Uncommonders - Sachi Makes a Million Mana!

(Sachi, Daughter of Seshiro | Art by Nottsuo)

The Shamanic Revelation

Hello to one and all and all and one! This is Uncommonders, the series where we shine a spotlight on each of those uncommon-rarity commanders, which I have named (you guessed it!) Uncommonders! My name is Seth Cross, but you, my lovely friends, can call me DM, and I am excited to announce that we are coming up on the halfway point to this series.

When we started, I said that I wanted to do an article for each of the twenty Dominaria Uncommonders, along with twenty of previously printed uncommon legendary creatures for a total of forty (FORTY!) articles. This is my fourteenth article in the series, so in a few more, we will be at twenty, and counting down to the end! While that is exciting, I am also excited for this week’s Uncommonder. Unlike my normal way of doing things, I asked the Twitch Subs who are also users on the Praetor Magic Discord for some options and chose my favorite out of all those possibilities. I wanted to do something unique and was surprised at my options for…

Sachi, Daughter of Seshiro

The Seshiro family is a trio of legendary Snake creatures from the plane of Kamigawa. Seshiro the Anointed, head of the family, is known for Snake tribal decks, while his daughter and son grant their bonuses for different tribes, namely Shaman and Warriors. Sosuke, Son of Seshiro could be a future Uncommonder spotlight, but for now, I want to draw attention to Sachi. She loves Shamans, and I was surprised at how many staple green cards for Commander just so happen to be Shamans too. As always, shout-out to Scryfall.com for having such a great search engine, making it so easy to find what I need and then organize it by EDHREC ranking for the best format staples!

For the most part, Shamans are known as magical practitioners who can tap into the spiritual world. The way Sachi turns Shamans into mana dorks, we could potentially say that they are interacting with forest spirits for mana, but I feel they bear a stronger resemblance to Druids from Dungeons and Dragons.

With that in mind, I felt like the way to play the deck was generate tons of extra mana and use it to out-value the rest of the table. Finishers like Craterhoof Behemoth, Hurricane, and Helix Pinnacle seem like strong ways to end the game with all kinds of support cards along for the ride. There is also the possibility running mana sinks that make tokens, like Jade Mage, Centaur Glade, and even the new Biogenic Ooze. I wanted to run Wren’s Run Packmaster as another mana sink, but felt that with Sosuke, the Warrior-based sibling, would get jealous, I would leave it out for flavor reasons.

NOTE: For this article, I am trying a new format for the list. EDHREC shows us what the common numbers for each card type in a deck are. For instance, Sachi tends to have 35 lands and 39 creatures. I will be using these numbers to build the list, with the numbers looking something like this as I write the article;

Shaman of the Hand and the Land

Each of the colors of Magic are known for having strengths and weaknesses, and one of the things mono-green can sometimes struggle with is drawing cards. The methods they do have to fill their hand are often related to creatures, and since Sachi revolves around getting huge amounts of mana from creatures, it is easy to cash in on this kind of card draw. Lifecrafter’s Bestiary, Vanquisher’s Banner, and both Primordial Sage and Soul of the Harvest all gain cards from playing creatures. Guardian Project is another great card advantage source in Commander for basically any deck that has green in it. We also cannot forget the classic Sylvan Library, along with tossing in a few cantrip-like Shaman cards to replace themselves, with Elvish Visionary, and Reki, the History of Kamigawa coming to mind.

When it comes to lands, I mentioned we are only running 35 thanks to the numbers from EDHREC, but we obviously need ways to get them from the deck onto the battlefield. One of the most requested reprints for green in recent memory has been Oracle of Mul Daya and it is, ironically, a Shaman! Sakura-Tribe Elder is another great Shaman. Sadly, Yavimaya Elder is a Druid. Luckily, Shamans do benefit from a unique kind of ramp: discounting their spells. Emerald Medallion discounts all our green spells while Bosk Banneret helps up with any Shaman we want to play (and the occasional Treefolk). Centaur Omenreader is a situational discount when we tap it for mana after Sachi is on the field.

