Will & Rowan Kenrith - Sparks of Ice and Fire (Superfriends)

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darrenhabib
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Post by darrenhabib » 10 months ago

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These two planeswalkers have "partner with" each other, meaning that you can search for the other one when they enter the battlefield. They can also be played as co-commanders, putting you into Izzet colors.

There are a lot of different concepts and approaches on how to utilize these commanders.
Here are some key approaches that I've identified:
  • Planeswalkers matter.
  • Casting lots of instant and sorceries in a turn (storm).
  • Forcing opponents creatures to make bad attacks or deal lots of damage on others (hopefully).
  • Activated abilities matter.
  • Mana denial - stax/prison, land destruction.
I've been careful to focus on some of the abilities, which I think make for fun and original concepts.

Later on in the thread I do explain changes with card choices that can put you into different themes and archetypes, but most of them have a central focus on planeswalker support.

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+2 Until your next turn, up to two target creatures each have base power and toughness 0/3 and lose all abilities.
This ability is a great source of protection against two of your opponents biggest creature threats. Having a creature protection ability with your commander is really a key element to potentially saving them from dying.
Reducing the toughness to 3 and removing protection abilities like indestructible, means that you can play spells which will make it easy to kill any creature.
-8 Target player gets an emblem with "Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, copy it. You may choose new targets for the copy."
Being able to copy each instant and sorcery you cast leads to amazing value. You can build around a storm strategy where you can play lots of draw and mana spells to produce massive turns.
-2 Target player draws two cards. Until your next turn, instant, sorcery, and planeswalker spells that player casts cost 2 less to cast.
There are a number of cards in Magic that reduce the cost of your instant and sorcery, like Mizzix of the Izmagnus, but reducing the cost of planeswalkers is a very unique ability. So rather than focusing on a spellslinger storm deck that already exists in the Izzet domain, we are focusing on..

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This is a "Superfriends" deck, and we are looking to play them at cost reduction.

With Will Kenrith ability to reduce the cost of planewalkers, we can use particular planeswalkers who also produce mana in various forms to pay for each other, chaining off casting many spells in a single turn:
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Further to this we will be looking to potentially combine this with Rowan Kenrith emblem and in fact emblems, as getting multiple emblems is very feasible with this deck.

+2 During target player's next turn, each creature that player controls attacks if able.
You can force an opponent into making bad attacks that will potentially kill some number of their creatures. You'd need to offer substantial blockers yourself, as who your opponents attacks is still their choice.
-2 Rowan Kenrith deals 3 damage to each tapped creature target player controls.
Can be combined with Rowan +2 to force an opponent to tap their creatures on the previous turn. Also Will Kenrith +2 ability can make sure that two creatures have toughness of three.
-8 Target player gets an emblem with "Whenever you activate an ability that isn't a mana ability, copy it. You may choose new targets for the copy."
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This will allow you to copy each planewalkers abilities, every time you use one. Note the copy will not reduce or add more loyalty counters.

Once again we can use Will Kenrith -2 cost reduction ability, in conjunction with Rowan Kenrith emblem to use our mana producing planewalkers to setup chaining off casting multiple spells each turn.

Let's say we use Will Kenrith cost reduction ability.
Then for example we cast Chandra, Torch of Defiance at reduction, so only costs us rr. Then we can use her +1 add rr. Note that loyalty abilities are not considered mana abilities, so the ability is copied and you'll get rrrr, netting you mana and getting a planeswalker into play.

We have a number of infinite's in the deck with her emblem as well. If you are aware of some of the things you can do with Rings of Brighthearth, this is similar except it has no mana cost to copy the activation's.

I have a full run down in the section "Playing the Deck" explaining all the various interactions with her emblem, and it makes for incredible advantages, and a lot of win conditions.

Because you can get the emblem within three turns naturally, you have a real chance at getting it. Also there are some cards the accelerate the loyalty counter process, so this can speed things up.

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Between the fact that they are planeswalkers and partners, there really is nothing to truly compare these twins to in commander.
I can select some commanders who have potentially similar roles of each ability individually, but certainly nothing that can provide the combined abilities of both Will and Rowan.
Alternative commanders
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You can see by the "alternative commander" options that there really isn't anything that comes close to the amount of options you have with these siblings. It feels as if you have more like three commanders in your command zone rather than the one most people have.

You might like the Kenriths if
  • You like playing planeswalkers as your commander.
  • You like having a toolbox of abilities from your commanders.
  • You like the idea of Superfriends in Izzet color-pie.
  • You like highly competitive decks, but also like them to be unique.

You might dislike the Kenriths if
  • You don't like protecting planeswalkers in multiplayer.
  • You don't like playing combo or storm decks.
  • Maybe blonds are just not your type?


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Will & Rowan Kenrith - Sparks of Ice and Fire

Commanders


1 Will Kenrith
1 Rowan Kenrith

Creatures/Vehicle (3)


1 Heart of Kiran
1 Spark Double
1 Deepglow Skate

Artifact prison (2)


1 Portcullis
1 Ward of Bones

Untap mana sources (2)


1 Frantic Search
1 Dramatic Reversal

Tutors (1)


1 Mystical Tutor
Approximate Total Cost:

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At the heart of it, this is a "Superfriends" deck. The plan is to try and stick planewalkers and get the various advantages of them, to eventually out resource your opponents or simply go infinite. This might be by getting emblems, using their ultimate's, or by using their abilities enough times that you pull ahead in card advantage. However getting planewalkers to survive opponents turns in multiplayer is one of the hardest things you can try in commander.

I will make it very clear that the main plan to aim for is getting a Rowan emblem, and then this has a snow ball effect of getting multiple Rowan emblems.
With this in mind many of your decisions should be about how to achieve this.

Starting Hands and Mulligans

With quite a lot of cheap artifact mana, you really hoping for one or two mana accelerant as Will & Rowan do cost six mana, so you can't afford to be too patient or get involved with your game plan too late into the game.
However if you have at least one mass creature removal in your starting hand like Mizzium Mortars, Chain Reaction, Blasphemous Act, Starstorm, Evacuation, Cyclonic Rift, then you can be confident that you have a more patient plan of waiting for opponents to commit creatures to the board, and then you can wipe them pre-casting your planeswalkers.

Heart of Kiran is a really solid way to protect your planeswalkers early as well, and is an excellent incentive to keep a starting hand.

You don't want too many similar cards, except artifact mana in your starting hand. You don't want too many mass creature removal spells as they require some period of time between casting them to be good.
Similar you don't want too many planeswalkers in your opening hand, as you normally need a setup period, and if your opponents have quick creature starts, you might find yourself with no opportunity to cast them onto the board without recursive value.

Having extra turn cards in your starting hand can be a liability for the early stages, but you can be patient with them, so consider starting hands worth keeping if you do have multiples, even if they will take you into the mid game before they are really playable.

Even though there are some combo cards in Cloudstone Curio, Rings of Brighthearth, The Chain Veil, they really are not good until the later stages of the game, so definitely don't keep starting hands based on having any of these, just be more happy to draw into them later.

Early Game

Mostly you are looking for artifact mana to help you speed up your game plan during the early stages. You do have planeswalkers that you can cast early on three or four mana, so it is possible to just play these into a relatively open board, and just get incremental value, helping with casting further cards, as a lot of them have in built mana abilities.

During the first few turns, it can really set the tempo for your game plan. Either opponents are not playing out creatures, and this sets you up nicely to cast your three and four drop planeswalkers to get recursive value. Otherwise the opponents boards start developing with creatures, and you know you have to hold off a be patient with a well timed mass creature removal or protection instead.

Your best plan during the early stages is just develop additional mana in any way you can, and remember that a lot of the planeswalkers do provide ongoing mana. Even if there might be some creature pressure on them, but you can keep them in play with enough loyalty counters, then you can aggressively cast them. But just be calculated and careful, don't just run them out because you don't have any other play.

Mid Game

Protecting your planeswalkers
You might be able play some early walkers into a relatively creatureless board, but honestly this is going to be more the rare case. Assume that you have to really find a strategic time to play out your walkers to not get them killed to creature attacks.

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Your main goal is to get a Rowan emblem(s). Once you get an emblem, there is a cascading effect that you are then able to set up multiples of the same emblem. The second time you ultimate her, you'll get two more emblems, as her -8 is itself an activated ability. Then the next one you'll get triple the triggers, so you'll get four more emblems, for a net of seven emblems. This may sound fantastical, but I actually do this all the time, it's essentially the same as going infinite.

Unfortunately Rowan's +2 ability doesn't help you in a meaningful way. So just casting her as your first plan of action without support and expecting to get to the -8 isn't really the best approach.

Step 1: Casting Will Kenrith
I almost always cast out Will Kenrith first, as his +2 actually has a way of protecting your walkers going forward.
Normally you are casting him out on a six mana curve if it looks like he can survive. This means that you probably won't have spare mana to use the -2 cost reduction for actually spells. So even though it's tempting to get the draw, most of the time you are better off just using the +2 until your next turn when you have all your mana available. That way you won't be using his -2 two turns in a row which would send him back to the commander zone. Even if there are no creatures to target with the +2 that first time you play him, don't be tempted by the -2.

Step 2: Casting Rowan Kenrith
This set's you up nicely to use Will -2 on the following turn, to then cast out Rowan Kenrith for 2 less mana, meaning that you might also be able to cast another spell to protect the siblings.

