Thursday, August 27, 2015

Commander: Gahiji, Honored one

It's been awhile since I've done a Commander deck, so let's get to it!

1 War Cadence
1 Fires of Yavimaya
1 Where Ancients Tread
1 Warstorm Surge
1 Darksteel Mutation
1 Witch Hunt
1 Mystic Barrier
1 Spawning Grounds
1 Primal Rage
1 Fervor
1 Mayael's Aria
1 Trace of Abundance
1 Hull Breach
1 Cultivate
1 Harmonize
1 Wrath of God
1 One Dozen Eyes
1 Rain of Thorns
1 Fireball
1 Savage Twister
1 From the Ashes
1 Tempt with Discovery
1 Explosive Vegetation
1 Boros Charm
1 Naya Charm
1 Slice in Twain
1 Street Spasm
1 Starstorm

1 Sarkhan Vol
1 Sol Ring
1 Swiftfoot Boots
1 Druidic Satchel
1 Behemoth Sledge
1 Seer's Sundial
1 Witchbane Orb

1 Boros Garrison
1 Boros Guildgate
1 Command Tower
1 Contested Cliffs
1 Drifting Meadow
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Gruul Guildgate
1 Homeward Path
1 Jungle Shrine
1 Khalni Garden
1 New Benalia
1 Secluded Steppe
1 Selesnya Guildgate
1 Selesnya Sanctuary
1 Slippery Karst
1 Smoldering Crater
1 Temple of the False God
1 Tranquil Thicket
1 Vitu-Ghazi, the City-Tree
1 Vivid Crag
5 Mountain
8 Forest
4 Plains
1 Forgotten Cave
1 Mosswort Bridge
1 Naya Panorama
1 Opal Palace
1 Gruul Turf
1 Krosan Warchief
1 Mayael the Anima
1 Drumhunter
1 Mold Shambler
1 Ravenous Baloth
1 Spellbreaker Behemoth
1 Rakeclaw Gargantuan
1 Deadwood Treefolk
1 Crater Hellion
1 Rampaging Baloths
1 Valley Rannet
1 Avenger of Zendikar
1 Krosan Tusker
1 Archangel
1 Eternal Dragon
1 Terra Ravager
1 Kabira Vindicator
1 Spearbreaker Behemoth
1 Paleoloth
1 Enlisted Wurm
1 Laccolith Titan
1 Mossbridge Troll

I was originally going to talk about my Karn, Silver Golem deck but with Battle for Zendikar having colorless...stuff, anyway, to add to the mix (but not yet available) and Tarkir's really terrible Formidable and Ferocious mechanics already available to add to what Gahiji wants to do, this seems like an opportune time to make this deck, ahem, beastly.

In the most recent "State of Design" article, Mark Rosewater says about the Tarkir block:
The mechanic that was least loved was ferocious, and I feel a lot of that was because it felt more like a repeat of Naya (the red-green-white shard from Shards of Alara) and thus not enough of a new thing.
And this is wrong. The mechanic was least loved (or in my case, hated, get this weak 'least loved' bullshit out of here) because it is a bad mechanic. Let's take a look at the cards with Ferocious.

It is a mechanic that cannot do one critically important thing: help you win under circumstances where you are losing. And it cannot do that because if you have a creature with 4 or greater power on the board, odds are you already have a commanding position.

This is also true of the younger (but larger) sibling of Ferocious, Formidable. In the subsequent paragraphs, just replace one word for another and the exact same problem exists.

If you look at most constructed decks today, they fall into two camps; control decks, which generally clean things up with one powerful creature, keeping everything else off the board, or aggro decks, which generally come at the opponent with a horde.

In the case of the former, it doesn't need anything Ferocious has to offer and in the case of the latter, the mechanic is inaccessible because most creatures with power 4 or more are outside the mana curve. This is even true in Draft or Sealed; creatures that are that big demand attention. So either you're winning with it already, or your opponent has removal and now you don't get the bonus. You essentially have to play as though Ferocious doesn't matter, which is the opposite of how a mechanic like Outlast works.

I'm hoping Commander might be a different story. Granted, I don't have access to the Blue cards but the possibility that I will have a creature of 4 or more power on the table is guaranteed by Gahiji. Plus, the games tend to go a little longer which means that getting to a board state where I have creatures with 8 or more on the board starts to seem more likely.

That's where I'm going to start, anyway, while trying to keep a soft Beast tribal theme. If the beasts don't work out though, the heck with 'em. Go with what works. 

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