Welcome to Strixhaven where everything is not as it seems, least of all the Lorehold precon commander deck. (Kindly supplied by Unplug Yourself, our generous sponsors.)
I was really excited to get my hands on this deck. I love playing artifacts. What’s not to love? You cast spells, make oodles and oodles of artifact tokens, pump them up, and slap your opponents with them. It’s magic!
Lorehold Legacies Precon
Lorehold Legacies is somewhat different. This artifact deck is built around recursion. That means suddenly you get the feeling you should be playing Golgari, bouncing things in and out of your graveyard like they’re ping pong balls on a bass drum. It’s a bold move to change things up like this and for the most part, I really loved it.
Osgir, the Reconstructor is the one option for commander for this deck. The other option is Alibou, Ancient Witness. For the way this deck is built, I think Osgir is the better choice. To rework the deck for Alibou I would want to add a lot more cards that give me more artifacts on the board at a time. But maybe we can do that version some time too.
Anyway, for this review I went with Osgir. He is the recursion engine for the deck. There are six other pieces of recursion as well but not enough to make the mechanic to work spectacularly without him. Especially since a lot of the extra recursion is brought about by once off spells like: Wake the Past and Reconstruct History.
Analyzing the Precon
There is a lot of enchantment and artifact removal in the deck. So, the sacking part of the mechanic is easy especially since a lot of artifacts have a sacrifice feature of their own. This makes putting artifacts in your graveyard, from which you can exile them and bring them back with a copy of themselves to the battlefield with Osgir, really easy.
There are two proper sweepers Rout and Cleansing Nova which I like. There are also another three pieces of direct removal and ways to shut opponents’ creatures down. Darksteel Mutation is a fun way to do this but Dispatch and other cards like that might prove more effective.
Card draw is still not easy. There are eleven ways you can draw a card, but it always comes with that extra effort you expect from artifacts, meaning you have to sacrifice the artifact, or the creature has to die or you have pay for it, which is fine but would it kill anyone if card draw was a trigger on your commander for once?
Out of the three direct card draw options I like the Losheel, Clockwork Scholar the most as the card draw can be repeated. Secret Rendezvous is a nice addition to white where card draw is a major issue.
Then we come to ramp. I know, White and Red don’t ramp…now they do…kind of. Archaeomancer’s Map is probably the nicest piece of ramp in this deck. There are others but this one is great because if an opponent has more mana than you, you get to put down another land during your opponent’s turn. Could you ask for more? Yes…yes, we can. More mana is always better.
The deck also runs a Burnished Hart and Solemn Simulacrum for their mana draw and a couple of fetch lands that help out a lot. This deck doesn’t struggle with getting mana on the board. Since it runs thirty-eight lands and another three artifact mana sources, you won’t have trouble in that regard.
When it comes to creatures there are thirty in the deck. They top out at a 9/9 Triplicate Titan for 9 with flying, vigilance and trample and it makes three 3/3 golem creature tokens when it dies. (I loved playing card.) Another fun one is the Combustible Gearhulk which is a 6/6 for 6 and comes with some card draw and possible direct damage to your opponent. So, the creatures are fun and generally have some feature that makes them great to play acting as extra removal or something that adds to their value. Not to mention a lot of them Osgir can copy.
Now let’s talk about the deck’s theme. The theme is sacrificing, exiling, and copying artifacts. This deck is well set up to do that with Osgir in the driving seat. There are thirty-two artifacts in the deck, so it’s perfectly on theme. There are many ways to sacrifice the artifacts and get them into the graveyard. From there Osgir exiles and copies them which results in you putting two copies of one artifact on the board at a time if you can pay the mana cost. This is a fun engine to run and can work really well. The only downside is the reliance on Osgir.
As I mentioned earlier, this doesn’t work especially well without him. So, a very effective way to shut this deck down is for your opponents to keep targeting Osgir and sending him back to the command zone. So, I would add more ways to return things from the graveyard to the battlefield to make the deck work more smoothly with or without him. Sure, you’d lose the copy ability when he’s not on the board, but at least you’d get something back.
Other than that, also adding a little life gain and other ways to deal with opponent’s creatures is a wise idea as some decks get out of the gate faster than this one. Also using artifacts to deal with threats is a good idea with Osgir on the board as it all feeds into his copying effect and you can get way more bang for your mana. Which is what we all want in commander—BIG BANG for little mana.
Another way to go is to add things like Terror of the Peaks which will cause your opponents to receive damage whenever a creature enters the battlefield. If you’re copying them with Osgir that could end up winning you the game without your creatures ever having to do more than feed the mechanic.
Like I said this deck is a lot of fun to play with or without upgrades, but it’s certainly versatile enough for you to build onto and make it crazy powerful.
For the upgrade of the deck we were very kindly sponsored a R350.00 budget for each deck to buy our upgrade cards from Top Deck. And so below I have my list of cards that I swapped out to upgrade this deck.
Not all of the swap outs were straight one for ones. I wanted to take out some cards that really felt out of place in the deck and wanted to increase its efficiency while staying in budget. I decided on a more general approach rather than gearing the deck to anything specific in this upgrade, and tried to fix a few of the bits I found didn’t work for me.
Other upgrades I wanted to look out for were small, more consistent upgrades to ramp, card draw, and removal. I’ve also now added cards representing the recursion and tutor themes mentioned above. Unfortunately, we can’t add cards for free, so I’ve generally replaced the slightly weaker versions of cards with their upgrades, cut two lands, and lost some of the two subthemes to add on to our major theme of producing tokens. Let’s have a look at my proposed changes along with a cost breakdown of what I paid from Top Deck (bearing in mind a price ceiling of ~R350 and stock availability):
[[Audacious Reshapers]] [[Myr Retriever]] Although Audacious Reshapers offers a way to find artifacts in your deck, the penalty seems a little over the top. Your opponents are hitting you, don’t hit yourself. Myr Retriever is more recursion and an artifact which feeds Osgir.
Although Chain reaction is removal it’s not the best in here. (Once again removal in artifact form would be better.) Universal solvent offers the opportunity to get rid of a target permanent which may turn out to be more value especially if it’s been copied with Osgir.
If budget wasn’t an issue, then I would aim this deck in a more direct damage direction. While keeping mostly to theme I would love to have the option of creatures entering or leaving the battlefield causing my opponents to lose life. So, I would add, Terror of the peaks, Leyline of Combustion, Furnace of Rath, or even Lorehold Excavation.
Due to the number of artifacts that could be in play it might be wise to also run an Unwinding Clock.
Okay folks that’s this review done and dusted. Now, excuse me…I have to go copy some artifacts and cause a little mayhem.
Easy Gaming Group