Divine Convocation - Precon Primer
Hello friends, and welcome back to EDHREC for another precon primer from your friends in the Scrap Trawlers. March of the Machine is bringing the Phyrexian storyline to its climax, and with it comes five Commander decks overflowing with tasty new treats and delicious reprints. And what’s more, the decks are bringing back Planechase! There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s just get right into today’s deck, Divine Convocation, the white/blue/red deck led by .
We Are Many
If dropping a ton of creatures on the board and using them to make your spells cheaper sounds like a good time, then this deck is for you. It’s led by Kasla, a 5/4 Angel Ally with flying, vigilance, haste, and Convoke. And whenever we cast another spell with Convoke, she lets us scry 2 and draw a card. Card advantage in the command zone is always a plus, even if it’s not an absurdly busted ability like . And important to note, you don’t have to actually Convoke that spell to get Kasla’s trigger, the spell just has to have that ability.
Kasla costs a lot, but you get a lot for your money. A commander with evasion that can attack and block in the same turn cycle, especially with such a high power, is sure to be a threat.
Our backup commander is , an Innistrad buddy-comedy duo that give us creature tokens when they become tapped, and get to untap whenever we cast a spell with Convoke. For just three mana, this may be a more enticing commander to lead the deck for players looking to get the token-making engine going more swiftly.
Here’s the full list for Divine Convocation:
Divine ConvocationView on Archidekt
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer
So what does this deck do? To be a successful Convoke deck, you gotta have a lot of creatures. But since a deck can only hold so many creature cards, a true go-wide deck needs multiple token-makers. And not just one-time effects. We need cards that repeatedly make friends for us to tap. The deck just happens to come with two legendary token-makers, , and . These flying legends are certainly notorious in the Commander community for their ability to “go off” by dumping a bunch of creatures, and, in Kykar’s case, storming off, or, with The Locust God, swinging in with a bunch of hasty bugs.
For other token-makers, the deck’s running , , , , and many more. It also has cards that like to have lots of creatures enter the battlefield, with and .
So we’ve got creatures to tap. What kind of Convoke spells are we casting? There are several creatures (, , ), instants and sorceries ( , , ), and even an enchantment ( ).
The deck loves small-creature payoffs, like , , and . And it has some tapping and untapping synergy, like , , and .
Alright, we know what the deck does. So now it’s time to talk about the best part of precons: the new cards!
loves to be tapped to cast your Convoke spells. Or hell, you can just attack with it and flicker a potential blocker off the board. It’s especially good against voltron commanders who are suited up with auras, because you can just exile it and the auras go to the grave. Blink decks are definitely struggling to find room for new cards nowadays, but this might be worth a try.
is a Convoke spell that gives you a bunch of tokens that just love to be tapped, while gives you a bunch of flyers ready to swing out on your next turn.
is a funny one, as it basically has the Vehicle version of Horsemanship (Vehiclemanship? Drivemanship?) It seems like a weird inclusion at first, but then there are a few cards that give you benefits when they get tapped, which is what the Crew ability requires.
gives you a free token at your combat, then gets bigger whenever you make a creature token. A potential game-ender if you drop enough tokens to make it big enough to attack for lethal.
Each of the precons from this set comes with an , which gives you a effect when you roll the planar die. If you’re not playing the Planechase deck, it’s just a .
And I saved the best for last, with . This card is fantastic, and not just for a dedicated Convoke deck. Any deck that likes to go wide with a lot of creatures and finish things off with a big spell, like , will love this card.
In addition to the new cards in the main deck, each of these precons comes with 10 Planechase cards. There are five new Planes, four reprint Planes, and one reprint Phenomenon.
From a gameplay standpoint, it’s nearly impossible to critique these due to the way they function. But I’ll try.
is the planar version of , a not terribly popular card in Commander. allows you to have two Planes on the field, which certainly makes things interesting. gives all instants and sorceries Demonstrate, which sounds like a fun, chaotic time to me. doubles all mana production from lands that make colored mana ( weeps). And gives your attacking creatures double strike when you attack with exactly two creatures.
Overall, a mixed bag, but still a fun new element to add to your games of Commander.
Come On. Do Something.
So how does the deck play? I’ll be upfront here: not well. The main problem is the mana curve. The deck holds an average mana value of 3.74. This usually isn’t terrible, but with what the deck is trying to do, it’s actually pretty awful.
Because of the high average, the deck starts slow every game. And because Kasla has a six mana value, you really feel the drag. And that matters for one important reason: card draw. The deck is lacking it, significantly. It’s clear the designers thought that putting card advantage on the commander meant they could lower the card advantage pool in the 99. Except that doesn’t work when your commander costs six mana. Couple that with the fact that the deck only has 17 other Convoke cards besides Kasla, which means that her trigger won’t even happen nearly as often as we want, making her an unreliable source of card advantage.
The deck’s high mana value also hurts the Convoke function. There simply aren’t enough cheap creatures and token makers in the deck to actually be impactful in the early game to let us cast our Convoke spells early enough that you'll actually feel like you're getting ahead because of the mechanic. In one game I was able to get Kasla out on turn 5. Wow, a whole turn early! Isn’t that amazing?
And it doesn’t help that the deck’s ramp package is also not good. There are 10 cards, which is pretty standard, but they’re not picked with a three-color deck in mind. Of the seven cards that tap for mana, three of them only provide colorless mana. The other three cards I’m classifying as ramp are only conditionally ramp. will only ramp you if you’re behind on land. has to make you spirits first before it’ll give you mana. And , well, probably shouldn’t be classified as ramp. I guess I was being generous.
There’s some real contradiction here in what the deck is trying to do. It wants to make a bunch of tokens to help you cast Convoke spells more cheaply, but so many of the token-making spells are expensive. Or they’re X spells that are really only good if you can pump a lot of mana into them, which you won’t be doing in the early game, which means you won’t have tokens in the early game, which means you won’t be able to Convoke, which means…
I’m sure the prior section already made this clear, but just in case it didn’t…
Verdict: Skip it
The deck crawls at a snail’s pace, and you have to draw incredibly well to have an impact on the game before turns six or seven. The mana curve makes the deck move like sludge, and you won’t be able to bring it to anything but the slowest pods.
The list does have some really solid reprints, though. , , , and , just to name a few, are all fantastic pickups for Commander players, and their inclusion here ensures you’ll be able to pick them up for a few bucks cheaper once the decks are out in the market. So just buy the singles.
That’s it for the primer! So what am I gonna do to make this over-costed deck playable? Be sure to check out my upgrade guide for your answer to that question. I’ll give you a hint, though. I’m definitely switching the commander.
Until next time, remember to budget…before you buy it.