The Spirit of EDH – Will and Rowan Kenrith


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Hello everyone! I’m Literally a Ghost That Pushes Over Candles and welcome back to The Spirit of EDH. Today I’m excited to talk to you about one of my four pet decks, the planeswalker siblings Will Kenrith and Rowan Kenrith. When this pair was first spoiled I was ecstatic because the idea of starting with two planeswalkers in the command zone, especially one with abilities as cool as theirs, was exciting! I couldn’t wait to start brewing around them.
Before I talk any more at length about them, however, lets show you the decklist I’m working with:

Creatures (15)
1 x Baral, Chief of Compliance
1 x Fog Bank
1 x Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
1 x Mystic Archaeologist
1 x Burnished Hart
1 x Dulcet Sirens
1 x Mannichi, the Fevered Dream
1 x Spellseeker
1 x Solemn Simulacrum
1 x Talrand, Sky Summoner
1 x Deepglow Skate
1 x Docent of Perfection
1 x Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs
1 x Etali, Primal Storm
1 x The Locust God

Planeswalkers (10)
1 x Jace Beleren
1 x Chandra, the Firebrand
1 x Chandra, Torch of Defiance
1 x Jace, Architect of Thought
1 x Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 x Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
1 x Jaya Ballard
1 x Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
1 x Chandra, Bold Pyromancer
1 x Teferi, Temporal Archmage
Commanders
1 x Will Kenrith
1 x Rowan Kenrith

Lands (36)
1 x Cascade Bluffs
1 x Forge of Heroes
1 x Highland Lake
13 x Island
1 x Izzet Boilerworks
1 x Lonely Sandbar
1 x Memorial to Genius
10 x Mountain
1 x Reliquary Tower
1 x Shivan Reef
1 x Steam Vents
1 x Sulfur Falls
1 x Swiftwater Cliffs
1 x Temple of Epiphany
1 x Wandering Fumarole
Spells (37)
1 x Mystical Tutor
1 x Ponder
1 x Portent
1 x Preordain
1 x Izzet Signet
1 x Mind Stone
1 x Mizzium Mortars
1 x Pull from Tomorrow
1 x Search for Azcanta
1 x Starstorm
1 x Thought Vessel
1 x Anger of the Gods
1 x Coalition Relic
1 x Commander’s Sphere
1 x Oath of Jace
1 x Polymorphist’s Jest
1 x Rings of brighthearth
1 x Savor the Moment
1 x Sweltering Suns
1 x Worn Powerstone
1 x Aetherize
1 x Cryptic Command
1 x Disrupt Decorum
1 x Illusionist’s Gambit
1 x Primal Amulet
1 x Sulfurous Blast
1 x Aetherspouts
1 x Evacuation
1 x Inexorable Tide
1 x Metallurgic Summonings
1 x Mystic Confluence
1 x Time Warp
1 x Contagion Engine
1 x Karn’s Temporal Sundering
1 x Sunbird’s Invocation
1 x Meishin, the Mind Cage
1 x Blasphemous Act

Now, I won’t claim that this deck is hardball competitive. There is a lot of things missing from this deck, intentionally, so that the deck would still be fun to play with my friends in a multiplayer, 75%’d pod. We’ll talk about that in the Cards To Consider section, so don’t worry. As is, however, Will and Rowan aim to play a reactive, defensive position, growing their advantage with incremental value with other planeswalkers, powerful enchantments and creatures alike. There are quite a few cards that protect you, or force your opponents to direct their aggression elsewhere at least, that allow you to build up and ultimate your commanders quickly. Now, it does take some measure of finesse and control to be able to defend planeswalkers from multiple adversaries but that’s exactly what we’re aiming to do here.

This doesn’t break down into clean categories as easily as my last articles have so, instead, we’re going to break them down more into synergies with our commanders, Will and Rowan respectively, and then call out cards in specific.

