Alexander Clamilton - Voltron Control

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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 1 year ago

Alright, finally got a list!

Basic gist is to play control, with clamilton as removal, until you've got some untapping, vigilance, voltron nonsense, at which point you scry something spicy to the top and try to swing in for a 1HKO. Pretty much everything has 4+ lines of text, some lands excluded - mostly the basics. Maybe I should cut some basics for more nonbasics, but eh...if I actually care about fighting, I'll for sure have scryed at least once to dump any basics on the bottom.
Alexander Clamilton

Commander (1)


Approximate Total Cost:

I keep inadvertently slaughtering my local meta, so for a change of pace I thought I'd try an un-legend to attempt to have what you humans call "fun". Unfortunately, looking down the list they mostly look either pretty grossly overpowered/annoying (X, baron von count, richard garfield, grusilda, phoebe, spike...don't even get me started on M'Odo) and most of the rest are pretty boring/terrible (acornelia, frankie peanuts, mary o'kill, pippa, stet, surgeon commander, the big idea, syr cadian). And some are ponies which...no. God no.

So I'm basically down to 3:
dr. julius jumblemorph - awesome but I don't want to buy a bunch of hosts/augment cards for just one deck
Ol' Buzzbark - pretty funny but seems like it'd be an exercise in frustration for a control player like me
alexander clamilton - love the flavor and seems fun to build around. Will it actually be fun to play with/against? Unsure.

So far my brain does the usual thing when presented with a commander who provides value but no obvious wincons....uh, voltron? RU has often been a bit of a problem for me to build because they tend to focus on spellslinging which is often either a bunch of timewasting with not much accomplished, or infinite combo which i don't want to play, especially not in a "fun" deck.

The nice thing is, a lot of your better equipment has quite a few lines of text, so it's got that going for it. I was thinking something along the lines of:

-suit alexander up to make him a baller and kill off the more dangerous creatures
-scry something particularly wordy to top of deck
-attack with vigilance and/or untappers
-blow the blockers out of the way, giving alexander a big power boost
-1HKO people with a clam

As far as the rest of the cards, probably some amount of control and churn to keep the deck going, but otherwise I haven't really figured that out. Probably some sagas, because they have a ton of text lines compared to anything else I can find, and many of them aren't terrible cards like a lot of old wordy stuff. Ideas appreciated.
Last edited by DirkGently 7 months ago, edited 3 times in total.
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

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vandertroll
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Post by vandertroll » 1 year ago

I can't contribute much right now, I just popped to say that Alexander Clamilton is probably the best name of MtG card ever. Looking forward to seeing the deck DirkGently!
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TheAmericanSpirit
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Post by TheAmericanSpirit » 1 year ago

Magebane armor seems really good here
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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 1 year ago

It's in the stack of cards for consideration. Think I've got at least 300 to cut down from. I do like it, I think it'd be the first time I've used it if it makes the cut. 5 lines of text is pretty solid, and the damage prevention is real nice. The 3/2 split is a bit annoying, though, makes it hard to slot into a good line naturally (same is true for the swords, ofc). But maybe I just need to treat this more like a control deck and less like an aggro voltron, and worry less about curves/sequencing.

I've got an old harper prism mana crypt, but unfortunately no ABU sol ring. Could swap in my revised sol ring instead of a precon one for +2 lines, but I feel like >=4 is the critical thing for this deck. I'm not going to have a hard and fast "all wordy" rule, and obviously sol ring is too good to cut, but I'd like to use as much wordy as I can.

Although, thinking about it more...wordy is nice, but it does start to become less valuable once you've already stuck something good on top. Each scry becomes less valuable, basically. So maybe I shouldn't sweat it too much. Lands-wise, wordy doesn't matter at all, except that more lines of text = better, for the fighting ability. Right now I've got all textless basics lol, but nobody needs to convince me to go low on basic counts.

I hope I can find room for charisma. I love the idea of making friends by dueling someone non-fatally.

EDIT: I have noticed something of a lack of good untap/vigilance effects for the deck, especially within the "wordy" subset. Of course the deck probably will be at least ok using clamilton as creature removal that occasionally connects with a bunch of swords on, but I'd really like to use his tap ability to power him up for an attack. Still working on the list, though.
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 1 year ago

Ok, updated the OP with the initial list.

Now if only I could play it...anywhere....
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

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DirkGently
My wins are unconditional
Posts: 2289
Joined: 2 years ago
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Post by DirkGently » 7 months ago

One year later, and I finally put this deck together with the actual commander at the helm.

Made a couple updates for the past year - switched a couple lands (why did I include so many basics when my commander actively punishes me for playing them?) including Tyrite Sanctum, and switched out counterbalance for Sublime Epiphany. I also kinda want to find room for a Jeweled Amulet and a Commander's Plate if I have time.
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 7 months ago

Got to play a few games with him. Unfortunately he wasn't as much fun as his flavor tbh. Voltron is pretty consistently the archetype with the biggest divide between how much I enjoy building the decks, and how much fun I have playing the decks.

I think there's a sort of tension for me in trying to find satisfying victories vs reasonable victories. I'll explain a little:

In multiplayer, many have noted there's a difficulty of overcoming the combined resources of the table when you're trying to win. Once it's clear that you're going to try to win, its generally in the best interests of everyone else to stop you, and there are 3 of them and 1 of you. So to win against those numbers, you need to have a huge advantage to leverage. But how can you amass that advantage when your opponents are going to try to stop you before you get there?

This is where a concept I'll call "burstiness" comes in. I would say the easiest victory in a game of casual commander is generally going to be some sort of infinite combo, especially something like Reset + Reiterate which is impossible to interact with for many decks. A big part of why it's so easy is that it conceals your threat level in hand. Your opponents likely have no idea that you're about to win until you're about the win. Similarly, something like Craterhoof Behemoth lets you dramatically increase your threat level to win in a single turn. Your threat level bursts from relatively innocuous to game-ending too quickly for your opponents to stop you from winning.

But I find those sorts of wins to be frankly pretty cheap and easy, which is why I basically never do them. There are alternative ways to overcome the multiplayer hurdle besides burstiness, but burstiness is definitely the easiest, which is why it's so popular.

Anyway, when it comes to voltron, it's usually very unbursty, which is kind of fine, except that it's also usually exceptionally bad at PR. If you've got a 6-power unblockable commander, people will generally FREAK OUT...never mind that it would take 12 turns to kill 3 opponents with pure commander damage. Clamilton I think is especially bad in this regard because (1) people don't like you have a removal tool on board either, and (2) because he has zero power (at least in my build, he didn't have vigilance/untap reliably enough to activate his ability very often when attacking) he needs a ton of equipment, which makes him look especially threatening. So he's put in a very tough spot of being hated by the table but also not being very effective. Add on being an un-card and so "cheating"...and it's a really poor combination.

I did manage to win a game, and I did manage to kill someone with a surprise +13 damage or something off a saga. That was pretty sweet. But overall this deck wasn't very fun unfortunately.
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

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