All That Glitters

This week Bennie builds his first Journey into Nyx Commander deck, choosing King Macar, the Gold-Cursed to helm a deck filled with pure unadulterated greed.

Oh man, I can’t wait to get my hands on Journey into Nyx! I’m working both my full- and part-time jobs today (Friday), but I get off at 11 PM and plan on swinging by my local game store and jumping in a midnight Prerelease. I haven’t been this stoked about a new set in a while, but there are so many cards in Journey into Nyx that I want to play with in Commander, Standard, and Modern. I talked about some of them last week and am sure I’ll talk about more of them in the weeks to come, but for this week I just want to focus on one bad boy I’m stoked to try out as a commander. Sure, we’ve got five new legendary Gods that we’re all looking forward to building decks around, but there’s also a non-omniscient legend in the set that’s got my immediate attention.

Yep, I’m talking about the man with the Midas touch: King Macar, the Gold-Cursed!

His inspired ability is quite potent, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to pause and consider his applicability for tournament play. Repeatedly being able to exile a creature with no conditions attached is an awesome form of board control, but we haven’t really seen any inspired guys crack into tier 1 decks outside of the occasional Pain Seer in aggro. The most reliable way to tap inspired guys is by attacking, and a 2/3 for four mana isn’t exactly built for rumbling in the red zone. Let’s think about how things could work out.

Your opponent has two copies of Loxodon Smiter in play and attacks you with one, keeping one back to prevent you from tapping and attacking with King Macar. You’re playing black so naturally you’ve got Hero’s Downfall, kill the untapped Smiter, and swing in with the King. Your opponent keeps back their other Smiter and plays Polukranos, World Eater and passes back to you. You untap, get your inspired trigger, and exile the big Hydra. But now you’re staring down a Smiter and are basically waiting to draw another removal spell. If you’re drawing removal spells anyway, it seems like it might be better to just crash in with Desecration Demon and end the game in a hurry rather than playing inspired footsies with your 2/3 Human.

But in Commander King Macar is much better. For one thing, there are a lot more opponents and a better chance that someone is going to be open for the King to be able to naturally tap by attacking. Of course, there is also the much deeper card pool, giving you a lot more ways than Springleaf Drum to tap your inspired guys without risking their necks in combat. So let’s dig in!

Greed, Part 1

King Macar is obviously templated from King Midas, whose greed cursed him with the golden touch. Therefore one of the overarching themes of the deck is going to be greed. The first way this plays out is by making King Macar a greedy commander—a large part of the deck is going to be about casting King Macar and using his ability as often as possible. This isn’t really all that unusual for Commander decks, as many of them tend to be very commander focused, but when putting this together I’m really going to look for ways to keep the spotlight on the King’s inspired ability, not for its practical use as creature control but because exiling creatures is a necessary component to amassing Gold tokens!

Maze of Ith, Paradise Mantle, Springleaf Drum, Onyx Talisman, Revelsong Horn, Honor-Worn Shaku, Puppet Strings, Staff of Domination, Thousand-Year Elixir, Umbral Mantle, Ring of Gix, Icy Manipulator, Sword of the Paruns

All of these cards can either tap or untap King Macar in order to facilitate his inspired ability. I haven’t used Honor-Worn Shaku since my Norin the Wary Commander deck, but it obviously works great here as a Springleaf Drum on steroids. And how about Revelsong Horn? I don’t know that I’ve ever actually played this Shadowmoor uncommon, even in Limited, but it’s another way to tap the King without attacking with him.

Since so many of these cards are artifacts, I figured a Voltaic Key would double our pleasure.

Greed, Part 2

Okay, so we have a bunch of cards that will help our King do his thing. Now all we need is plenty of creatures to turn to Gold. How do we get our opponents to feed us a constant stream of victims? Well, by feeding their greed as well!

Howling Mine; Horn of Greed; Master of the Feast; Temple Bell; Otherworld Atlas; Seizan, Perverter of Truth; Mikokoro, Center of the Sea

Everybody draws! Horn of Greed even has greed in its title! By keeping our opponents flush with cards, we’re encouraging them to play more and more spells, which will hopefully include creature spells. To further encourage them I’ve also included Sword of War and Peace, Viseling, and Price of Knowledge so no one thinks it’s okay to keep their fists full of cards.

Now it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t make ourselves the greediest of all, so I’ve naturally included the spell Greed along with the god of greed in Erebos, God of the Dead.

Greed, Part 3

So we’ve got the King cocked and ready to make tokens and are shoving cards down our opponents’ throats, but what if that still isn’t enough to keep plenty of victims on the table to satisfy our King’s lust for Gold?

Zombie Infestation, Acorn Catapult, Gild, Trading Post, Grave Titan, Abhorrent Overlord, Myr Battlesphere, Army of the Damned

Make more dudes! You don’t think King Macar is above turning his own subjects into Gold, especially if they’re just tokens? Part of playing this deck is to see just how fat a stack of Gold tokens you can pile up over the course of the game, and heck, if someone is trying to tuck our King, who says we can’t untap him and turn himself into Gold? We’ll of course want the original Gold maker of Gild in the deck too, and with the strong artifact theme in the deck, our Trading Post will do more than make Goats we want to turn into Gold.


While having a fat stack of Gold tokens might satisfy our inner Smaug, let’s not forget that in Magic Gold is mana currency! What can we spend that extra mana on? The Flashback for Army of the Damned is certainly one fantastic option. How about casting the knockout punch Blightsteel Colossus? Actually, the fact that Gold tokens are artifacts means we can even cheat that big robot out with Kuldotha Forgemaster.

Likely though, the most appropriate use for cashing in our Gold tokens is to fuel Greed’s mana activation, no?

Here’s what I’ve got:

Even though my ultimate plan is to turn every creature on the board into Gold tokens for my stash, since I’m feeding everyone cards I figured I might need a few panic buttons, so I added Hellfire and Life’s Finale to the mix. Dread and Vengeful Pharaoh will hopefully keep particularly scary dudes off my back. To offset the life loss from Greed and Erebos, God of the Dead, I added Basilisk Collar, Batterskull, Gray Merchant of Asphodel, Venser’s Journal, and Wurmcoil Engine.

P.S. More Greed

Since I had room and it seemed appropriate, I decided to cram in cards I consider rather greedy in Commander. Exsanguinate and Exquisite Blood. Dark Depths along with Vampire Hexmage and Thespian’s Stage. Kokusho, the Evening Star and Nim Deathmantle. Cabal Coffers and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth. Vampiric Tutor and Demonic Tutor (though I mainly put those in here to bail out the King if he gets tucked).

It occurred to me as I was researching this deck that you could probably make a rather evil version of it with Smokestack and Braids, Cabal Minion, but I figure King Macar is more greedy than pure evil. I think this build strikes a pretty good balance between multiplayer fun and pure unadulterated greed. What sort of cards are you thinking about putting in your King Macar, the Gold-Cursed deck? And does anyone have some extra Gold tokens lying around?

New to Commander?
If you’re just curious about the format, building your first deck, or trying to take your Commander deck up a notch, here are some handy links:

My current Commander decks (and links to decklists):

Previous Commander decks currently on hiatus: