Cavalry Charge - Upgrade Guide

Cavalry Charge
(Sidar Jabari of Zhalfir | Art by Simon Dominic)

Hello friends! And welcome back to EDHREC for another Scrap Trawlers precon Upgrade Guide. I’m Andy, and today I’m seeing if I can amp up the Cavalry Charge precon from March of the Machine for just a few bucks.

As you may have seen in my primer for Cavalry Charge, I’m really happy with the deck right out of the box. Seriously, very few notes. As far as precons go, this one, as the kids say, slaps. So where can we go to improve it?

I’m gonna upgrade a couple of lands, give the deck a few anthem effects, and make sure our commander is hitting opponents more often for that sweet recursion triggered effect.

And for all you big spenders out there, stay tuned to the end, because we’re gonna look at some pricey cards to upgrade the list as well.

In Charge of the Charge

This deck is led by Sidar Jabari of Zhalfir. He’s a 4/3 white, blue, and black Human Knight with flying and first strike, and he brings a Knight back from our graveyard whenever he connects with an opponent’s face. Oh, also Eminence. Holy crap, we got Eminence again! Sidar’s ability, whether he’s on the field or in the zone, lets you loot (draw a card and discard a card) whenever you attack with Knights. 

Here’s the original decklist:

Cavalry Charge Precon

View on Archidekt

Commander (1)
Creatures (32)
Artifacts (13)
Enchantments (2)
Instants (6)
Sorceries (7)
Lands (39)

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The alternate commander for this deck is Elenda and Azor. While I dig this pair for a slower game, I’m far more interested in seeing what we can do to make this deck punch even harder with Sidar in the lead.

Battlefield Promotion

With any commander that has a “when it deals combat damage to an opponent” effect, you’re going to get the most mileage by giving your commander more abilities. Namely, trample, double strike, and unblockable (how is this not a keyword?).

I’ve enlisted a couple of Backgrounds for this upgrade, because Backgrounds are always fun to add when you have a commander that wants to attack. Sword Coast Sailor ensures that we’re hitting faces every attack, barring any removal effects. And Flaming Fist gives our commander double strike. Because what’s better than triggering Sidar once? You guessed it. It’s twice. Duelist’s Heritage has entered the fray for the same reason.

Since this is a creature type-focused deck, we can lean into that with another Background, Folk Hero, which will give us a lot of extra card draw for just two mana.

We can also use this focus to upgrade our land base a bit, with Unclaimed Territory and Secluded Courtyard. These take the place of two lands that enter tapped, speeding us along on our merry way.

I’m also adding two powerful and cheap Knights to the deck, Skyhunter Strike Force and Marshal of Zhalfir. And while we’re making our Knights bigger, we’re also gonna make everything else smaller to move in for that alpha strike, with Crippling Fear.

Dishonorable Discharge

Alright, cards go in, cards must come out. We’ve added nine cards, so let’s see what we’re dropping.

The easiest place to start was the lands. I’ve never been a big fan of lands with counters, because I like to stack my lands and the counters just make it messy. So to make room for Secluded Courtyard and Unclaimed Territory, I’m taking out Thriving Isle and Thriving Moor. So now I’ll be thriving more. Get it? Please, hold your applause to the end.

The deck had an abundance of card advantage, which wasn’t totally necessary with Sidar’s Eminence ability. So out goes Painful Truths, Path of the Enigma, Pull from Tomorrow, and Syr Elenora, the Discerning. As much as I didn’t want to cut any Knights, Elenora just didn’t do enough to justify the five mana cost. 

A couple of Equipment were in the precon that seem superfluous, so they’re getting axed. Maul of the Skyclaves and Sigiled Sword of Valeron are both too expensive to equip, and really don’t add enough value.

Last to fall is Fell the Mighty. Precons these days tend to have too many board wipes, which just drag out the game. By replacing this with Crippling Fear, I’m moving the game forward rather than resetting.

Extravagant Knights

Okay big spenders, it’s your time to open those wallets.

Spending big money on creature type-focused decks is incredibly easy, because a lot of the best cards are in such high demand. Take Cavern of Souls, for example, which is Unclaimed Territory on steroids.

Urza’s Incubator will make your Knights cheaper, while Door of Destinies will make them much more threatening. And Kindred Discovery will draw you more cards than you’ll ever need with all the Knights you’re gonna turn sideways.

Sadly missing from the precon is Kinsbaile Cavalier, which gives all your Knights double strike. I know the deck already has some high value reprints, but…come on. A real missed opportunity.

Invasion of New Phyrexia is a lot of fun here, as the front side gives us Knight tokens, while the back is a Teferi that pumps and protects our Knights for his -2.

Akroma’s Will is a solid, but pricey, inclusion for any aggro deck. We’ve also got Vexilus Praetor, which, while not a Knight, does a great job of helping Sidar punch some faces. Also from Warhammer 40K is And They Shall Know No Fear.

And last, with all the creatures going to graveyards, Rise of the Dark Realms is a fun way to borrow other people’s toys for a while.

Knight and Day

Here’s the final upgraded decklist:

Cavalry Charge Upgrade

View on Archidekt

Commander (1)
Creatures (33)
Enchantments (6)
Sorceries (5)
Artifacts (11)
Instants (5)
Lands (39)

Buy this decklist from Card Kingdom
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer

It’s amazing what a few cards and a few bucks can do to improve a precon. We upgraded nine cards for just $6. With those new cards we sped up the mana base, pumped up our Knights, and made Sidar’s triggered ability more frequent. All in all, a nice improvement to an already great deck.

Make sure to check back for more precon guides from us Scrap Trawlers. You can also check out our budget content over on Twitch and YouTube and follow us on Twitter

Until next time, remember to budget…before you buy it.

Scrap Trawlers is a Magic: The Gathering budget EDH streaming and video group, with gameplay, deck techs, chats, and more. Catch our videos at Andy, Lenny, and Bert.

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