Will Kenrith

Our blue planeswalker friend has three tricks up his sleeve: Turning creatures into 0/3’s, drawing two cards (which also makes our instant, sorcery, and planeswalker spells cost two less to cast), and an emblem that copies all our spells. Now, his second and third ability can target other players which can be fun on occasion, but for the most part we’re going to be targeting ourselves. We’ll be talking about the synergies in turn.

“Until your next turn, up to two target creatures each have base power and toughness 0/3 and lose all abilities.”

Mizzium Mortars, Starstorm, Anger of the Gods, Sweltering Suns, and Sulfurous Blast — A lot of our mass damage spells get a lot stronger with the ability to turn two creatures into small creatures with no abilities. Anger of the Gods and Sweltering Suns in specific seem a lot stronger when they’re guaranteed to kill at least two creatures of your choice!

Mannichi, the Fevered Dream and Meishin, the Mind Cage — The other fun thing to play around with is the fact that they have zero power. Using Mannichi’s ability to switch all creatures power and toughness will kill any creatures that are affected by Will’s +2, provided that they aren’t being buffed by an outside source like counters or an anthem. The ability to repeatedly kill two creatures, however, for only two mana has proven to be very strong. In addition, Meishin does play into this as well, turning Mannichi into a pseudo-board wipe.

“Target player draws two cards. Until your next turn, instant, sorcery, and planeswalker spells that player casts cost 2 less to cast.”

Chandra, Bold Pyromancer, Chandra, Torch of Defiance, and Teferi, Temporal Archmage— Planeswalkers that generate mana are powerful plays after using Will’s -2. They become very cheap to cast if you can chain them through to another spell off the discount. There are a lot more degenerate things you can do with this discount, such as trying to storm or shenanigans with Cloudstone Curio. However, that’s not what we’re aiming to do with this deck. I do, though, feel a small amount of accomplishment finding a place to play the Dominaria’s Planeswalker Deck Chandra.

Talrand, the Sky Summoner and Docent of Perfection — Remembering that the discount will apply through our opponents turns, our instants become very strong after using Will’s -2, allowing us to leave up more spells for less investment. In this vein we do have several instants and sorceries in the deck, enough so that they deck plays a lot like a spellslinger archetype at times. These two creatures are powerful payoffs for casting spells to protect ourselves, turning into a formidable threat all on their own.

“Target player gets an emblem with ‘Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, copy it. You may choose new targets for a copy.’”

Rings of Brighthearth — This will be where I call out this card, though it does play well with all planeswalker abilities. For two mana you can copy the effects, but not the cost, of any of your activated abilities. You can give yourself two emblems for only two mana!

Rowan Kenrith

Will’s sister is a lot more aggressive than her ice wielding brother: Forcing creatures to attack, dealing 3 damage to all tapped creatures an opponent controls, and giving you an emblem that copies all of your activated abilities! Her abilities play well with her brother’s in forcing 0/3’s to attack, torching the 0/3’s the turn after, and letting you duplicate his ultimate for two emblems after you use her. Lets talk about some of the synergy her abilities offer us.

“During target player’s next turn, each creature that player controls attacks if able.”

Aetherize, Illusionist’s Gambit, Aetherspouts, and Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs — Being able to force our opponents to attack gives us two different avenues. We can discourage our opponents from attacking us, a la Kazuul, or we can punish them for doing so. Aetherize is a brutal card if our opponent swings out at us, Aetherspouts doubly so. Illusionist’s Gambit allows us to force them to attack a different player even if they declare us as the defending player.

Polymorphist’s Jest and Meishin, the Mind Cage — Another method is to turn all of our opponents creatures into harmless things so that we can safely defend ourselves.

“Rowan Kenrith deals 3 damage to each tapped creature target player controls.”

Polymorphist’s Jest — A double use card, this can turn our opponents into poor frogs that will be instantly wiped by Rowan’s flamebreak-like ability.

Disrupt Decorum — There are other ways besides Rowan’s +2 to force our opponents creatures to tap their creatures, swinging wildly at each other before allowing us to torch them down.