Mass creature removal
There are a number of mass creature removal cards. You are trying to find the opportunity to be able to successfully play out your planeswalkers without them being killed by creatures on opponents turns.
Often you are in a position where you have to choose between casting removal -or- casting out a planeswalker, but often you don't get to do both in a turn during the mid game.
If you are casting a mass removal spell, then it is possible that opponents fill the board with creatures on the following turns. Meaning that you are back to where you started as far as finding an opportunity to cast the walkers.

That's why instant speed removal has been prioritized in the deck, as it allows you to be patient and cast just before your turn, so that you can play a planeswalker(s) to get traction with them more easily. Evacuation, Mystic Confluence and Starstorm can do this.

Rowan Kenrith ability "-2 Deals 3 damage to each tapped creature target player controls." can help to make cards like Mizzium Mortars, Starstorm, more effective. Chain Reaction, Blasphemous Act to a lesser extent as these are probably normally killing everything anyway. However you are really not looking to use the -2 if you can help it, building her up to the emblem is a much better state to be in.

Will Kenrith, ability, "+2 Until your next turn, up to two target creatures each have base power and toughness 0/3 and lose all abilities." means that you can reduce the larger creatures, so that your damage spells are able to kill them as well. Good against making indestructible creatures, persist, etc, vulnerable to your creature removal, and specifically Rowan -2 ability.

Portcullis and Ward of Bones are a literally a prison cards against creature decks, keeping any further creatures into coming into play, and if you can get it down early or do a mass creature removal so that only two creatures are in play then Will Kenrith +2 ability can lock down creatures indefinitely.

Extra turns
There are a number of extra turn cards, because using planewalker abilities as many times as you can is amazing, and even working up loyalty counters to some of the more powerful ultimate and emblem abilities is one of the main ways of winning the game. I've chosen extra turn cards that do not exile themselves, specifically to get additional use out of Mystic Sanctuary to put them back on top of your library.

Savor the Moment is a great low cost extra turn card, because even though you don't untap, you get to use your Superfriends, and even a bunch of these have mana producing abilities so can even potentially still cast additional spells in your turn.

You should really hold onto your extra turn cards until you are sure you can get great value out of them.
Try and not just use them as "cyclers", meaning just casting them without a way of gaining additional value, other than drawing another card and maybe getting an extra land into play.
This means that often I'll be holding onto them for an amount of time, even if I could have simply cast them out.
Remember that we really want to get a Rowan emblem, and often extra turn cards are the best way of achieving that.
They are really precious to the game plan, so you might be wondering why the deck simply doesn't have more?
Well the rest do start getting more mana intensive, so you don't want to flood out with too many of them during the early part of the game.

Combo interactions
Deepglow Skate can really set you up for getting emblems quickly.

Omniscience can turn into a win pretty quick, as you can slam planewalkers, which often have further draw, so you can chain off fairly quickly. These with Cloudstone Curio will just win on the spot as you get infinite activation's of your Superfriends.

Late Game

If you haven't managed to stick your planeswalkers for whatever reason, then you should have lots of mana to be able to cast multiple spells in a turn later on into the game. Meaning you probably can play out a planeswalker or two and have mana up for casting further protection.

But often you're going to be setup with multiple planeswalkers, and most of the time a Rowan emblem(s).
The following sections on Rowan Interactions, Kenrith Interactions and Cloudstone Curio are mostly to do with late game interactions, that is turns 6 onward.
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I've been stressing how much of your goals is to get Rowan emblems, as this will allow you to copy each planewalker activation, getting incredible value and realistically winning you the game.
But there are a lot of other bonuses and interactions with copying activated abilities.

Her emblem allows you to get infinite colorless mana with Grim Monolith or Basalt Monolith.

With Voltaic Key and an artifact that produce two or more mana, you can get infinite mana. You can use one activation to untap itself and the other to untap the mana artifact. Gilded Lotus will get you infinite colored mana. Mana Crypt, Sol Ring, Mana Vault, Grim Monolith will get you infinite colorless.
Note that Mox Diamond, Chrome Mox, Izzet Signet, Talisman of Creativity, Izzet Locket can be used with Voltaic Key as a means of filtering to get colored mana if you have the infinite colorless.

You can get infinite ur with Izzet Boilerworks and Deserted Temple. To a lesser extent you can use Ancient Tomb to get you colorless for as much life as you are willing to lose.

All the lands that search for lands will get you double value, allowing you to get two lands instead.

Likewise Will Kenrith ability to target two creatures (0/3 lose abilities), will mean that you can shut down four creatures, probably locking your opponents out of relevant creatures.
An Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin activation will be more like casting a Dig Through Time, as you get to do it twice.
Then for the coup de grace, untap with either Minamo, School at Water's Edge or Deserted Temple which will have two activation's meaning that you can untap Azcanta twice, allowing you to essentially all up look at the top 24 cards of your library and put a selection of 6 of those non-creature non-land cards into your hand. This is all for 6uuuu plus the mentioned lands tapping.
Probably a more likely and less greedy play is to spend 4uu for a look at top 16 cards for 4 cards into hand.

You can see that her emblem can turn your land base into win conditions which is very powerful.

If you activate the The Chain Veil with her emblem in play then you'll be able to activate planewalker abilities twice each, and each will be copied. So it net's you four of the abilities per planeswalker. It doesn't get better than that for a Superfriends deck!

Her emblem also applies to creating copies of other emblems via your planeswalkers. So when you go for your second Rowan emblem, you'll actually end up copying it, so will net three of her emblems. This will of course double each time you go to get another emblem.

The same with Will emblem, you will get two emblems for each Rowan emblem you have, which is going to put games away pretty quickly with advantage.

You can also get infinite turns with Magosi, the Waterveil and Deserted Temple with Rowan's emblem and setting up for a secondary Rowan emblem.

Examples of use
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Firstly you need to have at least one Rowan emblem already AND setup Rowan again for another -8 to get an emblem. So it has to be done in a turn where you can do this. Very important.

1.) You already have a Rowan emblem.

2.) You are able to use Rowan -8 in the turn you want to go infinite.

3.) Before you activate Rowan -8 to get the emblem, you first activate activate Magosi, the Waterveil to skip a turn. It's now tapped.

4.) Because you have a Rowan emblem already, the Magosi, the Waterveil skip turn trigger will happen twice. So you've got two turns skipped stacked up.

5.) Once this is done, then you can ultimate Rowan -8 to get two more emblems. You will now have 3 Rowan emblems.

6.) Use Deserted Temple to untap Magosi, the Waterveil.

7.) Now you activate Magosi, the Waterveil to get an extra turn (it returns to hand immediately), but because of the 3 Rowan emblems you'll get 3 additional triggers, which means that you get four extra turns stacked up. But you've already got two turns skipped so that means you'll only get two extra turns.

But this can still be infinite as during this and those additional turns you can cast out Rowan again and build her up to more ultimate emblems.

You repeat the pattern of going back to step one, but you'll be stacking up multiples of skip turns, but as long as you do that before you get more Rowan emblems to get more extra turns. It'll always mean you have more extra turns than skipped turns.

If you don't have a Rowan emblem(s) already then you'll only get one additional turn, meaning you'll need to fade a turn round to try and get Rowan to ultimate again.

You can actually setup Magosi, the Waterveil with the eon counter earlier in the game if you don't have Deserted Temple, and then use this to get two extra turns on your first activation, meaning you can setup for multiple Rowan emblems, by casting her out and building up loyalty to 8 again during those extra turns.

You can also get infinite turns with Magosi, the Waterveil and Deserted Temple and Rings of Brighthearth, without Rowan's emblem. You can choose to copy just the extra turns ability, which means that you skip one turn and get two extra turns, meaning you will net an extra turn each time.
With at least two Rowan emblems, you can get infinite u with Minamo, School at Water's Edge.

Sensei's Divining Top can be used to draw a card for as many times as you want to recast it for 1, as it will activate the draw twice, it'll go back on top of library, and then because you're drawing two card you'll draw it again.
With Ugin, the Ineffable cost reduction this will be infinite draw.

The deck is not configured to use her +2 During target player's next turn, each creature that player controls attacks if able. in a meaningful manner other than to build up her loyalty.

Also her -2 Rowan Kenrith deals 3 damage to each tapped creature target player controls. ability I almost never use. The reason is that you really want to be building up for the emblem, so unless it's truly a very proactive way of protecting your planeswalkers, don't look for this ability to be something that you are actively planning for.
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Will Kenrith emblem will also pretty much wins you the game long term as you have great value instant and sorcery spells, especially the extra turn cards. A single extra turn card will get you two extra turns, and with Superfriends this can really get out-of-control for your opponents as you just gain so much value. It also makes it very hard for your opponents to counterspell what you're doing as you get two copies of each spell.

One thing that clicked to me is that Will Kenrith -2 ability will keep paying the commander tax for both Will and Rowan in that same turn used, if they keep returning to the commander zone.
With this in mind one combo is The Chain Veil with Will Kenrith -2 ability.
You activate the The Chain Veil allowing your planewalkers to use their abilities twice in the turn.
We activate Will Kenrith -2 ability to reduce the cost of planewalkers by a further 2 and draw 2 cards, and we use this twice each time we cast him.

Given that his starting loyalty is 4, this will cause Will to "die" and return back to the commander zone. But now his cost is reduced by 4 each time, covering the commander tax easily. With this each uu can be "Draw 4 cards, reduce the cost of instant, sorcery and planeswalkers by 4".

