378127_10150441621792624_1477312954_nSo as you my have heard on this week’s episode of Commandercast (and if you haven’t, go listen to it now! The whole Commandercast.com staff is on to review the precons and make penis jokes at each others’ expense), we have put out the call to the Commandercast listeners to cast their vote for which new precon commander we are are going to put through a deck building gauntlet.

One general will go through every writer’s column over the course of two to three weeks, with the end result being a freakish Frankensteinian chimera of all our different deck building styles. What fun!

But maybe you’re still undecided regarding which general you want to cast your vote for. Cool, I’ve got something to help with that. Today I am going to go through all of the precon generals and give a quick synopsis of what I think their best deckbuilds are, as well as preview two cards that I am going to try and fit into the deck should you pick it as our contender for the gauntlet. (Sorry, can’t do more than two cards. You wouldn’t want me to give away all the upcoming tech now, would you?)

Ten generals? And two cards each? Oh, I am just going to make it rain tech!

Ten generals? And two cards each? Oh, I am just going to make it rain tech!

Oloro, Ageless Ascetic

I am of the opinion that the perfect Oloro deck should never cast its general. Getting that unstoppable life gain trigger every turn is so huge that you should probably never risk losing it to a tuck effect, so it’s best to keep this giant sitting on his LazyBoy where he belongs. And while he sits there, getting smellier and smellier for his refusal to bother getting up for a shower, you are going to be casting a variety of classic esper control cards. Lots of sweepers, removal, and counter spells backed up by tutors and advantage cards. In a deck like this, your win condition is going to be holding your opponents down with control and beating them to death with one good creature, or just buying yourself some time before going off with an infinite combo (for mercy’s sake, use a infinite combo! Do not make your opponent sit there while you beat them to death with a freaking Trinket Mage). And the two preview cards for this kind of deck would be…

Well of Lost Dream: This card is so good with this general that even WOTC realized it, and included it in the precon. This underplayed artifact will make it so you are paying two mana and drawing two extra cards at the beginning of every turn. And since Font of Mythos gets much better when you’re the only one drawing, you should probably play this card.

Felidar Sovereign: Nothing like a one card win condition. In this deck it is going to be difficult for most opponents to hurt your life total in a meaningful way, so the odds of this guy not being activated are very, very low. And even if you do drop below forty, having him on the field means that you are gaining six life a turn, quickly getting you back into instant-win range.

Sydri, Galvanic Genius

Yup, someone really wanted to play all those good esper cards in their Karn, Silver Golem deck. And what an upgrade it is! Didn’t like that Karn made vanilla creatures? Turn them all into Wurmcoil Engines! Didn’t like how vulnerable your combo was to removal? No problem, pack in some counter magic! Didn’t like how inconsistent your deck was? We can fix that, there are tons of artifact tutors in black, white, and blue!

… F#%^ing Hell.


Ms. Sydri, I would like you to meet Mr. Pug. I think he has something to say to you.

Mycosynth Lattice/Liquimetal Coating: We all know what you’re going to do with this deck. You’re going to turn all your opponent’s lands into creatures, and let them die from being 1/1’s. Let’s all just accept that you are going to make a lot of opponents very angry, and move on.

Vault of the Archangel/Karn, Silver Golem: When your deck is as general dependent as this one, redundancy is good. These two cards are already awesome on their own, and have the addition of being back-ups of Sydri in case of tuck. Plus, it will make you feel better about retiring your Karn deck if you still get to run him.

Jeleva, Nephalia’s Scourge

The temptation to play your opponent’s stuff is strong. The temptation to use a legendary vampire to cast your opponent’s stuff for free is even stronger. And while that will always be a powerful and viable option open to you, it’s not what you want to do with this deck.

Instead, make like Buddha and seek inward for your answers.

Not the only thing we have in common, Buddha was also famous for podcasting about his hobbies. Nirvana is just filled with hours of audio about how he loved to sit cross legged.

Things Eric likes more than recycling pictures from old articles: 1, mono red card advantage. 2, damage totals in the double digits. End of list.

