Hello everyone! I’m Literally a Ghost That Pushes Over Candles and welcome back to The Spirit of EDH. Today we’re going to talk about one of my favorite decks to play and one of the most customizable deck themes: Legends. Helmed by Jodah, Archmage Eternal, as a solid creature stat-wise that gives us access to all five colors. This deck takes advantage of a few cards that benefit you for your legendary creatures to overwhelm your opponents. Here’s my current decklist, including some new cards from Guilds of Ravnica:
So, the deck gets to play some of the most efficient versions of a couple different effects because we’re playing all five colors. In addition to that, our deck plays a few key “Legends Matter” payoffs and a few powerful haymakers. Besides those, this deck has a lot of customization opportunities. It’s the best example I have of building a deck to suit your playgroup and your style to have fun! We’ll talk a bit about the key pieces of this deck and the haymakers we play, then talk about the stuff you can change around!
1 x Loyal Retainers
1 x Reki, the HIstory of Kamigawa
1 x Captain Sisay
1 x Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain
1 x Raff Capashen, Ship's Mage
1 x Sakashima the Impostor
1 x Arvad the Cursed
1 x Thalia's Lancers
1 x Time of Need
1 x Day of Destiny
1 x Heroes' Podium
Reki, the History of Kamigawa and Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain — Reki was one of the more powerful cards we had access to before Dominaria came out and now we have a second body with this effect! Being able to draw a card off of every legendary spell cast is powerful, and Jhoira also gets to draw off of the equipment or mana-rocks we might cast.
Sakashima the Impostor — Being able to clone one of our legendary creatures is amazingly powerful. Sakashima is one of the biggest reasons I added blue to this deck with the advent of Dominaria and for good reason; two copies of Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, two copies of Gisela, Blade of Goldnight, or two copies of Sheoldred, Whispering One will end any game very quickly.
Arvad the Cursed, Day of Destiny and Heroes’ Podium — A lot of the other “Legends Matter” cards care about when you cast or going to find your legendary cards, but these three are the reason we play so many legendary creatures. Arvad and Day of Destiny are two versions of the same effect, and Heroes’ Podium is a pseudo-Coat of Arms for only you and for Legendary Creatures instead of caring about creature type. You develop an overwhelming board state very quickly in this way, especially with the number of available legendary creature tokens.
Captain Sisay and Thalia’s Lancers — Both of these can tutor up legendary cards which includes non-creature legendary cards! Either can tutor up your legendary lands if you need to keep hitting land drops, although Captain Sisay is usually more available for that, and they can both tutor up the legendary sorceries from Dominaria.
1 x Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
1 x Gisela, Blade of Goldnight
1 x Maelstrom Wanderer
1 x Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger
1 x Urza's Ruinous Blast
1 x Primevals' Glorious Rebirth
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite — One of the most infamous top-end creatures, Elesh Norn will turn any battlefield’s worth of creatures into a game-winning swing in a heartbeat. Remember that our commander does have an ability beyond giving us access to five colors, and it allows us to cast spells for five mana instead of their normal cost.
Gisela, Blade of Goldnight — A card that has an impact the moment she hits the board, if you already have a solid board state when you play her then Gisela will allow you to instantly alpha-strike someone. If you can protect her with shroud or hexproof, it can be very difficult to hurt you on a crack-back as well with her prevention ability.
Maelstrom Wanderer — Remembering if we use our alternate casting cost from our commander that Cascade still sees his converted mana cost of 8, Maelstrom Wanderer can be an army in a can. Depending on what you flip, you can also kill someone from nowhere with a good Cascade.
Urza’s Ruinous Blast — Plague Wind effects are very powerful and Urza’s Ruinous Blast is even more dangerous. It won’t hit your opponents’ legendary creatures, but since nearly everything on your board is legendary it will very often feel like a Plague Wind and a Merciless Eviction combined.
Primevals’ Glorious Rebirth — In the same vein, Rise of the Dark Realms is synonymous with game-winning plays and Primevals’ Glorious Rebirth is reminiscent of that. You’ll get back most permanent cards from your graveyard, including cards like Day of Destiny and Heroes’ Podium.