You can use Heart of Kiran to remove loyalty counters from Will or Rowan to purposefully send them back to the command zone. This way you don't need The Chain Veil for the double activation.

Will Kenrith ability, "+2 Until your next turn, up to two target creatures each have base power and toughness 0/3 and lose all abilities." is actually amazing at potentially locking down two of your opponents commanders, which can often be their whole deck strategy. If you can keep doing this through the game, you will find that some opponents simply don't get to do what their deck was designed for, especially if they are looking to do effects in their own turns mainly.
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A unique combo is using Cloudstone Curio to bounce other planewalkers. Certainly not a concept you might have thought about before?

With Cloudstone Curio in play and Will Kenrith -2 cost reduction, you can cast planewalkers, then bounce others that you have already used an ability for the turn. The intention is to keep recasting the planewalkers, with the main idea to keep netting mana (infinite), so that you can then just use the other abilities that gain advantage, as many times as you want.

Let's say that you really want to reduce the cost of planewalkers by at least 4 for the turn.
With Cloudstone Curio in play, you can use Will Kenrith -2 cost reduction ability, then cast another planewalkers, bouncing Will back to hand. Realistically you probably want it to be a walker that produces mana, so that you can recast Will easily. Use his ability again and now PW are reduced by 4.

Teferi, Temporal Archmage can untap 4 land and/or artifacts. If we have cost reduction by 4 for the turn, then you can always get the colored mana costs for PWs, which will be uu, rr or ur.
This means that you will have enough to cast any of the other planewalkers, use one of their abilities for advantage, then recast Teferi, Temporal Archmage, bouncing that planewalker to hand. You can keep repeating this process.

Some of the artifact mana can be used with Tezzeret the Seeker or Ral Zarek or Saheeli Rai, to gain the mana needed to keep recasting everything.

Koth of the Hammer should always at the very least be able to recast themself with the cost reduction, but hopefully you'll be gaining mana with Koth of the Hammer. Koth can get you u mana if you combine it with Volcanic Island or Steam Vents. All the fetch-lands for Mountains and Islands are in the deck, so you should always have access to at least one of these.
You can combine these planewalkers in a number of ways, but ultimately you want to be netting mana each time you keep doing the cycle. If you're gaining mana then you can break the cycle at any time to use an ability for advantage instead, which is normally draw of some kind. Once you draw enough of your deck, you can kill opponents with walker abilities and ultimate's with disruption backup.
Notable combo exclusions
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Planebound Accomplice is able to put planeswalkers into play for just r. If you combine this with any of the walkers that can produce at least rr (between them) then you can go infinite with Cloudstone Curio.
Any of the Chandras' can do this on their own, and you can just bounce Will Kenrith for infinite activation's to draw your deck.

Words of Wind is another card that you can look to bounce your permanents, with using a replacement draw instead and at the cost of 1. So it's more difficult to use as a combo card than Cloudstone Curio, but you can still look to do busted plays.

If you have Will Kenrith and another planeswalker that can produce at least 2rr then you can look to go infinite with Planebound Accomplice and Words of Wind.
You can use Will Kenrith -2 draw and use the replacement effect to return both Will and the mana producing planeswalker. This in turn will eventually return all your opponents permanents..good game.
Walkers that can do this are; Koth of the Hammer, Teferi, Temporal Archmage and Tezzeret the Seeker.

Now even if you have Chandras' that produce rr, Chandra, Novice Pyromancer, Chandra, Torch of Defiance, Chandra, Bold Pyromancer, you can still do this loop at the cost of 2 mana each time. That will mean returning X opponents permanents for as much mana as you have spare. The neat thing is that because you are using Will Kenrith -2 ability, you can just cast the Chandras' for their normal cost (only the last time), so won't lose them to Planebound Accomplice sacrifice.
Saheeli Rai and Ral Zarek can do similar things with Gilded Lotus, meaning you can spend an additional 1 to loop this, returning opponents' permanents for each 1 you invest.

Of course the math is changed if you have The Chain Veil with an activation, it's going to be easy to go infinite with any of the mana producing planeswalkers with Will Kenrith and Planebound Accomplice and Words of Wind.

Also if you have a Rowan emblem then you can easily go infinite, as you only need to activate Planebound Accomplice and it will trigger twice, allowing you to put 2 planeswalkers into play. Then you only need to activate Words of Wind once and it'll trigger twice. This means that you can loop for just 1r returning Will Kenrith and a mana producing planeswalkers, and opponents will eventually have to return all their permanents.
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I've pointed out infinite combos and the various interactions with cards, so when it comes to actually killing your opponents there are a number of ways to do this.

The thing is that all of the planeswalkers actually have a way to kill opponents if necessary. Keep in mind that you can have infinite planeswalkers activation's with Cloudstone Curio OR infinite turns OR The Chain Veil/Teferi, Temporal Archmage/Tezzeret the Seeker/Rowan emblem(s).

You can get infinite turns with Magosi, the Waterveil and Deserted Temple and then you can use Nexus of Fate to keep up the infinite turns after this. In fact you can draw your deck and just use the Nexus of Fate to get infinite turns.

In this instance you can just beat people to death with creatures after you bounce/kill all opponents creatures, so a Heart of Kiran is more than enough with infinite turns, but using Tezzeret the Seeker -5 to make your artifacts creatures beatdowns is bonus style points.
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I go through planeswalker abilities in the card choices section, but here is a quick run down of ways to kill your opponents with infinite planeswalker activation's.

Dack Fayden can also mill opponents out by targeting them with draw.
Saheeli Rai reduce opponents life totals to zero.
Chandra, Torch of Defiance will reduce opponents life totals to zero with the +1 and the emblem. Remember once you have infinite you can just get infinite Chandra emblems to cast a single spell to deal the required damage to all opponents.
Ral Zarek can reduce opponents life totals to zero.
Koth of the Hammer reduce opponents life totals to zero with emblem and use infinite turns for untapping your Mountains.
Tezzeret the Seeker creature beats, style points only rather than efficiency.
Ugin, the Ineffable amass an army of Spirit tokens.
Will Kenrith can mill opponents out by targeting them with draw.

I've literally never been without options on how to kill opponents once I have exacted the deck plans, it's always just a case of picking something for efficiency, style points or trying something new.
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Strengths
  • Although planeswalker are able to be attacked by creatures, there are also far less spells that specifically target or remove them. Against decks that have heavy creature removal, this is actually a boon for a Superfriends build. Some in fact are purely built to control creatures.
  • With cost reduction and plenty of alternative mana sources in planeswalkers and artifact mana, you will be setup up against potential opposing mana denial strategies, including stax and land destruction.
  • With two different commanders and six abilities to select from your command zone, your options to react to the game at a given time are quite unparalleled with commander versatility.
  • There is a lot of recursive card advantage, so your ability to draw into cards you need at specific states of the game is usually very high.


Weaknesses
  • If you are unable to protect your planeswalkers for whatever reason, then you'll find it hard to get recursive value out of them.
  • As a mostly creatureless deck, you can find yourself being attacked by opponents' creatures on your life total if you choose not to play out your planeswalkers. If you become the archenemy among creature heavy decks, then you'll constantly be the target of attacks.




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This section gives a complete run down of all the cards in the deck, but I also give you alternative card options for different themes and focuses. I explain what you can remove for card slots as well from the primer.
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The planeswalkers have been chosen mainly on their abilities to give you mana and/or card advantage, whether that's draw or removal.



Each opponent can't draw more than one card each turn.
Drawing cards is one of the single most sort after things to do in commander and so shutting down opponents' ability to do this outside of their normal draw can be back-breaking. There are some big draw symmetrical cards in the deck with Wheel of Fortune and Windfall and this will mean that they discard their hands and only draw 1 card!

-2: Look at the top four cards of your library. You may reveal a noncreature, nonland card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.
Allows you to dig deep for action cards.



+1: Target player draws two cards, then discards two cards.
Card filtering can be important to getting you to cards you want at various stage of the game.

-2: Gain control of target artifact.
Gaining early artifact mana, or potentially an opponents own combo artifact.

-6: You get an emblem with "Whenever you cast a spell that targets one or more permanents, gain control of those permanents."
Unfortunately all the targeting spells, return to hand or destroy, so this emblem is not effective in this deck.



+1: Scry 1. Saheeli Rai deals 1 damage to each opponent.
A bit of top deck manipulation, and you can use the 1 damage as a win condition with infinite.

-2: Create a token that's a copy of target artifact or creature you control, except it's an artifact in addition to its other types. That token gains haste. Exile it at the beginning of the next end step.
The main use for Saheeli Rai, can provide additional mana by copying artifact mana.

-7: Search your library for up to three artifact cards with different names, put them onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library.
You can get Gilded Lotus, Cloudstone Curio to setup an infinite bounce combo with your planeswalkers.




+1: Tap target permanent, then untap another target permanent.
You can untap a mana source to help with chaining casting multiple spells.

-2: Ral Zarek deals 3 damage to any target.
Can kill any creature combined with Will +2 ability. Can be used as a win condition with infinite.

-7: Flip five coins. Take an extra turn after this one for each coin that comes up heads.
On average you should get 2.5 additional turns, which with your planeswalkers is game winning.



+1: Untap target Mountain. It becomes a 4/4 red Elemental creature until end of turn. It's still a land.
Can be used to provide additional mana for casting multiple spells.

+1:Add R for each Mountain you control.
With 14 Mountain sources in the deck, you can get at least a couple of additional red when used.

