Jodah - Multiverse Pride

Jodah, the Unifier | Art By Ryan Pancoast

Pride Goeth Before a Fall (Because it's in Summer)

Hello, and welcome back to Power Sink, the article series where we find new identities for the most powerful commanders in the format. Today, we're coming out with Jodah, the Unifier.

Jodah is the fifth most popular five-color commander on EDHREC, with 10,105 total decks. Jodah is all about having unique individuals come together to be their authentic selves and ultimately become stronger for it. In game terms, this means that he grants +X/+X to all your legendary creatures, where X is the number of legendary creatures you control. Whenever you cast a legendary spell from your hand, he also lets you reveal cards from your deck until you find a lower-cost legendary spell which you can cast for free. With these two abilities, it's easy for Jodah to amass an army of legends that are capable of dishing out tons of damage.

The combination of a win condition and card advantage on one card is what makes Jodah so strong. With the variety and power of legends that have been printed in Magic in recent years (with no slowdown in sight), it’s clear that Jodah decks can get even better. As a five-color commander, Jodah has access to all of the best cards in the format, legendary or otherwise.

Now that we've spilled the tea on Jodah (sorry about that, we'll clean up!), let's look at his average list to see what you can expect in a game with him:

Jodah, The Unifier - Average Deck

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Commander (1)
Creatures (33)
Planeswalkers (3)
Enchantments (4)
Artifacts (10)
Sorceries (8)
Instants (7)
Lands (34)

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It comes as no surprise that Jodah's deck is filled to the brim with legends. There are 28 legendary creatures and 11 other legendary spells, so that legendary cascade is going to happen often. Outside of that, this deck also has tons of card advantage effects. Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain and Reki, the History of Kamigawa draw cards when you cast legendary spells, and when Jodah finds you another legendary spell to cast, they allow you to boost your hand size.

Since you'll be casting from exile, Vega, the Watcher is a reliable draw engine with an evasion ability that makes it more than happy to see that power buff from the commander. Kethis, the Hidden Hand can recur powerful legends that end up in the graveyard, Cadric, Soul Kindler gives you a temporary copy of any legendary permanent that enters your battlefield, and Captain Sisay can search your deck for whatever specific legend you need. Atraxa, Grand Unifier gets you one card of each type from among the top 10 of your deck, along with being a deadly attacker and blocker.

Coat of Arms's effect turns your utility creatures into legitimate threats, and the deck amplifies this in a numerous ways. Heroes' Podium can be a great way to boost the Coat's buff effect. Surrak Dragonclaw and Surrak and Goreclaw give your creatures trample so you're more likely to connect in combat. Shanid, Sleepers' Scourge not only draws cards when you cast a legendary spell, but he also grants menace to all your legends, making them harder to block.

There's also a fair amount of board protection among the legends in Jodah's deck. Hajar, Loyal Bodyguard can be sacrificed to give legendary creatures indestructible, while Shalai, Voice of Plenty and Sigarda, Font of Blessings provide hexproof to other cards. Ratadrabik of Urborg replaces any legendary creatures that die with a Zombie version so you can hang on to their effects. Casting legends at instant speed with Raff Capashen, Ship's Mage helps to keep them out of the way of sorcery-speed removal, at least for a turn.

Finally, there are a few legendary creatures in the deck that are so powerful they've already earned their own Power Sink articles. Chulane, Teller of Tales is a powerful draw and ramp engine in a deck with this many creatures, and his ability to bounce a creature to your hand means the legendary cascade effect from Jodah can be triggered again. Sisay, Weatherlight Captain can tutor legends to the battlefield, and with the power buffs she gets from Jodah, you're practically guaranteed to be able to fetch any card in your deck. We talked about Kenrith, the Returned King last month. His abilities are always useful, but here, giving trample and haste when the commander provides a hefty boost to power is going to be a big deal.

That's the average list, but we aren't here to settle for average. Let's move on to something different.

Pride Across the Multiverse

It's June, and it's Pride Month, so we're putting together a Pride-themed deck. Mostly themed to Pride in the United States, as it's what I know. The cards in this deck are chosen for art, lore, or other associations rather than game mechanics, so although we're cutting out quite a bit of the synergies that make the average deck so strong, we can still win games through combat thanks to our commander. Jodah is not canonically queer, but he is looking fabulous in that pink boa, and we can appreciate his fashionable allyship as well as his damage boost.

