Hello there friends, it’s Monday once again and once again I had a good week. I saw fireworks on the fourth of July, went to Busch Gardens, and then got to play in two Hour of Devastation prereleases. I hope you had a great week as well celebrating Independence Day (or laughing at the silly Americans for shooting explosives into the sky). Also, I know y’all went to prereleases. I’ll share my experiences real quick and then let’s start making Commander decks for the Legendary Creatures of Hour of Devastation.
So, at midnight, I went to my local LGS, Collector’s Heaven, where I opened a pretty good GW midrange deck. I was intrigued by Wayward Servant with the number of Zombies and black removal spells, I had but the deck seemed a little weak since it didn’t have a lot of ways to actually win the game. I decided to switch from WB to GW when I re-read Hour of Promise. Getting any two lands and then two 2/2 Zombies is a great deal for 5 mana. I can definitely see Hour of Promise being a pretty sweet Commander card because it gets two of any land (not just basic lands). In my deck, it turned on my win condition which was Hashep Oasis giving one of my flyers or tramplers +3/+3 and then buying the land back with Ramunap Excavator. It really was quite the powerful engine. My other rares included Gideon of the Trials, Gideon’s Intervention (yay flavor!), Hour of Glory, Grind // Dust, and Mirage Mirror. The Mirror definitely impressed me as it either gave me another one of my biggest creatures (like the 5/6 with trample) or threatened to trade with my opponent’s best creature.
After leaving Collector’s Heaven around 5 in the morning, I turned around and went right back for another prerelease at noon. This time I opened a blisteringly fast WR aggro deck. I played 16 lands and ended up running over most of my opponents with help from Insult // Injury and Angel of Condemnation. In case you’re wondering, Insult // Injury is an insane card. I already knew this but if you’re at parity or even slightly behind, Insult // Injury can threaten an absurd amount of damage while also removing your opponent’s 4 toughness creature. Insult // Injury is like an overrun effect on steroids.
While y’all might know me as that crazy Commander guy, I also have a love for Sealed Deck and think it might be my second favorite Magic format after Commander. I love opening up six packs, figuring out the best two colors to play, and then agonizing over what the last couple of additions to the deck. While you can certainly just open poor pools, I think most pools are manageable, you just have to figure out how to make them work.
Anyways, while playing in the prereleases, I realized that I totally overlooked a Legendary Creature last week when I was writing my review: Djeru, With Eyes Open. Djeru is an interesting Commander as he suggests a mono-white super friends deck. While most super-friends decks I’ve seen in the past have been 4-color, there are quite a few strong white and/or colorless planeswalkers we can choose from. There are also quite a few good support cards in white. Check out how I built the deck below:
Because Djeru searches for Planeswalkers and serves to protect them, it makes sense to fill the deck up with them. Our options are somewhat limited since we can only play white, but there are still a few powerful options.
We have 3 different Ajanis. Ajani Goldmane is good if you need a little bit of life or have a board filled with token creatures thanks to another Planeswalker or White Sun’s Zenith. Steadfast is good if you have multiple Planeswalkers already on the board since he can help them get to their ultimates faster. Finally, Ajani, Caller of the Pride is good if you just want to smack somebody with a flying, double-striking creature.
Next up, we have Elspeth who is good for filling up the board with 1/1 soldiers and all three Elspeth cost different amounts if that weighs into the situation. In fact, I bet Elspeth, Sun’s Champion is going to be the Planeswalker most searched for first.
Next we have The Chad himself, Gideon. Gideon Jura will act as either a fog or a way to destroy a tapped creature. Gideon of the Trials can stop our opponents from winning in certain situations. The Ally of Zendikar can either immediately make our creatures bigger or start growing our army. Finally, if we have our pillow fort set up, Gideon, Champion of Justice can build up to his ultimate.
Last up, we’ve got a couple of random planeswalkers to choose from. Nahiri, the Lithomancer is honestly somewhat weak in this deck, but if we control an Equipment, we can make 1/1 Kor Soldiers for them and her ultimate is pretty sweet. Next we have two powerful colorless planeswalkers: Karn Liberated, who can exile problematic permanents, and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, who can exile all the nonland permanents.
I debated playing less Planewalkers (especially Nahiri) since they’re not all necessarily amazing, but decided that I wanted to play Deploy the Gatewatch and therefore had to make sure I had enough density of Planeswalkers that I would often hit one or two while casting it. Along with Deploy, Call the Gatewatch is an obvious inclusion to this deck as the sorcery version of our Commander. You can use the above guide on when we should tutor for certain Planeswalkers. Oath of Gideon, too, seems like an auto-include. It will provide us with two 1/1 creatures (in order to chump block or even combine with our other Planeswalkers to start the token section of the deck) while giving an extra loyalty counter to each planeswalker we put into play.
Another way to support our Planeswalkers is by either giving them multiple activations such as from The Chain Veil or adding loyalty counters to them like with Contagion Engine, Contagion Clasp, or Animation Module. Anybody that’s played “super friends” style of decks in the past can certainly attest to the power level of Rings of Brighthearth, paying two mana to copy all of their effects. I’ve also included Throne of Geth since we have several artifacts we might not mind getting rid of in order to place more loyalty counters on our Planeswalkers.
This is a Mono-White Control Deck
Now that we have plenty of Planeswalkers and ways to support them, let’s work on protecting them.
One of the best ways to do that is by playing some fogs in order to make it harder for our opponents to connect with our ‘walkers. I’ve included Comeuppance since I believe it’s the current best white fog for Commander. Punish our opponents for attacking us or our walkers by redirecting their damage right back at them. I’ve also included Palisade Giant as a walking fog stick.
Of course, another way to prevent our opponent’s creatures from dealing combat damage to our planeswalkers is to stop them from being able to attack them at all. Crawlspace, Ghostly Prison, Mystic Barrier, Norn’s Annex, and Vow of Duty all help make sure our opponent’s creatures will have a hard time attacking.
Another way to stop creatures from attacking our planeswalkers is just by destroying them all. Angel of Serenity, Duplicant, World Queller, Day of Judgment, Fumigate, Wrath of God, Nevinyrral’s Disk, Condemn, Swords to Plowshares, Path to Exile, and Terminus all serve to remove one or more creatures from the board.
Eldrazi and Winning the Game
While our primary win condition is going to be ultimating Planeswalkers, I thought it might be important to include a few more ways to win the game. That’s why I included Kozilek, Butcher of Truth and Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. When games go long, I could see this deck needing some kind of big beater to help drive the game to a close. I’ve also included White Sun’s Zenith along with Caged Sun which can lead to a whole bunch of cat token flashing in at your opponent’s end step and then attacking everybody for the win.
Would you have built this deck any differently? Should I have focused more on the token aspect of the planeswalkers, or maybe some equipment? Let me know in the comments on Facebook. Thank you for all the support y’all give me each and every week. I really enjoy writing this article for y’all and hope that I continue to do so for a while. If you have any comments on this week’s deck or have any suggestions for any of the future Legendary Creatures from Hour of Devastation, let me know.