+1: You get an emblem with "Mountains you control have 'T: This land deals 1 damage to any target.'"
Not an emblem you're aiming for on the whole, but certainly if presented you can use it to control the board if necessary. Can be used as a win condition with infinite.



+1: Exile the top card of your library. You may cast that card. If you don't, Chandra, Torch of Defiance deals 2 damage to each opponent.
Offers some card advantage and the 2 damage is a win condition with infinite.

+1: Add RR to your mana pool.
Perfect for gaining additional mana when you get Will cost reduction.

-4: Chandra, Torch of Defiance deals 4 damage to target creature.
Can kill any creature combined with Will +2 ability.

-7: You get an emblem with "Whenever you cast a spell, this emblem deals 5 damage to any target."
Not an emblem that you are specifically aiming for, but you can easily control the game with these triggers. Can be used as a win condition with infinite.




+1: Untap up to two target artifacts.
When used with artifact mana you can gain additional mana.

-x: Search your library for an artifact card with converted mana cost X or less and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library.
Can be used to get combo artifacts, like Cloudstone Curio, Rings of Brighthearth, The Chain Veil. Also nice to get artifact mana.

-5: Artifacts you control become artifact creatures with base power and toughness 5/5 until end of turn.
Not an ability that you'd look to use, other than maybe an alpha strike.



+1: Look at the top two cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand and the other on the bottom of your library.
Good card advantage.

-1: Untap up to four target permanents.
One of the best of the planeswalkers for gaining additional mana.

+1: You get an emblem with "You may activate loyalty abilities of planeswalkers you control on any player's turn any time you could cast an instant."
This can really win you the game quickly as you gain so much advantages when you have a number of walkers in play.




Colorless spells you cast cost 2 less to cast.
With 19 artifacts and plenty of draw you can get decent payoff of cost reduction in the deck.

+1 Exile the top card of your library face down and look at it. Create a 2/2 colorless Spirit creature token. When that token leaves the battlefield, put the exiled card into your hand.
Offering both planeswalker protection and eventual card advantage. Can be used as a win condition with infinite.

-3: Destroy target permanent that's one or more colors.
A nice catch all removal card for anything that's not colorless.


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As I pointed out the Superfriends I have chosen specifically for their ability to provide additional mana, as a way to chain multiple spells a turn combined with Will Kenrith -2 ability to reduce the cost of them.

But with 60 planeswalkers in Izzet (up to Core 2020), there is an incredible selection that you can chose from.
I will point out some planeswalkers that I think are very playable for a Superfriends theme, given some adjusts to the potential rest of your 99, to make them synergies in a more meaningful way.

Other planeswalkers that produce mana

Chandra, Novice Pyromancer -1 add rr is an enabler of chaining together spells, and a Cloudstone Curio combo interaction.
However I played with it for many months and the fact that the rest of the abilities are not relevant to the rest of the deck meant that I cut it.

Chandra, Bold Pyromancer has the same sort of +1 add rr ability to enable chaining spells. But again the rest of the abilities lack too much offerings for the deck on the whole, and the cost meant that after running this card since I built the deck, I've finally had to trim it on account of doing more streamlined plays.

Quality all rounder planeswalkers

Jace, the Mind Sculptor is just an all round versatile planeswalker, providing draw and minimal protection with the bounce ability.
His [0] Brainstorm ability has some amazing synergy with the new God-Eternal Kefnet and extra turn cards. If you keep putting an extra turn card on top of your library then you'll get infinite turns with Kefnet. The ultimate is a lot harder to achieve and only defeats one player, so not the best in multiplayer.

Jace, Architect of Thought "draw" ability is excellent at digging deeper into your deck. His +1 is good at protecting against going wide token strategies. The -8 ultimate can do very tricky plays depending on opponents decks.

Tamiyo, the Moon Sage offers minimal protection with her +1. The -2 can be combined with Rowan -2 ability to force creatures to tap. Her -8 is fairly unbeatable, a single extra turn card is infinite. Only really very good graveyard hate would be able to stop you with the emblem.


Tezzeret, Artifice Master [0] to draw two cards isn't the hardest to get three artifacts as there are quite a lot of artifact mana (and draw to get them). His +1 provides some minimal protection. The -9 can get you key cards, but note that it is at end of your turn, so you wouldn't be able to use a planeswalkers straight away. Meishin, the Mind Cage or Omniscience would be fine for first trigger.

I wanted the The Royal Scions to be really good in the deck for the vorthos flavor, but unfortunately they are just average really after trying them out for a few months in the deck. They are still fine, they can offer some card filtering with their +1. The creature bonus is completely lost on the build however. The ultimate is a good source of card advantage, but ultimately (pun not intended) you want very powerful effects for these as they are hard to achieve and there are better options in planeswalkers.

Jace, Vryn's Prodigy is just a nice way to filter through cards early on in the game to massage your draw. The main use once you get to flip him is to use the -3 to cast instant or sorcery. However the deck isn't too strongly focused on instant and sorcery, so in the end I cut it from the deck due to not really playing enough cantrip cards in the deck like Ponder, Preordain, to make sure there are more targets for him. Also you can't use him as part of the Cloudstone Curio combos for planeswalkers as he comes back as a creature.

Chandra, Acolyte of Flame is another card that I added to the deck, really for the ability to get more loyalty counters for getting Rowan to her ultimate.
Her -3 ability to cast a 3 or less converted instant or sorcery was another reason to try her, but I've ended up cutting cantrips like Ponder and Preordain, and so just like Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, the access to using the ability just become a little too weak.



Planeswalkers with artifact synergy

If you are running a threshold of artifacts, then there are some other planeswalkers that can benefit. I already have Saheeli Rai in the deck, which has some artifact synergy. There are 19 artifacts in the deck, which does lead into being enough to support minimal artifact matters.

Daretti, Scrap Savant +2 is card filtering and stacking your graveyard. His -2 can get back combo cards as well as potentially swap some of the cheaper artifacts for better ones.

Saheeli, the Gifted has a big colorless reduction for a spell each turn. Combined this with Will Kenrith -2 cost reduction and you'd only need a few artifacts to make a really big spell cost the colored portion of the spell. Her +1 offers a tiny bit of protection.



Saheeli, Sublime Artificer can offer protection with generating 1/1 tokens, however your ability to create a lot of them is limited. You can turn the 1/1's into a Gilded Lotus for example when you need additional mana.



Colorless Planeswalkers

The colorless planeswalkers have the advantage that with Will Kenrith -2 cost reduction, you don't need to find colored mana sources to cast them, and there are a lot more additional colorless sources in the deck like Sol Ring, Mana Vault, etc.
Also if you manage to stack cost reduction, maybe a Rowen emblem, then this makes it even better. The ultimate you can do is with Cloudstone Curio and enough cost reduction to reduce the casting of two colorless planeswalkers you can infinitely bounce them.

Karn, Scion of Urza +1 and -1 provide slightly slower card advantage. The -2 can potentially offer protection if you have a number of artifacts.

Ugin, the Spirit Dragon is another catch all removal cards for colored permanents. If you use his -x ability you might have to exile some of your own permanents, but the ongoing ability to also remove creatures or planeswalkers with his +2 is a great way to control the game. The -10 can really get you ahead with drawing 7 cards and then just putting 7 permanents into play, which are likely to include a number of planeswalkers.

Karn, the Great Creator static ability certainly can stop or slow down lots of decks in commander. His -2 can be combined with Karn, Scion of Urza ability that exiles cards. Also you can use it if exile removal has been cast.

Karn Liberated is a disruption planeswalker, so card advantage comes in the form of removing permanents.
Having a catch all removal can be important if opponents play something that specifically stops your game plans. His -14 can be game winning if you have exiled even just a few cards, as you just get to start with a completely one sided start.



Configuring the deck to use planeswalkers with artifact and colorless synergies.

The idea is to use all the colorless planeswalkers, to setup making them easier to cast, or in fact get infinite's with Cloudstone Curio.

Note that the colorless planeswalkers also have cost reduction with Ugin, the Ineffable.
Saheeli, the Gifted cost reduction is also excellent as you might not have to tap any other mana sources to cast the colorless planeswalkers.

There is a complete lock down on opponents with Mycosynth Lattice and Karn, the Great Creator, meaning that they won't even be able to tap their lands.

Mycosynth Lattice also works with Saheeli, the Gifted and Ugin, the Ineffable.

Note that Ugin, the Spirit Dragon -x ability is nonbo with Mycosynth Lattice as all permanents will be colorless.

Also some of the sorcery removal is replaced with planeswalker removal with Karn Liberated and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon.


Planeswalkers that suggest graveyard as a resource (with instant and sorcery)

A lot of the Izzet planeswalkers have abilities that put cards into your graveyard. There are also some that use your graveyard for advantages as well. You can look to combine these in some manner to make your graveyard a substantial additional source of resources for the deck.

Chandra Ablaze -2 is able to put cards into your graveyard and draw fresh new cards. The+1 and -7 leans on the number of red spells you play in your deck, so this would have to be a large consideration.
The -7 is instants and sorceries as well, so with Will Kenrith -2 cost reduction, you'd want to have a decent number of these types.

Chandra, Flamecaller [0] ability can be used to leverage off your graveyard, as well as filtering and draw. The +1 isn't very relevant, unless maybe against opponents planeswalkers. The -x can be combined with Will Kenrith +2 to kill two creatures by just -3, which means you can do it the turn Chandra comes into play.

