This entry is part 10 of 23 in the series Savor That Commander Flavor

“Body and spirit are sworn enemies. They will take any excuse to be rid of each other.”
—Tariel, Reckoner of Souls


Last week, when I wrote about Merieke Ri Berit and Olivia Voldaren, I compared the two generals and how I tried to emulate one with the other. For the most part, I feel like I succeeded. Olivia steals creatures like Merieke does, and she can control the board while continuing to be a fun card to play with.

But what I haven’t done yet, is let the deck evolve to support itself if something were to happen to Olivia.

According to Gary, he started the deck with cards specifically with Merieke in mind, but they eventually got pushed out for cards that were better on their own, like Consecrated Sphinx. It eventually got to the point where he could win without relying on Merieke. She became specialized spot removal rather than the focus of the deck.

He had created a deck that no longer “needed” to cast his commander to be effective, and he would go on to do the same thing with his current take on Hazezon Tamar.

Anyone who’s more than casually interested in EDH wants their deck to be the best it can be, but is it wise to relegate the flagship of your deck to accessory status?

Well, that depends.

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