“Target player gets an emblem with ‘Whenever you activate an ability that isn’t a mana ability, copy it. You may choose new targets for the copy.’”

Mystic Archaeologist — This card is good repeatable value but is also amazingly strong with the ability copying we have access to.

The other obvious synergy with this ability is other planeswalkers that we have access to. Doubling up on all of their abilities is a very fast path to winning the game.

Cards to Consider

Savor the Moment — A take an extra turn spell that is both powerful but not so much so that it will annoy some playgroups, Savor the Moment allows you an extra draw step and one extra activation of every one of your planeswalkers. Though you don’t get to untap, which cuts a lot of the strength out of it, the ability to redo your planeswalker abilities without going infinite is a fun inclusion.

Sunbird’s Invocation — One of my favorite cards printed in recent sets, this thing is a nuthouse. The amount of value you get from it with even one turn of casting spells in insane.

The Spice Market

Etali, Primal Storm — While the Red Elder Dinosaur isn’t the first thing people think of when they’re playing a superfriends deck, it does indeed find a powerful home at the top of our curve. The ability to draw a card from each opponents library and cast it for free, while protecting our dino with our salvo of planeswalkers will quickly find us in a winning position.

Notable Exclusions

There really aren’t a lot of exclusions since not a lot of decklists exist online for the pair of Battlebond planeswalkers. I will say most of them play Thrummingbird which I disagree with, as is always stonewalled or dead when I’m able to make use of its ability.

Other Considerations

There is a lot of ways to change this deck to make it more competitive or tone it down slightly. While I won’t call out every card you can add to make the deck better, I’ll call out a few specifics and a few categories

Dramatic Reversal and Isochron Scepter — This combo, plus enough mana rocks to generate three or more mana makes infinite mana. Its an easy and cheap combo to include in any blue deck that generates infinite mana.

Blood Moon and Magus of the Moon — Being a blue red deck allows you to play with a blue-moon type shell. In groups with a lot of powerful nonbasics and color fixing, or in a very multicolor heavy meta, Blood Moon can shut down games almost instantly.

Chain Veil — A card like this not only plays very well with a superfriends type list but also forms an infinite combo with Teferi and a few mana rocks. Competitive groups should be familiar with Chain Veil Teferi and for good reason.

Cloudstone Curio — This one is a little more innocuous and could be included in a playgroup that is a little more relaxed but still allowing of infinite combos. If you combine Will Kenrith’s -2 with planeswalkers that can generate mana, like Chandra, Torch of Defiance, Chandra, Bold Pyromancer, and Teferi, Temporal Archmage, you can play one, bounce a second, then replay it at a massive discount. With any combination of those three planeswalkers and two uses of Will’s -2, done by bouncing him with Cloudstone Curio, you have infinite damage or infinite mana, depending.

If you are looking to make this deck more competitive then the other two categories would be fast mana, such as Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, or Mana Vault, and extra turn spells, such as Nexus of Fate, Part the Waterveil, and Temporal Mastery.

If you’re looking to instead take this in a bit less of a controlling way, power it down slightly or explore a different avenue try power and toughness switching – With cards like Serendib Sorcerer, Warkite Marauder, and Ovinize, as well as -X/-0 cards like Chant of the Skifsang, Chemister’s Trick, Cumber Stone, Dampening Pulse, and Downsize combined with power and toughness switchers like Inside out, About Face, Crookclaw Transmuter, Merfolk Thaumaturgist, and Twisted Image to repeatedly kill your opponents creatures. This plays well with Will’s +2 and Rowan’s +2.

Parting Thoughts

This time I wanted to break up the formula a little bit, give you another way to take in information about the decks I play and the ideas I have. Since I can’t break every deck down into clean categories, especially decks that end up more “value” or “Goodstuff,” there will be times where explaining synergies and patterns works out better.
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 Aminatou, the Fateshifter!

Until then, may the Spirit of EDH possess you with creativity.
— Literally a Ghost that Pushes Over Candles

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