Jaya Ballard +1 ability to add rrr for instants and sorcery can pay for large portions of high end spells. Her +1 card filtering can be used to stack your graveyard as well as draw into more relevant spells.The -8 emblem is perfect for gaining use out of your graveyard, so would be one of the payoffs for the other cards that put cards into graveyard.

Jace, Memory Adept|Magic 2012 [0] is a massive way to setup your graveyard. The +1 is minimal draw and graveyard setup. -7 Draw 20 cards is pretty impressive.


Ral, Izzet Viceroy -3 benefits more from filling the graveyard and his +1 does put a card into the graveyard. His -8 emblem is hard to beat as you can control the board of creatures and just get massive draw, especially combined with Will Kenrith -2 cost reduction of instants and sorcery, so you'll only be limited by your colored mana to just keep stringing drawing cards.

Jace, Wielder of Mysteries +1 provides some draw and graveyard setup. The -8 draw 7 cards is decent.
If you built the deck a certain way then the win condition of no cards in library would certainly be relevant.



The below spoiler has a list of cards that I've marked as potential spells to support this strategy. It is in no way a complete list, but these cards definitely are ones that I'd like to highlight.


Configuring the deck to use planeswalkers with instant, sorcery and/or graveyard abilities.

This deck configuration is much more focused on using Will Kenrith -2 for not only some planeswalkers but a lot more instants and sorceries. Rather than focusing on Rowans emblem, Will Kenrith emblem will provide you much more value. With a lot of planeswalkers that can filter cards into your graveyard and then ways to cast them from there, you can really double up on the instants and sorcery you have in the deck. Every one of these going to your graveyard from anywhere can become the same as basically drawing them.

With so many planeswalkers that can fill your graveyard with cards, Past in Flames and Mizzix's Mastery become potentially very powerful.

Chandra Ablaze can cast all the red instants and sorceries in your graveyard with her -7 without paying their mana cost. I've avoided spells with X in the casting cost as to make this ability more effective in the long run.
Jaya Ballard can also cast instants and sorceries from your graveyard once you get the -8 emblem.

Gamble can be used to search for Past in Flames if you wanted to be sure you can get value, as it doesn't matter if it is the card that gets randomly discarded as you can flash it back.

Intuition can also be used to put cards into your graveyard, by getting three of your best spells.

There are some other cards that you can cast from your graveyard in Deep Analysis, Chemister's Insight, which means that you can basically get free value if you put it into your graveyard from library.

Dig Through Time can leverage off a larger graveyard.

Firemind's Foresight is a versatile tutor and can be free to cast from graveyard if you use Chandra Ablaze -7.

Turnabout is an easy way to gain mana, especially with Will Kenrith -2.

Because we are not focusing on Rowan emblem as much, many of the cards that benefit from it have been removed.
Also the planeswalkers are not designed for the Cloudstone Curio combos.
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Spark Double is extremely unique in that you can copy any planeswalker and not have it die due to the legendary rule. Honestly the main plan is just to copy Will Kenrith as he is so powerful. Cost reduction by -4 and draw 4 cards. Locking out 4 creatures with the +2 is a lot for opponents to handle.
Note that Spark Double does not benefit from Will Kenrith -2 ability, so you won't be able to use Cloudstone Curio bounce combo with the discount.

With Deepglow Skate you can set up with emblems or ultimate's, and getting Rowan emblem is a key goal in the deck.
There are a number of ways to return permanents to hand in the deck as well, so even if you cast it, you can potentially look to get use out of it later on in the game if it remains on the battlefield.

Cloudstone Curio is a key combo card in the deck.

To read all the interactions click here.

With Rings of Brighthearth I've detailed out all the interactions with a Rowan emblem, and Rings has the same effect, except requires 2 each time. So where as a lot of them are infinite mana, you can't get the infinite benefits. This does get you infinite colorless mana with Grim Monolith or Basalt Monolith.

With The Chain Veil being able to use your planeswalkers abilities twice (or more) in a turn is one of your goals. You can use either Tezzeret the Seeker or Teferi, Temporal Archmage to untap it, perhaps along with other artifact mana to get even more activation's from it.



Notable exclusions

Flux Channeler ability to proliferate is a way to get your planeswalkers up to their emblems or ultiamtes quicker, and if you can string together a number of spells in a few turns then you can really get the traction you want with loyalty counters. This is much more possible with Will -2 ability to allow for potentially casting multiple spells each turn.

Planebound Accomplice is the "Sneak Attack" of Magic for planeswalkers, you can spend r to put your walkers into play from hand.
The downside is that you have to sacrifice them at end of turn, but we are looking to use it in a more combo like manner.
To read interactions with Planebound Accomplice and Cloudstone Curio or Words of Wind click here.

You can use the cost reduction to setup emblems/ultimate's of walkers with Deepglow Skate much more easily.
You can use the cost reduction to put Tezzeret the Seeker into play then, use Tezzeret -3 to get Cloudstone Curio. With another planeswalker in hand you can go infinite if you can produce rr between Tezzeret and the other walker.

Words of Wind is similar to Cloudstone Curio in that you can return planeswalkers potentially. But it does require investing mana and replacement draw effects, so it has to be combined with very specific cards to get effective advantages.

To read all the interactions click here.

Dream Halls - Although it is a symmetrical ability that opponents can use, you should be patient with this card and only play it when you know that you can string together massive turns. There are a lot of planeswalkers that give you card advantages, so look for these to keep you drawing to pay for the colored discard outlets to keep casting cards.

For interactions with Will Kenrith -2 cost reduction and commander tax click here.
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Damage to all creatures in instants and sorceries to kill them off.

Mizzium Mortars being able to remove a single creature can be beneficial during the early game and then for longer games this can cast later on for it's overloaded cost, to probably kill off most creatures.

Chain Reaction almost always kills off all the creatures, so you can think of this as like reds Wrath of God.



Blasphemous Act is often cast for around 1-3 mana, the cheapest removal (mostly) as you can just be patient and wait for the board to fill up with creatures. This is perfect for having spare mana available to then cast a number of other spells, planeswalkers usually being the best.

Starstorm ability to cast at instant speed is really beneficial to being able to cast multiple spells to setup your planeswalkers. You can cast this just before your turn to clear off your opponents creatures, to then follow it up with planeswalkers so that they are not pressured immediately.



Returning creatures to hand is another way of getting them off the board.

Evacuation at five mana it's perfect for casting just before your turn to clear the board of creatures, and then you can following it up with likely Will Kenrith, to mitigate creature pressure.

Mystic Confluence is a very versatile card as it allows you to draw and counterspell, but if you use it to return 3 creatures to hand just before your turn, and can follow it up with Will Kenrith, and then just lock down two other creatures with his +2 ability. This means that you have a really good chance at setting yourself for some rounds without too much pressure on your planeswalkers.

Cyclonic Rift can be cast early if desperate, or as we all know later on for the overloaded cost to blow opponents well laid plans of pressuring your planeswalkers.



There is also some on-board ways to protect them.

Heart of Kiran is a perfect two drop that can set you up to block creatures, especially in the early game. You can follow it up with a three mana planeswalker like Dack Fayden, Saheeli Rai, Saheeli, Sublime Artificer, and be able to block. As a vehicle it also avoids being removed by your own creature removal. It is also part of commander tax combos that I meantioned already, so overall this is an excellent inclusion.

Portcullis can prevent further creatures from entering the battlefield and if you get to time it with only 2 creatures in play you can lock down them indefinitely with Will Kenrith +2 ability, giving your walkers perfect protection.

It also potentially gives you time to draw into your other mass removal effects if opponents have been playing out their creatures under it, which means that even if it gets removed and all the creatures come into play, you can get remove more resources (creatures) with those spells, which ends up being pure card advantage.

As long as you have a counterspell for any removal, then it just means that you don't have to worry about opponents casting creatures at all, which is a huge boon.

