Maelstrom Wanderer: Wandering Through the Multiverse

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Post by cryogen » 1 year ago


This deck was first realized when the Planechase 2012 set was released. At the time playing Planechase was one of my favorite ways to play Commander, and I eagerly bought the full set of decks in order to get the new planes and phenomenon. Maelstrom Wanderer to me, was the ultimate general to represent the experience of Planechase and I set out to build a deck that embodied this experiment (later on of course we would get Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder, but MW suits my desires more).

With a goal in mind I needed to give it some boundaries and a set of rules that would push the Planechase experience as well as the bounderies of "fun" play. These rules have been somewhat adapted for this second version of the deck that has been built in the middle of a global pandemic where we are forced to play over the internet, but the heart of the deck remains intact. The rules are:

1. The Planechase experience is one where you peel the top card of a planar deck and never know what you're going to encounter. Therefore, this deck can't naturally tutor or know what the top card of the library will be in advance. No exceptions.
2. Wanderer costs eight mana, therefore everything in the deck has to cost seven or less. With one exception, no dead cards off his cascades. For sure, we don't want even the idea of setting up a cascade.
3. Planechase will both help you and hurt you, just as it will your opponents. Therefore, I want as many global effects as possible, most that help me, but some that hurt me as well. Similarly, I want some group hug effects to benefit the table as well, since one plane is as likely to help your opponents as well.
4. Planechase by default creates a mini subgame. Do I cast this spell or spend mana rolling the planar die? Do I wait and see where we move to or act now? Therefore, I want to include as many cards as possible that give my opponents extra control over game actions or otherwise involve the rest of the table in my turn. (For example, cards like Fact or Fiction or Explosion of Riches.) Ideally, I want to cause my opponents to spend mana as well doing this.
5. Planechase adds an element of chaos which can make games unpredictable, but usually not to the extent to where they take away control of the game. Therefore, I want to walk that fine line of including chaos cards that will make for fun memorable games, but not to the point where it's obnoxious and miserable. Ideally, I don't want anyone to feel like they didn't get to play the game as a result of my deck, and I will sandbag cards like Timesifter and Warp World if I have to.
6. Due to the pandemic we can't literally pass cards around the table. Therefore, I want to push the boundaries of playing online while not going over the top.
7. Have fun while playing! The fun play is always better than the correct play.

The Deck




Approximate Total Cost:

So what does the deck do and how does it win?

Your guess is as good as mine, The deck is broken down into different planes: True Good, Good (for me), Bad, Neutral, Chaos, and Utility (and I guess technically lands if you want to include them). True good cards are like Rites of Flourishing that benefit everyone equally. Good (for me) cards are ones that only help me but don't affect anyone else, such as Genesis Ultimatum. Bad cards hurt everyone equally, like Primal Order. Neutral cards either both help as well as hurt, such as Overabundance, or are situational, like Time Reversal. Chaos cards would include Possibility Storm, while Utility cards are a catch-all for things like Carpet of Flowers and Decimate.

The basic goal of the deck is to just get mana so you can cast your cards, and then to do just that. Start casting whatever looks like the most fun thing for the situation and see what happens. The most straightforward ways to eliminate an opponent or two are through general damage or with tokens off Xyris, the Writhing Storm. You can also get some decent burn damage throughout the game, but it will probably hurt you as much as it helps you.

In your opening hand you're looking to see a bunch of mana. This deck is greedy and you definitely want to hit five mana early on. Ideally, this mana will be paired with something to either refill your hand or start casting extra spells.

Individual Card Discussion

Sheldon wrote:You're the reason we can't have nice things.

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