It is way easier and more consistent to pack your deck full of spells that you want to cast for free than to hope your opponent has something cool to cast. Add in the fact that you can just hard cast your massive spells in the late game for a win, and the fact that grixis has some of the best instants and sorceries anywhere, and you have a solid deck for the wannabe sorcerer in all of us.

Scroll Rack: Would I like a card that allows me to always have something to play while also fixing my deck for Jeleva triggers? Why, yes I would. How kind of you to ask. And you say it’s available in a fancy foil as well? Now isn’t that just lovely.

Seize the Day: If this card gets cast from your hand, then it is a seven mana investment for three attacks and three free spells. If you cast it with Jeleva, you get three attacks and two free spells for the massive discount of two and a red. And people have the gall to say that red is the worst colour in EDH.

Nekusar, the Mindrazer

This guy is more fun than a s#!%faced grandma at your family reunion. He draws everybody at the table cards while killing your opponents for the gifts you are giving them. Add in a few wheel effects, some heavy discard, and some more direct burn and you have a deck that makes sure your opponents not only get to play, but have to play reeeeeaally quick – or else they’re going to find out that your Santa Claus general is really the boogeyman in disguise, coming to torch their faces off for the greedy draws you let them have.

Notion Thief: Let’s say you’re done being nice. Let’s say that you’ve decided that your opponents have drawn quite enough cards for one day. Then it is time to invite Nekusar’s boyfriend over to snatch up some of those draws for yourself. At a four person table, this will make it so you start your next turn with at least five fresh new cards. That is practically a whole new hand all on its own. If it sticks around for a few turns, the chances of you losing quickly drop to negative decimals.

Helm of the Ghastlord: This fashionable piece of headwear will protect your general from rain, sun, and the goodwill of other players. This will turn all (Yes, all.) of your opponents draws into loots, and give you a free card every time they do it. RAGE QUIT WARNING: If this lands on a Nekusar while an opponent has no cards left in hand, then they will end up never drawing another card again while milling two, getting shocked, and giving you a free Divination every turn. Some people will run home and cry to the internet about this. Be polite, and wait for them to be out of earshot before doing your touchdown dance.

Don't stop, believing! Hold on to that feeling!

Don’t stop believing! Hold on to that feeling!

Prossh, Skyraider of Kher

My brother! I am not going to bother telling you how to build this guy, since I already gave you a full list a couple weeks ago. I will just tell you that he rocks as much as you think, and that I cuddle him close when I drift off to sleep at night. Hold on, if I gave you a full list, then how am I supposed to give you two new pieces of tech? Should I just skip that section for this one? No, I promised you at least two cards for each general and I will deliver! Luckily for me, I have made some additions to the deck that I can go ahead and slide into this article.

Decree of Pain: Turns out, this card is good in a ramp deck that has black in it. It’s even better when that deck is able to produce massive amounts of tokens. Who knew?

Essence of the Wild: Hehehehe. Hahahaha. HAHAHAHAHA!!!! MUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!! *cough* Ah, yes. Play this card.

Shattergang Brothers

It’s time to break some stuff. Stacks has never been my kind of deck, but this particular general seems to be built for it. Jund has some really powerful stacks effects and lots of recursion and token production to back it up, so it should be no problem getting this engine going – as long as we get enough mana to really use that ability.

Hammer of Purphoros: As many people have pointed out, the tokens produced by this card are artifacts, creatures, and enchantments. So you can make and sacrifice a single token to hit any of the new Mario Bros targets. You are going to need to recur that land you lost, but that’s a whole different series of cards we will get to… if you guys vote for these little goblins, that is.

Krenko, Mob boss: This smirky bugger will produce two creatures for you to feed to your sacrifice effects every single turn. And once the board is nice and clear of creatures, he will be able to quickly generate enough tokens to quickly alpha strike your opponents out of the game. LET’S GO, GOBLINS, LET’S GO!

I am the prettiest cheerleader you ever did see!

I am the prettiest cheerleader you ever did see!