Ward of Bones can prevent further creatures from entering the battlefield just like Portcullis. but it also extends to artifacts, lands and enchantments.
A very powerful card once it hits the table locking down a lot of opponents' decks ability to further any game plans until its dealt with.
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Keeping your planeswalkers on the battlefield through opponents turns, really is a major element to the deck, so looking at additional or alternative methods could interest you, especially depending on your meta.
I've listed some cards that could potentially be used.
  • Nevinyrral's Disk - As it doesn't remove planeswalkers, this can be a really great way to wipe the board but still retain your planeswalker advantages. You might over-extend your artifacts into this card,as you might not have had it up to a certain stage, but don't play around it too much unless you have it already, then can try and not play your artifact and enchantments as well
  • Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs - is a powerful option as it just keeps lining up with what your opponents are doing with ground creatures. It doesn't matter how wide they go. With Rowan +2 it also means that you can cause bad attacks, as your opponents might also have creatures to block and kill.
  • Meishin, the Mind Cage - Expensive to cast, and as an enchantment doesn't benefit from Will -2 cost reduction, but it's ability to offer on-going protection is nice. It is a single card on the board so it is susceptible to removal, which is harder to plan around.
  • Fiery Confluence - Can be used to deal 3 damage to each creature if you choose the same mode. However removing artifacts can be an important aspect to protecting your planewalkers. The reason is that cards like Lightning Greaves, Swiftfoot Boots can give your opponents creatures haste, and this makes it more difficult to play around creature attacks on your planeswalkers. So this card was an inclusion as a result of this happening a lot as they are popular cards. But it's obviously versatile and can just be used to remove combo artifacts as well.
  • Reins of Power - Is a combat trick, this can be used to steal one set of opponents creatures during an attack, to then block. Possible killing off both opponents creatures if you can line up lethal damage on each of them.
On-board protection that produce multiple creatures for blocking. These are additional instants or sorcery that deal damage to all/some creatures. Once off stopping creature attacks.
Further cards that offer removal or protection against creatures.
  • Jokulhaups and Obliterate serve a double purpose of not only removing threats from the board, that are not planeswalkers, but also limiting how your opponent can play by removing most mana sources in lands and artifacts.
  • Chandra, Flamecaller - It is comparable to xR spells, but can only do 4 damage on it's first turn play. but this might be good enough. Dismissed this planewalker because of the +1 is so useless to the game plan of the deck. But the [0] can be used.
  • Lavaball Trap - You should get an opponent playing and using a fetch-land, so this is much more reliable to be turn on for the 3rr than you might think. Obviously much more acceptable form of land destruction and should clear the board of a lot of creatures.
  • Keranos, God of Storms - Can do work over time with the 3 damage, and with planeswalkers giving devotion has a chance at being an indestructible creature, which can threaten to block and kill most ground creatures, while not being effected by your own mass creature removal
  • Silent Arbiter - Prevent more than one creature attacking each combat which is much more manageable. With 5 toughness, opponents need a big creature or a flyer to get in damage.
  • Meekstone - Works on larger creatures, but doesn't stop go wide token strategies.
  • Ensnaring Bridge - Can prevent creatures from attacking, but with a reasonable amount of card draw in a deck it's hard to actually find the balance between not having cards in hand, and wanting a proactive game plan of filtering through your deck with card advantage.
  • Dream Tides and Mudslide are excellent combined with mana denial, as it really taxes your opponents on what they can do. This then translates to on-going protection for your planeswalkers.
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I've already listed some instants and sorcery in the planeswalker protection section with mass removal. But here are the rest of them in the deck, and they combine nicely with Will Kenrith -2 ability to reduce the cost of them by 2.


Extra Turns

Savor the Moment is a great cheap extra turn card, that even though you don't get to unatp, you can build up value on your planeswalkers, including loyalty counters to get them quicker to the ultimate's.

Time Warp, Capture of Jingzhou, Temporal Manipulation are premium costed for extra turn cards. As mentioned in the section "playing the game", be patient with extra turn cards and try and only use them for major value, with getting Rowan emblem very important.


With Temporal Mastery you can use Mystical Tutor to set this up specifically, use Brainstorm if you have it in hand, or might just get lucky so you can cast it for 1u.


With Nexus of Fate being an instant, means that you can wait just before your turn before you cast it. This allows you to get two turns in a row, which is perfect for casting out your planeswalkers, building them up to ultimate's and protecting them..



Draw

Brainstorm is a premium cantrip, to smooth your draws. Can be used to setup Temporal Mastery for a mana efficient extra turn.
You can use shuffle effects, like fetch-lands to shuffle unwanted card that you might put back on top from your hand.

Wheel of Fortune is red's trump card for refilling your hand with cards. Look to use this with Underworld Breach as a way to put cards into your graveyard to pay for the escape ability of cards. With Will -2 cost reduction you can just keep recasting it as many times as you need to stock your graveyard.

If you cast this with Narset, Parter of Veils in play then opponents will discard their hand and only draw a single card off it.

Windfall works much the same way as Wheel of Fortune in that you can use it to restock your hand and also can be used with Underworld Breach as an engine card or with Narset, Parter of Veils for additional effects.

Tezzeret's Gambit cost reduced with Will -2 means you can cast this for 1 which is great value and you get to put a loyalty counter on each of your planeswalkers.



Fact or Fiction is a nice value draw card which will only cost you 1u with Will -2.
It can also be used as a way of fueling your graveyard for Underworld Breach. Putting cards into your graveyard means that you can potentially keep recasting it.



Disruption

Pact of Negation at zero cost is perfect for a combo turn where you are going to go infinite anyway. Allows you to tap out and still have disruption against opponents potential wins or disruption.

Swan Song is a cheap counterspell. The 2/2 flyer is not perfect however as it can be used against your planeswalkers.



Arcane Denial - You can get small advantages by setting up the top of your library with Temporal Mastery and if you get to counter a spell, then this can become the first spell you draw (in opponents turn).

Mana Drain - Premium double blue counterspell, can really set you up to cast a Will Kenrith on turn three if yo have it in your starting hand.
If you don't have the budget for this then Counterspell or Delay are fine replacements.


Force of Will is another counterspell that allows you to tap out and still be able to disrupt opponents or push through your own spells.


With Vandalblast as I mentioned Lightning Greaves and Swiftfoot Boots can cause you problems with creature attacks on your planeswalkers, so this is an all round good card that can help to hose opponents leaning too much on artifacts.



Untap mana sources

Dramatic Reversal can be combined with Isochron Scepter and enough artifacts that tap for more than 2 to produce infinite mana.
It can also be used with Underworld Breach as a renewable way to keep producing mana in a turn that you want to produce lots of mana, given you are able to keep recasting for the escape 3 cost.

Frantic Search can be used to filter through cards, basically at the cost of nothing. But it is a way to fuel Underworld Breach escape ability. You can get a big turn going by using Will -2 cost reduction to make it only cost u. This means that you actually net mana. You can keep recasting it with Underworld Breach escape ability as you are putting cards into your graveyard.




Tutor

Mystical Tutor is a very versatile card, which can get mass removal, extra turns, draw, etc.
A nice play is to put Temporal Mastery on top before your turn to cast it for it's miracle cost of 1u.
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I've already mentioned some artifacts in the Planeswalker Support, that are combo orientated or value. The rest of the artifacts are mainly mana rocks, and some utility and combo.


Artifact mana

Mana Crypt, Sol Ring, Mana Vault are premium efficient colorless mana accelerates.
They can be important parts of gaining mana with a number of the untap planeswalker abilities like Teferi, Temporal Archmage, Tezzeret the Seeker, Ral Zarek, Saheeli Rai.

Grim Monolith, Basalt Monolith can get you infinite colorless mana with a Rowan emblem.

For interactions with Rowan emblem click here


Mox Diamond, Chrome Mox, Izzet Signet, Arcane Signet, Gilded Lotus are all the artifacts that provide colored mana in the deck.
They can be important parts of gaining mana with a number of the untap planeswalker abilities like Teferi, Temporal Archmage, Tezzeret the Seeker, Ral Zarek, Saheeli Rai.
There is also Dramatic Reversal and this can be combined with Isochron Scepter for infinite mana if you have artifacts that produce more than 2.



Utility or Combo

Sensei's Divining Top as mentioned with a Rowan emblem can be used to draw for each 1 you spend. With Ugin, the Ineffable this would be infinite. There are 10 ways to shuffle your library to see new cards on top, and also Will & Rowan partner ability allows you to shuffle.

For interactions with Rowan emblem click here.

With Dramatic Reversal on Isochron Scepter you can untap the Sensei's Divining Top with the draw trigger on the stack enabling you to keep tapping for more draw. You can literally draw your deck, and the neat thing is that Dramatic Reversal doesn't even need to be gaining you mana. So a single Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, etc would be enough to combo this way.

Voltaic Key as mentioned can be used to get infinite's in a number of combinations with Rowan emblem, and an excellent way to get more mana from your artifact mana. Untapping The Chain Veil is an option as well.

For interactions with Rowan emblem click here.

Isochron Scepter is mainly included to combo with Dramatic Reversal to give you infinite mana with enough artifacts in play. But you can use disruption cards if you wanted to have renewable way to do this; Mana Drain, ...
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There are only five enchantments in the deck, as Will Kenrith -2 cost reduction does not help with paying for them, so I've only selected some premium enchantments for the deck strategy.


Mystic Remora is a cheap way to get draw, especially with more competitive games where non-creature spells are favored.

Search for Azcanta is a great way to filter cards, and then once transformed into Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin, is land ramp of a kind.

For interactions with Rowan emblem click here.


Rhystic Study is just a solid draw card, and the more competitive a meta is, normally more spells are being cast, and opponents' are forced into not paying the tax to keep up with you.

Omniscience is a real game winner if you get it in play, as with so much card draw from your planeswalkers, you can string together casting a lot of cards each turn, if not infinite if you get to draw some cards like Cloudstone Curio.



Underworld Breach is a card that I've dedicated an entire thread to theory-crafting around. You can check it out here. You can see at the end of the post, that Will & Rowan are part of a case study and you will see the conclusions to incorporating this and a few other cards into the deck.

But to summarize, you can use Frantic Search and/or Fact or Fiction to keep putting cards into your graveyard. With Will -2 cost reduction these will only cost u or 1u respectively.
So not only will Frantic Search put cards into your graveyard to give you cards for Underworld Breach escape 3, but you'll also be gaining mana as you untap 3 lands.
The way the split works with Fact or Fiction, you'll also be able to decently put cards into your graveyard to keep using the escape a solid amount of times.

Then you are able to produce mana in a few additional ways. Dramatic Reversal with enough artifacts to gain mana each time you recast it. Also Release to the Wind can be used to keep recasting a planeswalker that gets you blue mana. For example Tezzeret the Seeker untapping artifacts that produce more than one mana, as Release to the Wind will only cost u with Will -2.

