Conditions Allow - Hans Eriksson
Such a Fine Day
The cold weather has well and truly set in, but that doesn't mean we can't look forward to spring. That magical time of rejuvenation, when melting snow gives way to the first flower buds of May, no matter how bleak the weather is now. Just make sure that you pay attention for signs of bears, moose, or worse in the woods nearby, lest you end up like today's commander,.
functions similarly to . He draws a card on attack, with the potential to deal big chunks of damage, albeit to one player at a time. Unlike Yuriko, however, Hans will also deal that amount of damage to himself by fighting the creature he brings into play. We're going to need plenty of ways to protect this jolly giant from his own good mood.
If we can protect, we can deal a frightening amount of damage very quickly. His EDHREC page comes with an aggressive lineup of big creatures and top deck manipulation. sets us up for massive hits with and . One card in particular from Hans' page that stands out, however, is .
Is Anyone A Doctor?
appears in 56% of the decks in the database, but those decks aren't taking full advantage of Hua Tuo, or the graveyard. With enough creatures in the graveyard, becomes a free every turn. Gruul might not be the first color combination you think of when someone says 'reanimator deck', but there is more precedent for it than you might think.
and are powerful commanders in their own right, but each also serves as perfect support for . Hua Tuo sets up the top of your deck before combat, while Feldon brings your creatures directly back into play. If we compare Hua Tuo’s EDHREC page with ’s, they are remarkably similar. , , and all appear in a high percentage of decks for both commanders. There are even similarities between those two and . is popular among all three, although hasn’t caught on outside of mono-red.
Making a Token Effort
It definitely should, though. Both and leave behind tokens when they die, so we won’t have to worry about retaliatory attacks when we sacrifice them. does the same, while protects us against decks running a lot of fliers. is another creature that we can pick up from that leaves behind a token with significant power.
These tokens also help us to dig through our deck. If none of the top fifteen cards of our library are impressive, we can sacrificeto dig another five deep with . simply draws those cards, while puts them straight in the graveyard. This can be risky if we don't have Hua Tuo or Feldon in play yet, but and give us the chance to recover. We can even pair them with to mimic the good doctor's effect.
Creature tokens are also very, very good with the best sources of damage in our whole deck. I comparedto at the start of this article, and is what makes that comparison possible. It effectively gives the creatures that Hans brings into play double strike. If we can sacrifice that creature on the same turn, it could be dealing triple damage, and we'll have the tokens left to block with. With in play, we can do that every turn.
Observe All Posted Warnings
Of course, this doesn't work ifgoes down in his first fight. Luckily, we have plenty of tools to protect our commander and keep the creatures flowing. and are the perfect Equipment for any expeditions into country.
Going hiking with a companion is also a great way to stay safe.protects Hans even from herself, just like . is probably the best protection effect that we have, since it also allows to grow into a game-ending threat as he continually fights our other creatures. And we don't even have to worry about him eventually beating them, because we want them to hit the graveyard.
You are probably familiar with, but we can look to older mechanics to protect our commander, too. offers hexproof to all our creatures, and can regenerate any of them if someone tries to all our tokens away. If you plan to rely on to protect Hans, however, keep in mind that the fight happens as part of the resolution of his effect. This means you'll need to regenerate before you flip the top card of your library.
Run, Hans! Run!
But what if you don't want to wait until your turn to put big creatures into play. You don't have to. Since we're not wasting mana by casting our creatures, we can spend it onor , instead. is a great option as well. Since our creatures leave tokens behind, having to sacrifice our creatures in the end step isn't a downside anymore.
By far, the best card in anydeck is going to be , though. Much like , will make your opponents hesitate before they cast any spells. This goes doubly if you can put a creature on top of your library with in response to the trigger. Having out lets you do this during each player's turn. You could also activate every turn, which might be even better. Feldon gives you the death trigger on for free, and it doesn't risk it getting stuck anywhere other than your graveyard.
That covers the core of the deck, but I want to go over a few less flashy, but no less impactful, cards.and are excellent at setting up the top of your deck, especially with a high land count. They also make much better, ensuring she hits a land instead of drawing by accident. Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't at least mention . She will usually draw an extra card when attacks and makes our big creatures even more devastating in combat.
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seems like a difficult commander to build around. Having to fight big creatures can be difficult to work around, but if this deck gets going its not actually necessary to have him on the field. and do a reasonable impression, especially with and bringing creatures back from the graveyard instead of relying only on the top of our library.
But what do you think? Does changing the focus of the deck to the graveyard make it stronger, or weaken it? What cards have you found work well with Hans? Let me know in the comments.