60 to 100 — Jhoira and Her Mine-Ful Companions
Greetings to everyone, fans of Commander near and far! Dominaria is nearly upon us! Spoilers were spoiled. Podcasts were released! Seriously, go check out the new podcast. It's a pretty great time. Joey, Dana, and myself have had a blast recording the episodes so far and are looking forward to many many more for you.
But today isn't a day for casting out pods. Today is a day we finally get to brew with the full and new Dominaria set! I have one so exciting and brewtastic, so incredibly snowballish and combotastic that not one but two OTHER EDHREC writers have gotten giddy about the deck. I'm not going to beat around the bush here, so we're going to dive right into this heater.
— SCG Tour (@SCGTour) April 7, 2018
You read (and saw) that right, Owling Mine. If you didn't spend the whole 8 seconds to follow that link to check out the deck, let me help the lazy...
Yeah, man. The deck is almost as hilarious as the outfit Mr. Hoogland was wearing. Talk about embarrassing right!?! No, that's the outfit. Turns out the deck didn't do so hot in the tournament, but that doesn't mean that we can't take some ideas and turn them into our own 100-card pile of goodness.
Picking our Poison
So it takes a lot to get me to want to play straight blue & red commander decks. It's not a color combo that I'm overly fond of since it's just not my playstyle. It is a very popular color setup among Commander players though. One thing that Commander players have been clamoring for (after the Damnation reprint, that is) is to finally get a blue and red general that cares about artifacts. Saheeli Rai almost felt like a slap in the face being a blue/red planeswalker that does that, but still no legendary creature. Breya, Etherium Shaper was four colors of commander goodness, but still not the straight blue red. But now...
Yeah buddy! Not only does the new Jhoira care about artifacts, you get to care about ALL historic spells. Historic spells are a new "batch" of card types containing artifacts, legendary spells and Sagas starting with Dominaria. Not only does Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain satisfy the "cares about artifacts" theme, but she is open to even more play, which to me is win/win for Commander players and well worth the wait. In a deck where we want to draw all the cards, we have everything we need in an easy to cast 4-drop with LOADS of support.
Since the name of the game here is not let ourselves be restrained by the smallest/most efficient Howling Mine-type effects, we finally have a use for all those Anvil of Bogardans that you might have leftover from your Leovold, Emissary of Trest decks. One of my favorite cards in the family of "everyone draws cards" in Temple Bell gets its time to shine. The fact that we just happen to be in blue with all sorts of ways to abuse it is just peachy! Whether we go nutso with Paradox Engine or Mind Over Matter is nobody else's business but our own! Font of Mythos is just another glob of icing on this delicious cake of forcing everyone to draw cards. Take a quick look at the top played cards in decks playing Font of Mythos and you'll see that everyone tends to have the same idea.
Lot of synergy there folks
In a deck like this, there has to be some sort of a payoff for letting our opponents draw fistful after fistful of cards. We know from our 60-card counterpart that Ebony Owl Netsuke can punish opponents for having too many cards, especially if they have their own Reliquary Tower. That damage is fixed at four though, so our nocturnal shaped artifact certainly can be improved upon. Fevered Visions also does a fine job of filling their hand AND pinging them a bit but we still need to go bigger. This is where Iron Maiden and Viseling come into play. Being extra sources of damage speeds up the clock and gives us extra redundancy as well.
Little numbers, but big impacts
One thing I will say is that sometimes opponents can be...unreliable. You never know what they're going to do. Sometimes they will make sure all the work you go through is for nothing. Talk about unappreciative jerks! So that's why sometimes we just have to do things ourselves. Since everyone at the table will be drawing several cards a turn we may as well have a payoff for ourselves, right? One of my newly discovered loves right now is The Locust God. Every deck draws cards, that's just something that happens. The question becomes why wouldn't we reward ourselves for drawing a ton of cards ourselves? Once The Locust God is down we can assemble an army VERY quickly due to all of our extra draw effects. Combine the group draw effects with Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain herself and we instantly have a blueprint for a pain train to Pound Town. Or something like that.
On the Drawing Board
Since we're on the topic of patting ourselves on the back for drawing so many cards (nice job us!) there are other very real win conditions we can jam that play right into the gameplan. Psychosis Crawler is one that I forget about fairly often despite actually being in over 10,000 decks reported to EDHREC. And what are some highly synergistic cards with Psychosis Crawler you ask? Howling Mine! Duh! Seriously, lets try to keep up with what this whole article is about.
A card that has been the topic of many heated debates among the EDHREC writers is one that I would 100% jam in this deck, so I'm going just go right out and say it: Laboratory Maniac. Controversial or not, the card is played in over 11,000 decks on the site and that number will certainly grow when you think about what Jhoira, Weatherlisth Captain will do for the Commander crowd. Is it a boring win-condition? Maybe. Is it original? Obviously not. But I am a fan of always having a way to win games in your deck, and this is the sort of payoff card that we can work with.
Lastly, sort of a pet card for many of my own decks comes in the form of Altar of the Brood. If you're into the whole #mtgfinance thing you'll have noticed this card has started to take off in price recently which makes me very happy. The "other," altar has been slow to take off in popularity, but with all the cheap mana producers we play in this deck along with The Locust God sure to crank out insects every turn our milling capabilities goes through the roof when this is in play.
*insert grubby hand-wringing motion here*
Now then, let's just show you the entire list!
Connecting the Dots
- If your opponents don't want to draw cards, there is always a way to MAKE them draw cards. Nin, the Pain Artist could be your backup commander if you wanted to go another direction, but she's certainly welcome in the 99 here. Sorry Sam Alpert, Jhoira is just my bae. Whatever "bae," means. I think I used it right...
- I never thought I would want to build a Paradox Engine deck but here we are. This deck is the right kind of deck to get out of control with the controversial artifact to pull in this ol' Selesnya player.
- Artificer's Assistant might be the player's choice from Dominaria as the favorite meme card but Diligent Excavator in Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain decks might be the most popular route to go. Since we're trying to drain the opponent of all their resources, this lady gets the nod over the birb of the moment.
And there we have it! A brand new brew for a brand new legendary creature! What do you think! Is Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain the blue/red commander you've been waiting for or is she still not quite what you were hoping for? Is this type of deck event the right deck for her? Let me know what you think and what other Dominaria cards you're excited about!
Also, keep the suggestions coming for what brews you want to see covered. Thanks everyone!