With the ability to keep filling your graveyard with Frantic Search/Fact or Fiction and ways keep generating mana, you can keep churning through your deck until you get to win-conditions. So these are very much a indefinite combo interaction within the deck.

Underworld Breach is also just a nice way to get key cards back from your graveyard in the face of removal, discard, mill or whatever.
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Volcanic Island, Steam Vents - The duel lands with "basic" types are great to use with Koth of the Hammer ability to untap a Mountain, meaning that you can get blue mana from the ability with these lands.

Izzet Boilerworks does come into play tapped, but getting double mana from a land can be important for getting infinite mana with a Rowan emblem combined with Deserted Temple

For interactions with Rowan emblem click here.

Command Tower, Cascade Bluffs, Sulfur Falls, Shivan Reef. There are not that many duel lands in the deck, and this is a reflection of not needing to color fix your mana base too much, because most of the spells are easy to cast on time. The deck mainly wants to make sure you have blue mana to cast most early plays, so needing red mana isn't the most important to fix early. But eventually you do want two sources of red mana to cast your spells, but honestly you shouldn't have a problem with this as long as you are mindful with your fetch-lands.

Fiery Islet is a untapped duel land, but the draw could be important when you are really scrambling for answers. It's better to not use it to early in the game as keeping your mana sources is important for gaining traction on the rest of the table. Also you get double the draw with a Rowan emblem.

Mystic Sanctuary is a powerful Island that can be used to put back instant and sorcery from your graveyard back onto your library. Because it has the "Island" type you can use Scalding Tarn, Flooded Strand, Polluted Delta, Misty Rainforest at any time to put it into play to trigger it, giving you a reach on spells you may want to recast from graveyard.
Certainly the extra turns cards are the most appealing, but it might be that you need mass removal as well.
You can even look to use it multiple times with Cloustone Curio or Words of Wind ability to return lands to hand.

You could easily look to get infinite turns. With Cloustone Curio you can return the Mystic Sanctuary to hand every alternative turn, but let's say you are using Will Kenrith -2 ability to draw more cards, there is a high chance of drawing into further extra turn cards.

With Words of Wind if you have a way to keep drawing another card for the turn (besides normal draw step) then you can use a replacement draw to return the Mystic Sanctuary to replay it, putting an extra turn card back on top. This will give you infinite turns.

Minamo, School at Water's Edge can give you infinite blue mana with at least two Rowan emblems. As Minamo is itself a legendary permanent, you can spend u to target itself, and with 2 additional Rowan emblem triggers you can target it twice more, meaning you can tap it for two additional blue. You spend one on activating the loop again and this will leave you with a left over mana.

Magosi, the Waterveil has a very complicated sequence that you can look to get infinite turns, but you have to study the method closely as I detail in the Rowan emblem section.

For interactions with Rowan emblem click here.

Deserted Temple is part of a few infinite mana combos, when combined with Rowan emblems.
If you have at least two Rowan emblems then you can use the additional triggers to untap multiple lands.
If you have at least one land that can produce two or more mana then you can get infinite mana with just one Rowan emblem. Izzet Boilerworks and Ancient Tomb can do this, although you can obviously only use the Ancient Tomb for as much life as you are willing to give.

For interactions with Rowan emblem click here.

Ancient Tomb is a fast mana card, and casting your walkers a turn earlier can be a big tempo play.
Can be used to get you indefinite colorless mana with a Rowen emblem and Deserted Temple for us much life as you are willing to lose.

For interactions with Rowan emblem click here

Arcane Lighthouse is a way to target pesky hexproof/shroud creatures with Will Kenrith +2 ability.

Equipment that gives protection can often be a problem for the deck like Lightning Greaves and Swiftfoot Boots, and this land can help to get around those.

Scalding Tarn can get either an Island or a Mountain.

Flooded Strand, Polluted Delta, Misty Rainforest can get Islands.

Arid Mesa, Bloodstained Mire, Wooded Foothills can get Mountains.

For the basic lands there is a 2:1 ratio between Island (8) and Mountain (4).
With only being a two color deck, color-fixing your mana base to cast your spells means that you can have quite a few basics in the deck. This in turn protects you against any non-basic land hate that opponents might have in their deck.



Notable exclusions
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Stax and/or Prison.

"Image"
With Will Kenrith ability for cost reduction, it can set you up to mitigate symmetrical effects that look to restrict mana that either make spells cost more or by taking away mana bases.

This section is to help you configure the deck into more of a mana denial deck, rather that a good stuff value or combo deck.

One thing to really note is that often mana abilities are gained through tapping cards, whether that's lands, creatures or artifacts. So when a card that prevents untapping mana sources is played it effects the ability to produce mana from those permanents.
Thus there is some inherit advantages to the planeswalkers already in the deck that provide mana combined with untapping prevention as they don't care about this.



Cards that prevent untapping permanents in some manner include Winter Orb, Static Orb, Tangle Wire, Back to Basics.
Running Back to Basics implies that you need to configure your deck with a decent basic land threshold, otherwise you can be effected just as much as the rest of the table. Therefore some of the non-basic lands are removed.

Further to preventing mana sources from untapping, there are artifacts that make casting spells cost more. The more of these you have in play, the harder it is to cast spells through them.
Sphere of Resistance, Thorn of Amethyst, Damping Sphere.
Trinisphere is a bit different in that it makes any spell that less than three mana cost three mana. This means that even decks that run lots of cheap spells will soon be forced into only casting a limited number of spells each turn.

Smokestack is a continuous form of removing permanents and eventually (or immediately) will remove mana sources. How many counters you put onto it eventually is going to depend on the game state, but remember that the effect works on you as well, so you want to be careful about being able to operate under it as well. You don't want to have to start sacrificing your planeswalkers as they are your only permanents. Often it's wise to just stop on two counters, and this is enough to keep opponents under duress with the other mana denial effects.
Planeswalkers that can produce tokens can be used for Smokestack removal, so Saheeli, Sublime Artificer and Saheeli, the Gifted can be used to good effect.

Saheeli, the Gifted helps with cost reduction.

Jokulhaups does not remove planeswalkers, so has an inherit advantage on your opponents. Any mass land destruction is very effective in mana denial deck. You can find yourself in a position where you might remove some of your own artifacts as a consequence, but it's a calculated risk that rewards you for keeping your planeswalkers free to get value each turn.

Karn, the Great Creator is great at shutting down your opponents artifact mana sources, which can really slow them down. Under Winter Orb, mana artifacts are very good, so Karn will mitigate artifact mana strategies all together.

Dream Tides and Mudslide are excellent combined with mana denial, as it really taxes your opponents on what they can do. This then translates to on-going protection for your planeswalkers.

The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale and Mishra's Workshop are two thousand dollar cards plus, so only if your lucky enough to have them, but will complete this strategy perfectly.


Mass land destruction.
The mass land destruction cards that you can look to play, often have the ability to kill creatures as well, making it a perfect way to protect your planeswalkers, while restricting your opponents ability to play cards.
Once again with planeswalkers that provide mana, and Will -2 cost reduction you will be able to operate much better than opponents.
These red sorcery all have a way of removing both lands and creatures.
Jokulhaups, Wildfire, Burning of Xinye, Devastation, Destructive Force, Obliterate, Decree of Annihilation.

Jokulhaups, Obliterate, Decree of Annihilation get rid of artifacts as well, so if you are going to combine Stax artifacts as well like Sphere of Resistance, then you just need to be aware of your own board presence and whether to be patient with committing Stax effects at certain stages of the game.


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Primer
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+ The Locust God

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Post by benjameenbear » 10 months ago

The list looks really awesome, darrenhabib. The coding is also on point! Mad props on figuring out the differences.

Have you considered the new Chandra, Awakened Inferno? Seems really quite good and the fact that you can give opponents emblems for free seems stupidly broken. I know my inner Control mage is hyperventilating in a corner...
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Post by darrenhabib » 10 months ago

benjameenbear wrote:
10 months ago
The list looks really awesome, darrenhabib. The coding is also on point! Mad props on figuring out the differences.

Have you considered the new Chandra, Awakened Inferno? Seems really quite good and the fact that you can give opponents emblems for free seems stupidly broken. I know my inner Control mage is hyperventilating in a corner...
I had not considered Chandra, Awakened Inferno. Emblems do tend to "stick around" :P In all honesty far too slow for the format.

The cards that I'm adding from Core 2020 are; Chandra, Acolyte of Flame, Chandra, Novice Pyromancer and Flood of Tears.
I've already talked about these changes on MTGSalvation, so I'll just add the explanations into the primer itself.

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Post by 3drinks » 10 months ago

This primer: Ensuring nobody ever uses a 56k connection ever again XD (this is 2019, you shouldn't be on dial up anyway lol).

But seriously, I love the formatting, it's pretty, but I can't even read all the text. On the right hand side, your template abruptly cuts off at the same point of every line.
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Post by darrenhabib » 10 months ago

3drinks wrote:
10 months ago
This primer: Ensuring nobody ever uses a 56k connection ever again XD (this is 2019, you shouldn't be on dial up anyway lol).

But seriously, I love the formatting, it's pretty, but I can't even read all the text. On the right hand side, your template abruptly cuts off at the same point of every line.
What browser are you using or is it mobile?

I'm using chrome and everything looks fine to me. I've noticed that internet explorer doesn't really work, things get a bit wonky.