Cards to Consider
Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist — Even without some of our equipment protecting her, with a few buffs from our legendary anthems Mirri can turn a safe board presence into an indefensible position. Being only able to block with one creature makes it difficult, if not impossible, to block your way out of an onslaught of big legendary creatures.
Vona, Butcher of Magan — Repeatable Vindicate is no joke. Though activating her ability may cost you a solid blood payment, because she has Lifelink you can quickly earn that life back with our anthems and because she has Vigilance, you can both attack with her and use her Vindicate ability. In addition, her ability can be used at instant speed, even with her restriction of “Activate only during your turn.” This means if you want to, you can attack and still be able to Vindicate in response to any tricks that come up during combat.
Blackblade Reforged — This is one of the powerful equipment we have access to. A two mana equipment that equips for three mana and gives +1/+1 for each land we control can turn any attacker into a deadly threat and can turn commander damage into a very real path to victory.
The Spice Corner
Normally, this is where I call out some of the cards that might not be the best version of the effect for the slot but might offer some fun lines of play, or something I’ve included because I enjoy playing the card. However, especially with this deck, a lot of the win conditions and individual legendary cards are up to you! I’m going to use this to call out some of my favorite inclusions you might not have thought of, but remember: Your commander deck is for you to enjoy. Build it for yourself!
Nissa, Vastwood Seer, Nissa, Sage Animist, and Jiang Yanggu — Both of these planeswalkers have the ability to create a legendary token. While Nissa has a powerful draw ability as her +1, Jiang Yanggu only needs one loyalty to resummon Mowu onto the battlefield. This may not seem like much, but the ability to have access to a legendary creature that will always be back is very strong. Jiang has won me games on his own with his ability to keep up a defense by always having Mowu to protect me.
Olivia Voldaren — Being able to mind control larger creatures or shoot down any smaller ones has won games all on her own. I’m sure anyone that played during Innistrad standard doesn’t need me to convince them of Olivia’s strength, but especially with our big-mana plan underway, she can very quickly take over the game and become a game-ending threat.
Verix Bladewing and Stangg — Two legendary creatures in one card, both of these have proven powerful in their own right once we have some anthems out. Stangg does have some drawbacks and I certainly understand if he’s cut early, but I love Stangg and his Twin. The fact that he is a real threat just feels like an accomplishment in his own right.
Sylvan Library and Heroes’ Podium — Heroes’ Podium has a second ability besides being a pseudo-Coat of Arms, being able to do a decent Impulse impression. With the ability to control the top of our library or, at the very least, know what is there, we can activate Heroes’ Podium for one mana to draw a card. This trick works just as well with Brainstorm. Also keep in mind that if you don’t like the next few cards with Sylvan Library, we do have a lot of fetch lands to shuffle our deck with.
Jodah, Archmage Eternal and Painful Truths — Painful Truths will draw us one card and lose us one life for each color we spend on it. Normally this is capped at three since that’s what Painful Truths costs, but Jodah lets us circumvent that. We can use his ability to pay for Painful Truths and draw five cards at the cost of five life, which is a nice option to have when all you want is more cards.
Captain Sisay, Samut, Voice of Dissent and the Legendary Lands — I have absolutely used Captain Sisay to make sure I have lands up for my land drops. Sisay can also be untapped by, and tutor for, Samut. This allows you to tutor twice per turn.
There aren’t any notable exclusions this week since I’m playing every one of the strong legends matters cards, and for other considerations… Try out new things! This shell is a very powerful starting point, you can really include any legendary creatures you want in the deck. I previously had Palladia Mors, the Ruiner and Chromium the Mutable in the deck solely because of my love of the old Elder Dragons lore! If a legend looks interesting to you, try it out, see how it is! I highly recommend trying a deck like this one if you love good-stuff style decks with a strong feeling of synergy in it all the same.
So tell me, what did you think? Did I offer information you thought was helpful, raise some insights you might not have thought of, miss stuff you thought I should mention, or any other thoughts I didn’t call out? Leave a comment below to let me know, or you can haunt me directly on Twitter (@FrigglishTGhost) or spook my email (AMillionDifferentColors@Gmail.com).
Make sure you join me next week, where I’ll be talking about the brutal Kaervek the Merciless!
Until then, may the Spirit of EDH possess you with creativity.
— Literally a Ghost that Pushes Over Candles
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