Thinking Outside the Box… Or Circle?

A card that doesn't show up on Sachi's EDHREC page, but could do us some good, is Omnath, Locus of Mana. On the turn before ours begins, tap all lands and Shamans (when Sachi is on the field) to generate as much mana as possible and Omnath keeps it stored up. Because of this strategy and the aforementioned Helix Pinnacle, I also tossed in Doubling Cube to double mana out of nowhere to try to pile it into Pinnacle, or to just make Omnath huge and smack an opponent around. We can generate even more mana by including cards like Seedborn Muse and Quest for Renewal, then get extra value by including Throne of the God-Pharaoh for chunks of damage at the end of our turn. Even if we do not have Muse or Quest on the field, we can ensure our value engine continues by giving our green creatures flash with Yeva, Nature’s Herald.

Removal can be complicated with mono-green, especially in a deck that is not dedicated to the simple strategy of putting down the biggest and baddest creatures each turn. Artifact and enchantment removal is easy to come by, and we have it with staples like Reclamation Sage, Acidic Slime, and some others, but for green decks, removing creatures typically happens in the combat step. If your meta has numerous flying threats, consider a Silklash Spider in place of one of the other mana sinks. For the most part I think the strategy of the deck is to get creatures out early, find something to make them big or threatening, and simply end the game with a mass attack. Toss in some other support cards and I think the deck winds up looking like this:

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Sachi was one of the difficult decks to create in this series. Shamans are not an overly impressive tribe as is, so I had to think of something to do with them as the engine. Pouring mana into mana sinks seemed like the best idea, especially considering one of them can win you the game outright. Overall, I do think this deck would be better with a splash of another color to offer more mana sinks, or just more spells that have an X in their cost. Gruul seems like the first obvious choice, with perhaps some Hydra creatures or big X-costed burn spells as the payoffs, but at that point, you might just ditch the Shaman strategy altogether in favor of other methods of mana accumulation.

At the end of the day, though, the saying “restriction breeds creativity” has proven time and again to be true, and I think that is the case here. I could absolutely see myself playing some tribal Shaman decks and trying to overrun the table out of nowhere.

Wrapping this up, my favorite comment from last week’s Raff Capashen, Ship’s Mage article comes from Ikeijser on the actual article page itself. They wrote the following, in reference to Slimefoot, the Stowaway, and Uncommonder from Dominaria:

To be honest, I don't understand why he's printed as an uncommon in the first place. He's very unique, in the story at least, so I would've expected him to be printed as a rare card. Having played lots of games already with him, I even forget he's uncommon most of the time.

Dominaria was a plane of very deep lore and history. If we really look at the spread of legendary creatures and the rarities, Mythics included literal forces of nature like Muldrotha, the Gravetide, Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar and immortal beings like Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain and Lyra Dawnbringer. There were sixteen rares, most of which included leaders of factions like Jodah, Archmage Eternal and Grand Warlord Radha, so when we look at it that way, it is easy to see why so many interesting legendary creatures like Raff and Slimefoot (and the rest of the new crew of the Weatherlight, really) were printed at uncommon. Sure, they are legendary, but they seem to be the newest of the legends of a plane that is basically built on legends and legendary history. It really is one of the greatest planes for a Vorthos player!

For the next Uncommonders, we are heading back to Dominaria to once again highlight one of the remaining members of the twenty legendary creatures that inspired this series. If you want a hand in helping me decide what that next Uncommonder will be, make sure you are following me on Twitter, and you can always join me on the Praetor Magic Discord server. We talk about all kinds of Magic: the Gathering topics there and members of the server can sign up to play our budget Commander format, 3DH (3 Dollar Highlander) with me on stream every Friday at 9 PM EST.

Until then, keep casting bombs! Have fun out there!

DM Cross started playing Magic: the Gathering when he was 8 years old. Currently 29 years old, he's become an avid lover of the EDH/Commander format and is constantly keeping an eye on everything coming out to see how to tune and tweak his favorite decks. DM can be found on Twitter @DM_Cross