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Post by Patbou » 10 months ago

What a beautiful primer! :)

Quite the pressure on the rest of us who will want to write any other primer... :D

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Post by 3drinks » 10 months ago

darrenhabib wrote:
10 months ago
3drinks wrote:
10 months ago
This primer: Ensuring nobody ever uses a 56k connection ever again XD (this is 2019, you shouldn't be on dial up anyway lol).

But seriously, I love the formatting, it's pretty, but I can't even read all the text. On the right hand side, your template abruptly cuts off at the same point of every line.
What browser are you using or is it mobile?

I'm using chrome and everything looks fine to me. I've noticed that internet explorer doesn't really work, things get a bit wonky.
From the time I made that post, I was on Firefox on a linux distro (Solus).

Looking at it in mobile with Fennec (a firefox port less proprietary bits, via F-Droid), and it's all there, but I have to side scroll my browser.
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Post by darrenhabib » 10 months ago

3drinks wrote:
10 months ago
From the time I made that post, I was on Firefox on a linux distro (Solus).

Looking at it in mobile with Fennec (a firefox port less proprietary bits, via F-Droid), and it's all there, but I have to side scroll my browser.
I've changed the boxes from fixed width to a percentage, so could you confirm if it's fixed for you?

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 10 months ago

I can confirm I had the same problem as 3drinks on chrome on osx, the whole post required side scrolling. The percentage boxes fixed it though. This thing's stunning, the little things like box shadows help it pop even nicer than on MTGS. Some stuff still slides out of layout a little (mainly at the top, with the two walker animations and the arena picture), might also be an absolute size thing. Also, the fact you got away with spoilers in your change log will have me reformatting my change log accordingly ;)

That said, my meta had a Will & Rowan deck, for all of one or two sessions. The guy played Will out, looked around the board, plussed him and shut down two buildaround commanders. He proceeded to do this over and over again, and at some point popped out an emblem. Think his deck was more caster than yours, your primer focuses on the Rowan emblem and many walkers. But yeah, the fact the deck would freeze buildaround commanders got a poor reception and the list died.

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Post by 3drinks » 10 months ago

darrenhabib wrote:
10 months ago
3drinks wrote:
10 months ago
From the time I made that post, I was on Firefox on a linux distro (Solus).

Looking at it in mobile with Fennec (a firefox port less proprietary bits, via F-Droid), and it's all there, but I have to side scroll my browser.
I've changed the boxes from fixed width to a percentage, so could you confirm if it's fixed for you?
At work now, girlfriend's house later. Will be some time before I'm back on the linux machine.
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Post by 3drinks » 10 months ago

3drinks wrote:
10 months ago
darrenhabib wrote:
10 months ago
I've changed the boxes from fixed width to a percentage, so could you confirm if it's fixed for you?
At work now, girlfriend's house later. Will be some time before I'm back on the linux machine.
Can confirm, the primer is not cut off now on my PC end.
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Post by darrenhabib » 10 months ago

Oh well a banning is a banning..Paradox Engine your rein as "whoops I've won" is over and it's time to move on.


I wanted to add another 3 cmc or less instant or sorcery for Chandra, Acolyte of Flame [-2] so thought I'd better add a high impact card when replacing a high impact card.

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Post by lyonhaert » 10 months ago

Oh, nice formatting. I'm going to have to mess around with it for a while. There seem to be some things I'd like to work around, such as the default greenish color of links and card-tagged text (and how it messes with your Add box above - kinda blends with the box's background some).
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Post by Theoric » 10 months ago

This primer is a thing of beauty. Wow.

If you don't mind me asking, did you do the gifs yourself? The glowing magical parts look especially difficult to do.

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Post by darrenhabib » 10 months ago

Theoric wrote:
10 months ago
This primer is a thing of beauty. Wow.

If you don't mind me asking, did you do the gifs yourself? The glowing magical parts look especially difficult to do.
Thanks. Yes I've done a few different animated digital cards for various primers I've done over the years. Basically if I get inspired enough I really enjoy doing them, even if they take me ages to do. The truth is when I start off doing them I have no idea how I'm going to accomplish them, and it's just a lot of trial and error. But I managed to take freeze frame shots of lava sparks from a video game that I'm working on for the Rowan animation, and I found a photoshop effects animation package and layered electrical effects for Will. I was pretty pleased with the results myself.

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Post by VirgilKaineisthename » 10 months ago

I really love these commanders. Yesterday I won a game against
Purphoros, God of the Forge
and
Edgar Markov
both with an active Purphoros. Thanks to
Ral Zarek
and some other cards I got 6 extra turns. End of game and lots of fun (for me). Nevertheless I miss some ultimate lifegain card. Each time I play this deck I realise that it's quite a difficult deck to play :thinking: Thx for this great primer !

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Post by lyonhaert » 10 months ago

VirgilKaineisthename wrote:
10 months ago
I really love these commanders. Yesterday I won a game against Purphoros, God of the Forge and Edgar Markov both with an active Purphoros. Thanks to Ral Zarek and some other cards I got 6 extra turns. End of game and lots of fun (for me). Nevertheless I miss some ultimate lifegain card. Each time I play this deck I realise that it's quite a difficult deck to play :thinking: Thx for this great primer!
FYI, it will probably work out better to use the [card] tag instead of the [quote] tag. :P

Edit: Welcome to the forums, btw!
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Post by darrenhabib » 10 months ago

VirgilKaineisthename wrote:
10 months ago
I really love these commanders. Yesterday I won a game against Purphoros, God of the Forge and Edgar Markov both with an active Purphoros. Thanks to Ral Zarek and some other cards I got 6 extra turns. End of game and lots of fun (for me). Nevertheless I miss some ultimate lifegain card. Each time I play this deck I realise that it's quite a difficult deck to play :thinking: Thx for this great primer!
It is definitely a deck that requires figuring out specific windows of opportunities. A lot of decks you can simply cast your "best" cards according to how much mana you have at the time and this is usually a good way to play. This deck requires finding the right spots to cast certain cards, so yeah it is a relatively difficult archetype to play.

Unfortunately there isn't really a lot of life gain cards in Izzet that I can think of. Mirror Universe is a good one with extra turns...if you have a spare $340 lying around :P

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Post by Theoric » 10 months ago

darrenhabib wrote:
10 months ago
Unfortunately there isn't really a lot of life gain cards in Izzet that I can think of. Mirror Universe is a good one with extra turns...if you have a spare $340 lying around :P
Back in my early days of playing Mtg I played a combo deck that won by casting Lim-Dul's Vault|alliances to bring myself down to zero life, then exchanging life totals with mirror universe and killing the person. At the time it was a legal play.

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Post by dokaan » 10 months ago

Can U explain how does magosi goes infinite with rowan emblem? It's not clear. I think I have to copy the skip turn part as well as the extra ones. Ty

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Post by 3drinks » 10 months ago

dokaan wrote:
10 months ago
Can U explain how does magosi goes infinite with rowan emblem? It's not clear. I think I have to copy the skip turn part as well as the extra ones. Ty
Rowan's ability is a may. So, you activate Magosi by skipping next turn and placing an eon counter on Magosi. Then you activate Magosi by removing the eon counter, and let Rowan's emblem copy it. The net effect is take two turns, skip one. However, you need a way to accelerate land drops and have an untap mechanism.

Magosi is a great land, but it's clear how hard R&D made it to abuse. It's tricky like that. :)
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Post by lyonhaert » 10 months ago

3drinks wrote:
10 months ago
dokaan wrote:
10 months ago
Can U explain how does magosi goes infinite with rowan emblem? It's not clear. I think I have to copy the skip turn part as well as the extra ones. Ty
Rowan's ability is a may. So, you activate Magosi by skipping next turn and placing an eon counter on Magosi. Then you activate Magosi by removing the eon counter, and let Rowan's emblem copy it. The net effect is take two turns, skip one. However, you need a way to accelerate land drops and have an untap mechanism.

Magosi is a great land, but it's clear how hard R&D made it to abuse. It's tricky like that. :)
"Whenever you activate an ability that isn't a mana ability, copy it. You may choose new targets for the copy."

Only choosing new targets for the copy is a may, so activating the ability that puts an Eon counter on it and skips your next turn is still going to get copied. So you set up skips for your next two turns, but then take two extra turns... net zero extra turns. Seems to me you'd need something like Rimewind Cryomancer or Voidmage Husher (and a way to bounce that) in order to counter one of the "skip next turn" so you can have one net extra turn on each extra turn.
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Post by dokaan » 10 months ago

Yes I think the same. I think it only works with rings of brightheart

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Titles & Recognition

Post by darrenhabib » 10 months ago

dokaan wrote:
10 months ago
Can U explain how does magosi goes infinite with rowan emblem? It's not clear. I think I have to copy the skip turn part as well as the extra ones. Ty
[EDIT]
Oh I see you mean when I stated "You can actually setup Magosi, the Waterveil with the eon counter earlier in the game, and then use this to get infinite turns on the first Rowan emblem. In this example you don't need Deserted Temple at all.
Once you get a Rowan emblem and have previously skipped a turn, then you can get two extra turns, which as I've showed means that you can get infinite turns."

Sorry this is incorrect, you need a way to untap Magosi, the Waterveil for sure.

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Post by dokaan » 10 months ago

Yes it makes sense now. So first goal os to set magosi, and maybe get rowan emblem at the same turn and use desertet temple to untap magosi and get one free turn because u skip one and get 2 extra. Next time u do the same u get to skip two then get 4 extra turn. And so on... It works but needs clear mind :)

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