Archetune-Up - Atla Palani's Eggcelent Adventure

(Atla Palani, Nest Tender l Art by Ekaterina Burmak)

Let's Get Crackin'!

Hello, and welcome back to Archetune-Up, a weekly article series devoted to tweaking a deck with the help of the EDHREC Theme pages!

This is the final installment of my mini-series where I go through the last of the reader-submitted decks that I have in my queue. Today's deck was submitted by another content creator, one you might have heard of before: the one and only Chase Carroll (@ManaCurves)!

Chase's deck is led by one of the most popular commanders out of Commander 2019: Atla Palani, Nest Tender!

Atla Palani by Chase

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Comander (1)
Creatures (26)
Instants (10)
Sorceries (10)
Artifacts (7)
Enchantments (7)
Planeswalkers (3)
Lands (36)

Chase has a really solid Atla list. There's a good balance of threats, sac fodder, and deck smoothing between ramp and card draw for the deck to function well. That being said, I'm sure there's a theme on EDHREC for us where we can locate some interesting new tech. Despite coming out only about four months ago, Atla Palani, Nest Tender has nearly 1,000 decks already, and quite a number of themes to choose from!

So which one would be best-suited for Chase's deck?

I've Heard of Beating Eggs, but This is Ridiculous

I decided to utilize the most interesting (and most under-utilized theme) in Atla Palani's arsenal: the Sacrifice Theme. At the time of writing, there are only seven of these Atla Sacrifice decks, but they come with a plethora of really interesting options that I was more than happy to add into the list.

Let's help ourselves to the meat of this theme first: the sacrifice outlets! Out of the ten cards I added to the deck, four of them are ways to sacrifice things, two of which are sorceries, and two of which are enchantments.

This deck is focused on cheating out big, expensive creatures for cheap, and no spell does that better than Natural Order. Yes, you can only sacrifice and tutor green creatures, but in a deck like Chase's, that isn't much of a restriction. We can sacrifice an Egg (which happen to be green), tutor for some crazy green creature like Zacama, Primal Calamity, Gishath, Sun's Avatar, or Polyraptor, and just drop it into play! On top of tutoring a creature from our deck, since we sacrificed an Egg (hopefully with Atla Palani out), we'll also trigger her and be able to to cheat a creature from the top of our deck into play, too!

I don't know about you, but I quite enjoy making my opponents sweat and forcing them to make hard choices. Razia's Purification fits this bill to a "T". Forcing everyone to choose three permanents (lands included) and sac the rest is incredibly backbreaking, especially if you are sacrificing multiple Eggs and cheating a bunch of huge beaters into play when the dust settles. When you play this card properly, you'll be leagues ahead of your opponents. Being the player with the biggest creatures after a move like that is a death knell for many opposing decks. Not only that, but if you sacrifice everything but Atla Palani and two mana producers, you'll be able to build up another stock of Eggs, undisturbed! Razia's Purification can be the cause of a lot of feel-bads, so please use it responsibly, like when you think winning the game is within your reach.

Next, we move on to the enchantment-based sacrifice outlets: Evolutionary Leap, and Shivan Harvest. Both of these are quite powerful, and both provide effects that this deck really appreciates.

Evolutionary Leap allows us to squeeze even more value from sacrificing our Eggs, flipping a creature onto the board while also drawing one into our hand. Leap can also help us hedge against board wipes, since we're able to sacrifice our huge threats that were going to die anyway. This sets us up for out next turn to deploy more huge creatures that our opponents will have to answer.

Shivan Harvest helps us trade our Eggs in to dispose of troublesome nonbasic lands like Maze of Ith, Cabal Coffers, or Field of the Dead. No card type is sacred in Commander; if your opponents are doing powerful and unfair things with lands, we need a way to fight them on that axis. Harvest allows us to do that handily while, importantly, giving us another way to get rid of our Eggs.

It's Like an Egg with Two Yolks

Since we've covered the ways we plan on sacrificing things, let's move on to threats that we get to cheat out! Chase's deck was chock full of chonkers, so I only ended up adding three creatures to this section.

Gisela, Blade of Goldnight is an incredible card, provided that you have the seven mana to cast her. Her prohibitive mana cost is somewhat mitigated in this deck, though, considering we have the chance of hatching her from an Egg! We're always in the market for a big flier, especially one that can double damage dealt to opponents and halve damage dealt to us and our permanents. This works even better in our deck since a handful of our creatures have trample, doubling any of the leftover damage that get dealt to our opponents after dealing lethal blows to their creatures. She definitely is at home in this deck.

Another incredibly powerful creature I added to the deck is Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger. This deck has a lot of moving parts that need to work in concert in order for our strategy to work. Due to this, a more efficient deck that can pick at our weak points can cripple us without much effort. After adding in Razia's Purification and deciding that I wasn't going to play with the kiddie gloves on, Vorinclex was a logical next step. A huge beater that can help us cast our own threats if need be (and who also disrupts our opponents' momentum) is exactly the kind of card we want. Similar to Vorinclex, Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite would also be a great inclusion into this deck. While she just missed the cut, she is a powerful creature to be able to play for free when sacrificing an Egg, and she can shut down some decks and strategies single-handedly.