Jodah - Multiverse Pride

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Commander (1)
Creatures (27)
Planeswalkers (11)
Instants (7)
Enchantments (5)
Artifacts (8)
Sorceries (3)
Lands (38)

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Jodah wants legendary cards, so this deck is an opportunity to showcase the LGBTQIA+ characters in Magic lore.

Ral Zarek and Tomik, Distinguished Advokist were married after War of the Spark. During that war, they each wore a piece of fabric torn from the other's clothing, which is incredibly sweet. Ral is useful for tapping down blockers or removing them with damage, while Tomik is agile as an evasive attacker thanks to his flying ability.

Alena, Kessig Trapper and Halana, Kessig Ranger are Werewolf hunters and partners on Innistrad. Their relationship is fully confirmed in the short story Emrakul Rises. They're also depicted together in the card Halana and Alena, Partners. All three of these cards work very well with the power boost from Jodah, whether it's the mana from Alena and having Halana pick off creatures or the +1/+1 counters from their partnered incarnation.

Alesha, Who Smiles at Death is a trans woman from the distant past on the plane of Tarkir, featured in the story The Truth of Names. This deck has 16 creatures with power two or less that she can bring back, and her first strike makes her formidable in combat. Also from Tarkir, we have Death-Greeter's Champion, depicting a trans man and giving a subtle nod to Alesha's lasting legacy.

Of course, no Pride deck would be complete without Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis, who help us out with the card draw, or Magic's number one nonbinary icon, Ashiok, Dream Render to manage graveyards.

The planeswalker power couples are also in attendance. Nissa, Vital Force and Chandra, Torch of Defiance help with both mana and card advantage, and are officially together despite that fiasco with War of the Spark. Saheeli, Sublime Artificer provides blockers for the many planeswalkers in the deck, while Huatli, Warrior Poet keeps us alive with life gain. We find out about Saheeli and Huatli's budding relationship in Note for a Stranger.

Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter is a token-producer. In the story, she had a wife who passed away. Rocco, Street Chef is a nonbinary chef from the Cabaretti family on the plane of New Capenna. Vadrik, Astral Archmage gives us a cost reduction for instants and sorceries, although we don't have many. According to the story His Eyes, All of Them, he is married to a man named Hailin on the plane of Innistrad. Niko Aris is a nonbinary planeswalker from Theros who can make sure our attackers always get through.

Alongside our attendants, we have cards representing the more colorful elements of a real Pride festival. Naturally, we have rainbows showing up on mana-producers, like Inga and Esika and Cascading Cataracts, draw effects, like Brilliant Spectrum, and even a Fog effect with Prismatic Strands. Earnest Fellowship bears special mention as it will give our commander protection from all colors, making him difficult to block. Speaking of Bears, we have Surrak and Goreclaw representing the bear community and giving everything trample.

We've also got a solid parade procession thanks to the card Starlight Spectacular, while Weatherlight, Parhelion II, and Heart of Kiran make up our parade floats. Prismari Command and Judith, the Scourge Diva look just like the festive performances you would catch on a stage. We even have Chain of Vapor to represent the dubious support from corporations that often involves a cheap keychain and seems to disappear when the month is over.

Festivals are fun, but they're meaningless without the history behind it all. With that in mind, we're playing Rhythm of the Wild and Uncivil Unrest to give our creatures Riot, because the first Pride was an actual riot. Wall of Stone represents the Stonewall Inn, while Toggo, Goblin Weaponsmith provides the bricks that were thrown that night.

Sashay Away

It's easy to write Magic off as "just a game," but I think 30 years of success speaks to it being something more. The story is far from perfect, and the same could be said about representation within the game, but it's come incredibly far from where it was. It's the story, characters, and art that make it something all people can connect with in some way. This is true even more so for Commander, where players can fully express themselves and prominently display the characters they love. I wrote this article as a celebration of that, and hopefully at least a few readers will find a new character to see themselves in. Until next time folks, happy Pride, and be kind to each other.

Lenny has been in an on again off again relationship with Magic since Fallen Empires. He fell in love with Commander in 2010 when his friends forced him to build Niv Mizzet, the Firemind and has been with the game ever since. When he's not turning cardboard sideways or trying to justify using bad draft commons in EDH decks you can find him playing something from his massive board game collection or practicing the Brazilian martial art Capoeira. Follow Lenny on twitter @LennyWooley

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