As Elesh Norn using the corrupted visage of The World Tree, Realmbreaker, to corrupt the multiverse the battle for New Phyrexia wages on, and the rebellion rises: for Mirrodin!
Neyali, Suns’ Vanguard
Neyali, Suns’ Vanguard is the face commander of this Phyrexia: All Will Be One (ONE) preconstructed commander deck, and therefore it’s not surprising that most of the lines and synergies in this deck are designed to work with their abilities. This deck is all about tokens and with Neyali as your commander is the complete payoff package for that line. Also providing some awesome card advantage in the process.
Otharri, Suns’ Glory
The clear secondary commander is Otharri, Suns’ Glory, a phoenix offering a way to make multiple tokens and cheat commander tax from the graveyard as well. So, not a bad replacement for the face commander, but focused on a different strategy. Although, the ability to cheat commander tax, come out of the graveyard with haste and create a token all in one go is pretty exciting.
With the deck designed to make loads of tokens, I’m going to pick Neyali as the commander of the deck for the purposes of this review even though I really think there is potential to make something very cool around Otharri.
It must be said that there are two other legendary creatures who could potentially be commanders for this deck, but although Adriana, Captain of the Guard and Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer are both solid looking cards, they have very different lines they want to follow and while they may prove to be useful in the 99 of this deck, I don’t think the deck’s main line is suited to their abilities enough to make them commander.
It’s very simple (as most Boros builds are): make as many tokens as you can and attack everyone! In other words: go really, really wide! Then swing in with double strike thanks to your commander and devastate the enemy. All of them. Now that we have that cleared up, let’s take a look at the deck stats.
- Ramp: 7 (low, but Boros)
- Boardwipes: 4 (two of which are one-sided)
- Targeted Removal: 4 (this is very low, and I would suggest increasing this, but the deck really just wants to make tokens and attack)
- Card Draw: 7
- Token Makers: 34 (Wow!)
The stats speak for themselves and back up the Theme idea: this deck is all about tokens. Loads of them.
We’ve already mentioned Otharri, Suns’ Glory, but it would be remiss of me not to mention her again here in the top cards. Otharri just has great synergy in this deck, creating tokens, providing lifelink and being able to spring back from the graveyard. Adriana (also mentioned above) is great in this deck providing melee for all your tokens, behaving a bit like a lord here and pumping the team up. And, speaking of lords, Phantom General gives all your tokens +1/+1, while Prava of the Steel Legion provides a power and toughness boost to all your creatures in your turn. Harmonious Archon also lends a hand in this making all non-Archon creature have base power and toughness 3/3. So, all your little 1/1 tokens suddenly just became significantly larger, and if your commander is on the battlefield double-strike now has a whole new threat level.
Going wide is what we’re all about so cards like Finale of Glory cast for X=10 makes 10 2/2 soldiers and 10 4/4 angels with vigilance and with the cards mentioned in the paragraph above in play, then victory certainly would seem assured – barring a board wipe that is. Increasing Devotion and Martial Coup do similar but different things, the former you want to play from your graveyard for its total effect while Coup is a one-sided board wipe that allows you to repopulate the battlefield quicker than your opponents should be able too. Collective Effort is a great, and fairly cheap way to pump your entire team. I love these kind of cards that allow more than one option, they simply provide so much utility in a deck.
In terms of value in this kind of deck you can’t really do much better than Felidar Retreat with its landfall trigger of creating a 2/2 cat creature token or pumping your team. As an enchantment it is more difficult – certainly not impossible – for your enemies to get rid of it, so if you can get it out on curve, you’re going to trigger it a few times before it gets removed, and it will get removed, believe me! Similarly, Assemble the Legion, if unchecked, can simply churn out token value for you while Intangible Virtue pumps your steadily widening team and gives them vigilance and if Neyali is on the battlefield then pumped up, double-striking, vigilant tokens of any kind are a force to be reckoned with.
Boros Charm is a classic and fits perfectly into this build, as does Flawless Maneuver – a much overlooked card, but what a great card! And, if your commander is out on the field, it’s free and can seriously sideswipe an opponent! Another classic has been included in the deck in the form of Call the Coppercoats, utilising your opponents’ board states against them, creating as many solider tokens as they collectively have creatures on the battlefield and then you cast White Sun’s Zenith and it’s pretty much game over, really.
The equipment stack in this deck is geared towards helping with card draw, this being a Boros build after all, and this particular colour combination not being very well known for card draw. So Mask of Memory allows you to draw two, discard one when the equipped creature deals combat damage to a player while the new Glimmer Lens draws a card on attack. Staff of the Storyteller, in this deck, should just be putting cards in your hand. It gains a story counter whenever you create one or more creature tokens, pay a white mana, tap, and remove a story counter, draw a card. Easy-peasy in this token making machine of a deck. And, finally, just to make sure the double-strike granted by your commander is actually enough to eliminate an opponent the newly printed Hexplate Wallbreaker allows for an extra combat step if the creature equipped by the Wallbreaker attacks. Just in case you weren’t going to do enough damage on the first combat step.
Potential Upgrades and Lines:
I think the only thing really lacking in this deck are more ways to save your board state from wipes. Without a lot of graveyard recursion, or abilities like flashback (although there are one or two cards in the deck with this ability) to be able to repopulate your board after a wipe quickly, the deck seems a little like a glass cannon. However, there are one or two cards that can remedy this situation and it’s what I would focus on for the first upgrade to this deck, after that you can start to refine other elements like removal, card draw and ramp.
I would look at including some of the following cards in this deck and I’ll start with a bomb: Helm of the Host. Must include. It would just be so incredibly useful in this deck to pump things more, make more things just do more stuff! Embercleave is next on my list. ‘Cos Embercleave. Keeping your peeps safe from wipes is the focus of this upgrade so Ajani’s Presence pumps the team and makes them indestructible. Safe. Frontline Medic seems like a stupidly underrated card in general, but in this deck, it could be so clutch. It makes things indestructible and can be a white counter spell! Lorehold Command is another multi-option card I would love to slot into this build, while Grand Crescendo seems like it was made for this deck and not the New Capenna precon it came from. Akroma’s Will and Basri Ket feel like they could easily fit into this brew and Mondrak, Glory Dominus would take this deck to whole new level, doubling the number of any tokens made. Unbreakable Formation and Archangel Avacyn both provide indestructible for your tokens and then Chance for Glory with the Wallbreaker could simply put an end to everyone. And if that’s not enough then add Divine Visitation and Mondrak and cast Finale of Glory for X=10. Done.
I love the simplicity of this deck. It’s a “we will fight you” deck! All the way and it makes no apologies for that. With a couple of the cards mentioned in the upgrades added to the deck I think it could be just plain brutal. Which would be fun. And that’s what it’s all about: what’s fun for you. So, yes, there are more cards and other lines we could look at in terms of upgrading this deck, but I reckon building a massive double-striking, multi-combat turn generating army of tokens would be a blast. Whichever what you decide to go let me know in the comments below, I’d love to see what you come up with.
Until next time, I’ll see you on the battlefield.