Quick links-
  1. Witherbloom Witchcraft Precon
  2. Stock Decklist
  3. Upgrading the Deck 
  4. Budget Honourable Mentions
  5. Witherbloom Witchcraft Fully Upgraded

Witherbloom Witchcraft Precon

Come and join us at the college of the natural and (the not so natural) sciences of Strixhaven. Welcome to the Witherbloom Witchcraft C21 commander deck review and local upgrade guide. The deck was generously supplied by Unplug Yourself. 

The Witherbloom commander deck is based on life gain and life loss, with the face commander Willowdusk, Essence Seer working beautifully in the theme. Gaining life with cards that have lifelink or actual lifegain stapled on them such as Pristine Talisman fuels your commander’s ability and provides utility with cards such as Veinwitch Coven, or even deals damage with the likes of Dina, Soul Steeper or Sanguine Bond

Without further ado let's see what the base deck provides you with:

  • Monetarily the deck will cost you around R900-R950 in South Africa.
  • Currently, the value of the deck is well over an R1000 according to Card Kingdom and TCGPlayer Market (these values may rise or fall depending on the secondary card market). 
  • The deck is extremely focused on its theme with 30 cards that gain life and 29 cards that either benefit from lifegain or need high life totals to fuel their effects.
  • 40 Lands – This amount is high for a commander deck especially as this deck isn’t focused on landfall or land abilities. Decreasing it to 37-38 would give you more space for sweet cards.
  • 13 Ramp cards- The ramp that was included in this deck is great for causal commander. Their mana cost, however, is. Decreasing this will increase the power level of the commander dramatically. 
  • 8 Card draw spells – Most of these spells are thematically on point albeit clunky and focused on other themes such as Moldervine Reclamation as the deck doesn’t sacrifice its creatures yet…
  • 6 Targeted removal spells – This deck has great new Strixhaven cards such as Mortality Spear which felt like it was made for this deck. Increasing the number of removal spells is a must as you will always need to make sure your opponents don’t out value you and win the game. 
  • 4 Board wipes – This deck might have too many sweepers generally you would like to go down to 3-2. This deck features a new card Essence Pulse which feels a lot like Toxic Deluge with all the lifegain synergy.
  • 4 Graveyard shenanigans – This deck has quite a few ways to bring your big threats back and they are all tied with the theme which is a bonus.
  • 1 Graveyard exile effect – This is important as most decks use their second hand (their graveyard) a lot.
  • 3 Game ending cards – This deck can create a lethal threat out of nowhere with Willowdusk, Essence Seer, if that isn’t enough you have Sanguine Bond effects and, last but not least, create your own Craterhoof Behemoth, with Blossming Bogbeast to alpha strike your opponents.

What were my plans with upgrading the deck:

  1. Choosing a cohesive theme (Aristocrats) to go with the lifegain and giving a strong base to build upon.
  2. Adding more effective cards and lowering the mana curve.
  3. Cutting from the areas I feel are excessive such as lands and board wipes.
Here are the cards I got for my R350 upgrade and the cards I would take out. (Take into account that Strixhaven cards values may still change as they find homes in other formats and that all card prices fluctuate):

Remove

Add

Reason

Repeated lifegain and activating our damaging cards.

 

Better card draw with our now more sacrifice theme.

 

Removing not so effective ramp and adding sacrifice fodder.

 

This is a substantial decrease in mana cost for the same effect.

 

Decreasing the mana cost of the ramp.

 

This card has a much higher upside.

 

Effective sacrifice outlet with nice lifegain as well.

 

Forest

 

With a sacrifice outlet, this card activates the whole deck.

 

Effective sacrifice outlet that becomes a threat to the board.

 

This lowers our curve while staying in theme.

 

A value engine that our commander loves. 

 

Decreasing the mana curve while also gaining effective removal.

 

Good graveyard hate that helps us with the secondary theme.

 

A sacrifice outlet that ties in perfectly in our theme 

 

A win condition and deck enabler in one.

 

Decreases our mana curve while providing card draw and a possible win condition.

 

Card draw with great lifegain upside for our deck.

Decreases the mana curves for card draw and synergy.

Budget honourable mentions:

Gray Merchant of Asphodel – This card would be insane with our theme and would be able to recur with our deck.

Reassembling Skeleton and cards of the same vein. More sacrifice fodder for our deck would make it much more effective in gaining more life and activating important triggered effects.

Skullclamp – Every good sacrifice runs this card draw machine as it is so effective.

Triskelion – This card is extremely strong in this deck as it is a threat on its own with your commander and lifegain. 

Elvish Mystic and one drop mana creatures – These creatures not only ramp you but are sacrifice fodder in the late game.

Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose – This creature is a grand slam in this deck providing more ways to kill your opponent.

Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord – A very effective way to kill your opponent with your large creatures after you activate Willowdusk, Essence Seer.

Staff of Domination – To infinity and beyond, well only infinite mana and sick combos.

Diabolic Tutor and other tutors – There are quite a few cheap and effective tutors in black and green which always make your deck more efficient. 

Bastion of Remembrance – This is another Zulaport Cutthroat in the deck which is much harder to deal with.

Witherbloom Witchcraft Fully Upgraded

The fully upgraded list gets all the toys to sacrifice and drain your opponents. There are also tutors and infinite combos included in the deck to win on the spot. The land base could be further upgraded with more fetchlands and lands like Gaea’s Cradle and Ancient Tomb if one would like. 

Now go forth and pest(er) the other students with your grasp of the natural and unnatural sciences.

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Source Credit: 

https://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Default.aspx

Easy Gaming Group