Marath, Will of the Wild

I wanted WOTC to print a playable naya general, and I wasn’t disappointed. This guy slices, he dices, he removes and generates tokens… He does everything short of cooking you a three course meal. His powerful versatility will be the strong point of his deck. Is he going to generate tokens? Burn away my planeswalker? Make a problem creature even bigger? Odds are, he’s going to do all three. And opponents will weep because of it.

Cathars’ Crusade: This will allow you to play tokens with Marath, and get +1/+1 counters out at the same time! Wait, what’s that you say? The +1/+1 counters will also go on Marath? So you can keep generating bigger and bigger tokens as long as you have mana? Well, I definitely didn’t know that before I suggested this card.

Champion of Lambholt: Another card that does tokens and counters at the same time. Except this guy doesn’t go near-infinite with Marath, it just makes it so you can’t block any of the tokens. So I guess that isn’t quite as good? (Spoiler alert: it absolutely is.)

Gahiji, Honored One

Lots of people don’t believe in Gahiji, and I understand why. He lacks the real oomph that a lot of these generals bring, and smacks of having had his power level scaled down. But you know what, I can be made a believer. His ability is strong enough in token and aggro decks that I think he could turn into a powerhouse. And we have already seen with Jor Kadeen that a power boost is not insignificant, especially if you have double strikers or extra combat steps. Oooh, that gives me an idea!

Aurelia, the Warleader: It’s an extra combat step trigger that also benefits from the boost to power! It’s like having your cake and eating it too! This card is huge on its own, with Gahiji, with an army of tokens, or with an army of tokens and Gahiji. Like brunch, delicious anytime of the day!

Have Aurelia in the morning! Have her at night! Have her in the afternoo... How did I get this far into the joke before realizing what it sounded like I was saying?

Have Aurelia in the morning! Have her at night! Have her in the afternoo… How did I get this far into the joke before realizing what it sounded like I was saying?

Rise of the Hobgoblins: What’s better than an army of tokens? How about an army of tokens with +2/+0 and first strike? And the best thing about this card is that it doesn’t just effect the tokens it generates, and everyone always forgets that it exists. So they will all be surprised when Gahiji suddenly has first strike.

 Derevi, Empyreal Tactician

I have heard people say that this is the new Edric. I can’t say that I disagree with them. She is powerful when you cast her early, and her casting cost will never go up. Add to that the flash, uncounterable, and the tapping and untapping, and you have a general built to win. Luckily, her power level seems to take a dip in multiplayer. But make no mistake, this bird is way scarier than anything Alfred Hitchcock ever filmed swooping around.

Winter Orb/Hokori, Dust Drinker: Your lands don’t untap. Of course, neither do mine! Until I hit you, that is. And make no mistake, I will be hitting you. A lot.

Hero of Bladehold: Token producers are very good in Derevi. Token producers that like to attack are even better. Token producers that like to attack and also pump up Derevi’s power… You get the idea.

Roon of the Hidden Realm

And bant finally gets the blink general they have been crying for. This dude is blink on a stick in colors that have lots of blink on a stick to back him up. There have been plenty of decks in the past that have demonstrated the power of blinking your creatures, and I have no doubt that someone is engineering a vicious version of this guy as I type this sentence.

Deadeye Navigator: There are a lot of very powerful blink engines out there. This guy is irrefutably the strongest, by large margins. His ability to blink the same creature multiple times a turn is busted, and has been the bane of many a table since his release in Avacyn Restored.

Prophet of Kruphix: What’s better then using Roon to blink a card on your turn? Using him to blink a card every turn! Oh, and casting creatures whenever you want seems okay too, I guess. With all those ‘enter the battlefield’ triggers, and everything. Seems alright.

There you go, recommendations for each of the new commanders. Now head on over to this week’s episode of Commandercast and vote in the comments there for which general you want to see run through every deck building column on this site!

Select your fighter… Now!

I got dibs on Scorpion!

I got dibs on Scorpion!

Eric rushes through his epilogues because he is late for work, but he also writes on Commandercast.com. Check him out on Rivals’ Duel with Nole Clauson, or leave a comment below to reach him. You can also talk to him on Twitter @ThatBonvieGuy, or via email at EricBonvie@gmail.com.