The final "threat" in the deck is a bit more frail than the previous two, but just as game-warping. Seedborn Muse dreams to be included in decks like Atla Palani's. Untapping all of our permanents on each turn allows us to expedite our Egg-manufacturing process considerably, giving us oodles of fodder to fuel whatever dastardly tricks we have up our sleeve. I can't think of a more perfect card to include in an Atla Palani deck. It cranks up our deck's efficiency to an almost unfair degree and turns us into a huge problem for our opponents.

It's Not an Omelette Without Veggies

Finally we make it to the "vegetables" of my inclusions. These cards are ones that are generally good for this deck and may have some synergy, but aren't necessarily haymakers or 'spicy' inclusions like the cards above.

Considering Chase was already running Warstorm Surge, I figured Aura Shards would complement it nicely. We have plenty of creatures entering the battlefield, whether they're Eggs or the creatures hatching from them. With Aura Shards out, we should be able to cull our opponents' threatening enchantments and/or artifacts, including even their mana rocks, if necessary, and press our advantage when the opposition is at its most vulnerable. This card is basically the Selesnyan version of Grave Pact, and people don't often respect it nearly as much as they should.

Worldly Tutor is Congregation at Dawn's older (and less mana-intensive) cousin. Since Congregation was already in the deck, I thought throwing in the original creature tutor would be appropriate. Often, tutoring something to the top of your deck is a downside, since you'd rather put it into your hand, but in this situation, this is exactly what we want. Whether we plan on getting rid of an Egg ourselves, or if an opponent plans on killing one in some way, we can instantly guarantee which creature is going to come out! Combine this with table-shaking cards like Zetalpa, Primal Dawn, and the aforementioned Seedborn Muse, for plays that will leave your opponents always questioning whether they should kill your creatures or just leave you alone for the rest of the game.

The final card from this theme is one that I play in a handful of my personal decks: Thousand-Year Elixir. Elixir is right at home in this deck. Allowing Atla to use her activated ability to create an Egg as soon as she enters the battlefield is fantastic, and being able to untap her or any other creature is just icing on the cake. If Elixir is out, it's often a good idea to play our commander off curve, instead prioritizing ramp and establishing a better board state so that we can start pumping out Eggs as soon as she comes into play. We already have Rhythm of the Wild and Urabrask, the Hidden to give our creatures haste and allow Atla to activate the turn we cast her, but having a third option that will also let us double up on Egg production is a much-welcome addition.

I Like My Opponents How I Like My Eggs: Beaten

Once again, we find ourselves at the end of the article (or, depending on the time that you're reading this, perhaps at the end of a good breakfast).

Naya is definitely not a color combination I am familiar or comfortable with. Much like my Shanna, Sisay's Legacy article in August, this was an interesting delve into a deck and style that was outside of my wheelhouse. Much like my Sisay article, though, the individual submitting the deck made my job easy. I had a great template to work from, and Chase's deck was solidly build from the get-go.

Like my last two articles, there wasn't much extra I could bring to the table, myself, that could help the deck. I simply added Forerunner of the Empire, to help try and assemble various Polyraptor combos, and Magewright's Stone, to help get multiple uses out of Atla Palani. Everything else was already included and accounted for.

The one thing I will add about this deck is that there are a lot of moving parts. This isn't a combo deck, but you want to make sure that events occur in certain sequences and that you draw cards at the right time to maximize potency. A Sensei's Divining Top, or Scroll Rack could go a long way in this regard. That aside, this is a deck that I would goldfish about ten times before actually playing a game. There is an important balance between sacrifice fodder, Egg production, and giant threats that needs to be taken into consideration to make sure the deck is able to realize its goal. Unlike some other decks, this is a delicate machine that needs to make sure everything is in its proper order so it can function optimally. This not a downside, but it is something that must be kept in mind when building and playing it.

I appreciate Chase, Amber, and Rachel for their patience in giving me the time to be able to reorganize my schedule and writing layout over the past two months while I shifted to writing weekly articles. Their decks have been a blast to look at and write about, and it was refreshing to be able to look at decks constructed by actual humans once again as opposed to the average list generated by EDHREC.

These will be the last reader-submitted decks I'll be going over for the foreseeable future, but worry not, I will come back to them one day! Make sure you follow me on Twitter (link below) to find out when deck submissions open again!

I just want to say a big thank you to Chase, Amber, and Rachel as well as to every person who has ever allowed me to engage with them and their deck through this article series. You're all the reason why I started writing and am where I am today.

Most of all, thank you, dear reader. I really do appreciate you. You're the reason I keep doing this.

If you’d like to reach me, I’m quite active on Twitter (@thejesguy) and have an email that I do my best to respond to ( If you have any comments, questions, concerns, or anything else of the sort, please don’t hesitate to leave them below or get in touch!

As always, thanks for you time, and thank you for arche-tuning in!

An Absolute Eggstravaganza!

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Comander (1)
Creatures (18)
Instants (10)
Sorceries (7)
Artifacts (7)
Enchantments (7)
Planeswalkers (2)
Lands (36)
Sacrifice Theme (10)
Potpourri (2)

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Angelo is a Connecticut resident who started playing Magic during Return to Ravnica, and has made it his mission to play Jeskai in every format possible. Along with Commander, he loves Limited, Cube, and Modern, and will always put his trust in counterspells over creatures. He is still hurt by Sphinx's Revelation's rotation out of Standard.

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