that killed him.

Preyseizer Dragon may be the new hatchling on the block, but he’s the perfect savagery target, and eats things by himself, even if it means eating Jugan for power or Ryusei to sent us up the bomb.

If pump counters aren’t available, then we still have fire-breathing dumps thanks to Bladewing the Risen and the gorgeous Moonveil Dragon. I’m about to crank the heat up to TWELVE in this bitch we call a kitchen.

But all of these awesome nasties cost a whole lot of mana. If we’re not careful, somebody’s going to think we’re just sitting around until we can play Karrthus, and when we can they’ll have everything in place to keep us under control. They don’t have any reason to be afraid of us.

So you know what? As soon as we start playing this game, we’re going to give everyone a REASON to fear us, and fear us fast! We’re going to ramp this shit right out of the gates and try to play Karrthus on turn four, and I’m going to do it WITHOUT that stupid, over-priced Mana Crypt!

Signets are one of the few things we can do on turn two. They give us mana ramping AND fixing for one thing. GOOD! Nice and simple! Hell, I’ll even use Sol Ring since I have one anyway. Wanna make somethin’ of it?

What’s that? Yes, I run Kodama’s Reach, Nature’s Lore and Skyshoud Claim, what of it? Land ramping means that your opponents are going to have a harder time slowing you down, which means that Karrthus is going to be out faster than anyone can deal with, especially if you get the chance to copy one of those spells with Increasing Vengeance.

You think I LIKE having my artifact ramp blown up? Well I DON’T! Unless you play in a LD heavy meta, they’re not going to be able to deal with it. People run spot removal more than anything else, and they’re certainly not going to use it on your basics. And if they DO run mass land destruction, then that’s when we use Rites of Flourishing. Everyone draws two, everyone drops two.

I’ve heard the whines before:

“But it gives everyone else a draw too!”

“They’ll destroy it before you get to draw!”

“You’re only getting two cards to everyone else’s six!”

You think dragons care about card advantage? You can draw as many cards as you want, but if I’m smashing your face with dragons before you have a chance to play them, then fat’ lot of luck those draws did for you! And it’s not a 2-vs-6 card comparison. One person isn’t accumulating six cards. It’s two cards per person, thank you very much.

What do you mean my math is wrong? You want a face full of dragon fist?!

Somberwald Sage looks like she enjoys a good time, and she’s green so you KNOW she appreciates pure force and strength more than that blue bastard player sitting across from you. I invite her to come with me wherever I go, and she helps Karrthus to gut punch the dork on turn four.

Speaking of dorks, even when I’m whipped into a frothing frenzy, I know that there’s more to magic than feeding your friends to hordes of dragons. There’s making sure that people don’t mess with our plans to feed them to hordes of dragons.

Vexing Shusher shuts down anyone who tries to weasel their way out of dealing with our brutes, and Ulvenwald Tracker makes sure that everyone gets to see them up close and personal. Fierce Empath helps us search out the best dragon for the job and goes great with a side-helping of Bladewing’s Thrall when being served to our devour guys.

That pair of Lightning Greaves I’ve got in the corner? Dragons don’t need something as trivial as shroud. Those are for Dragonspeaker Shaman, Dragonmaster Outcast and the aforementioned tracker. If you’re going to pick on my little buddies, the next time you talk it’s going to be through a straw.

But surely there’s more than just a bunch of dragons to this deck, right? My answer is a resounding “NO”. I told you already that the deck is nothing but play dragons, smash face. But that doesn’t mean we can’t get clever about it.

Wild Pair gives us that old Broodmate Dragon feeling by letting us turn one dragon into something even better: TWO dragons!

The Mana Flare we just used helps fuel Genesis Wave for anything between 18-35 cards, most of which gain haste from a Fires of Yavimaya, or Sarkhan Vol. It gets even bigger if we can Regrowth the flare, or doubling it with Increasing Vengeance for another use before pumping out Genesis Wave. Now THAT’S instant hell fire.

Just because we’re being clever, doesn’t mean we want anyone else getting all cutesy on us. Stranglehold fits this deck to a ‘T’, and makes sure that we’re all flexing our pecs to win instead of those ridiculous infinite-turn combos.

In fact, I hate infinite combos so much that I don’t do things like use Bear Umbra or Sword of Feast and Famine with my Hellkite Charger. Nope. The only other card I have that acts as fiery death win-condition happens to be Savage Beating.
Don’t like it? Think the deck sucks? Well FUCK YOU.

Photoshop by Mike aka Mightily Oats

1 Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Wooded Foothills
1 Fierce Empath
1 Gruul Signet
1 Increasing Savagery
1 Increasing Vengeance
1 Increasing Ambition
1 Steel Hellkite
1 Hull Breach
1 Primeval Titan
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Spinerock Knoll
1 Hoard-Smelter Dragon
1 Sarkhan the Mad
1 Sarkhan Vol
1 Hall of the Bandit Lord
4 Mountain
1 Cabal Coffers
1 Wild Pair
3 Forest
1 Preyseizer Dragon
1 Balefire Dragon
1 Chaos Warp
1 Rakdos Signet
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Asceticism
1 Ulvenwald Tracker
1 Violent Ultimatum
1 Badlands
1 Savage Lands
1 Rites of Flourishing
1 Defense of the Heart
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Ryusei, the Falling Star
1 Mosswort Bridge
1 Skarrg, the Rage Pits
1 Hellkite Charger
1 Hellkite Overlord
1 Blood Crypt
1 Bladewing the Risen
1 Bladewing’s Thrall
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Kessig Wolf Run
1 Phyrexian Tower
1 Victimize
1 Demonic Collusion
1 Kilnmouth Dragon
1 Dragonspeaker Shaman
1 Thunder Dragon
1 Moonveil Dragon
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Sol Ring
1 Bogardan Hellkite
1 Genesis Wave
3 Swamp
1 Grim Backwoods
1 Rootbound Crag
1 Stomping Ground
1 Bayou
1 Tooth and Nail
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Vexing Shusher
1 Furnace Dragon
1 Regrowth
1 Broodmate Dragon
1 Nature’s Lore
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Skyshroud Claim
1 Taiga
1 Beast Within
1 Worldly Tutor
1 Somberwald Sage
1 Stranglehold
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Dragonmaster Outcast
1 Savage Beating
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Kodama’s Reach
1 Shizo, Death’s Storehouse
1 Yavimaya Elder
1 Patriarch’s Bidding
1 Mana-Charged Dragon
1 Mana Geyser
1 Praetor’s Counsel
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
1 Jugan, the Rising Star
1 Fires of Yavimaya
1 Dragon Broodmother
1 Dragon Breath
1 Flameblast Dragon
1 Golgari Signet
1 Command Tower

…phew….I feel all raged out, and I actually feel better for it. I guess writing your problems out really DOES help out once in awhile. Thanks Karrthus, once again you’ve counseled me into using my anger towards something constructive instead of just mindlessly smashing my computer. And I’m sorry if I inadvertently offended anyone. I’m not quite myself when my temper peaks.

As always, if you have questions, comments, or requests for future articles, email me at wiehernandez(at)gmail(dot)com, or follow me on twitter @BlueRam1409.

Join me next week as I present the new Griselbanned, how I’ve been fine without him, as well as revealing who Tommy and Bob a- Grrrrrrr……DAMN COMPUTER SCREEN!!! I’LL F**K YOU UP! GRAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHH!!!!!!!!

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