CAG Member Decks: Josh’s Riku Of Two Reflections

When a Commander deck’s nickname is a Monty Python reference, you know you’re in for some weirdness! Today Sheldon Menery shares Josh Lee Kwai’s “Some Call Me Tim” deck featuring Riku of Two Reflections!

Last week’s feature of Rachel’s Narset, Enlightened Master deck generated enough response to jump right back into featuring another deck from another member of the new Commander Advisory Group (CAG). This time, it’s Josh Lee Kwai’s “Tim” deck. I suspect that folks will find this one a little less cutthroat than Rachel’s; it’s certainly more along the lines of the kinds of decks the Commander Rules Committee (RC) likes to promote. Let’s take a look at the list, then a few words from JLK himself:

Riku of Two Reflections
Josh Lee Kwai
Test deck on 02-14-2019
Magic Card Back

Ever since the very earliest days of Magic, I’ve always had a fondness for creatures with tap abilities. This may or may not have to do with my feeling that the combat step is overrated.

Anyway, one of the reasons Commander is my favorite format is that it provides such a great canvas with which to express our love of anything and everything from the history of Magic. So naturally, one of the first Commander decks I ever built, and still one of my favorites to this day, was a Tim Deck.

It’s centered around that most famous of pingers, the Prodigal Sorcerer (and quite a few of his variants) along with a ton of other creatures that all tap to do something (or cards that enable/enhance those types of shenanigans).

Now, the issue here is that there is no legendary creature that really fits into this theme. As a result, I’ve chosen Riku of Two Reflections as the Commander, mainly for the colors but also because there are some Wizard synergies and the copying of creatures can be useful.

It’s not a super powerful deck, but anytime Tim can manage to deal that final point of damage to KO one of my opponents, I feel like I’m back in high school again.

Josh has indeed taken the theme to the extreme. For those who don’t know the Tim reference, check out this brief scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Since there are quite a few cards outside the list of Commander staples, let’s go over the choices one by one:

The Commander

The outcry over this card has mostly died down. It’s still quite strong and can lead to some busted game states, but must of its power drained away with the banning of Prophet of Kruphix. It still has some game; making a token copy of your creatures for only two mana is particularly strong when they don’t go away at the end of the turn. Especially with Prophet gone, I like some of the battlefield situations Riku helps create, although, like with anything strong, it can be abused.

Other Creatures

Aladdin: Maybe a little expensive and fragile, especially in a world in which you can just blow up artifacts with Viashino Heretic, but considering Josh is also playing our favorite Viashino, the ability to borrow artifacts for an extended time is quite good. Note that the duration is controlling Aladdin, so you can safely untap it without losing control to grab another.

Anger: With a large number of creatures with activated abilities, haste becomes pretty important.

Arcanis the Omnipotent: Drawing three for free is strong. With the untap abilities in the deck, things get stronger.

Archivist: Arcanis’s younger sibling.

Argothian Elder: Some mana ramp in creature form. In a Wrath of God-happy environment, this is a little shaky, but with some of the lands here and the untap tomfoolery, you could really get something going.

Azami, Lady of Scrolls: The Wizard subtheme is alive and well and drawing cards.

Bloom Tender: You can see JLK has gone for the creature mana over land ramp or mana rocks, since they synergize with the untap effects.

Captain of the Mists: Double untapping with its triggered and activated abilities, Captain of the Mists could lead to some cool combos.

Cunning Sparkmage: There is still a Cunning Sparkmage running around Armada Games with my signature on it and the inscription “I kill L5’s” after long-time regular TJ McCoy cast one the turn after I had saved myself with Angel’s Grace.

Disruptive Pitmage: You might be able to catch someone off-guard with the untap effects. They’ll see the on-battlefield trick and leave one mana, but might not consider having to pay more. Add to that casting it as a morph and we’ll have plenty of surprises.

Disruptive Student: Same, but with fewer surprises.

Dwarven Miner: I find Dwarven Miner an underplayed card in the format. Nonbasic lands need to be controlled, and this is a nice way to do it. It makes me wonder if we’ll ever have an actually viable Dwarf tribal deck.

Empress Galina: Unlike other creatures such as Rubinia Soulsinger or the ever-popular Merieke Ri Berit, Empress Galina doesn’t give back the creature when she untaps.

Ertai, Wizard Adept: There are big spells that need to be countered and sometimes you can’t count on Force Spike-ing them. Ertai is there for you.

Fatestitcher: More untapping and Wizard-ing.

Fauna Shaman: There isn’t really much graveyard recursion here, so Fauna Shaman means mostly one-way trips for the discards.

Frostwielder: You know how I feel about exiling, so Frostwielder gets my support. Also a nice way to exile something critical (like a creature with Persist) when someone Wraths.

Genesis: One of the powerful cards in the olden days of the format, it remains a favorite and one of the few ways in this deck to get creatures back from the grave.

Kamahl, Pit Fighter: The deck can surely get a Kamahl machine gun going, leading to nine or even twelve damage in a turn from him.

Kiora’s Follower: Simple but valuable untapping.

Mercurial Chemister: The card is mostly in the deck for the card-drawing ability, but I imagine there are occasions when the direct damage is significant.

Murkfiend Liege: Untapping most of the creatures in the deck for free each turn will lead to more pings. You know Seedborn Muse isn’t far behind.

Niblis of the Breath: While for the most part creatures like Niblis of the Breath are in the deck for their untap abilities, it would be dangerous to ignore the fact that they can always thwart the attack of a huge creature.

Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind: For those of you who aren’t aware, original Niv-Mizzet is partially responsible for a Commander rule change. Back in the day, any 21 damage from a commander would suffice, since none of them really did damage outside of the Red Zone. Niv-Mizzet, Heartless Hidetsugu, and Kaervek the Merciless convinced us that we needed to rethink that—especially given the fact that we wanted to encourage combat-driven games.

Patron Wizard: Part of the Wizard subtheme, Force Spikes can make all the difference.

Prodigal Pyromancer: The crazy world of Planar Chaos gives us a red version of the original Tim.

Prodigal Sorcerer: The original. Back in Alpha days, we wondered how you could lose if you ever got your Tim onto the battlefield.

Puppeteer: Right in line with (un)tapping Wizards.

Razorfin Hunter: Old-schooling it with a Goblin Merfolk version of Tim.

Seedborn Muse: One of the obvious cards in the deck, I suspect it was one of the first Josh thought about when building.

Tideforce Elemental: Landfall gives this one extra opportunities.

Viashino Heretic: There are many artifacts in Commander games and many of them warrant getting nuked. Favorite creature to see when I’m playing it: Darksteel Colossus.

Vulshok Sorcerer: Another pinger with native hastiness.

Willbreaker: A criminally-underplayed card and so perfect in this deck.

Zuran Spellcaster: Back in Ice Age, we could play eight Tims! How could you lose???


Gorgon Flail: A card you don’t see much, it’s so perfect for this deck—and inexpensive to cast and equip, too.

Illusionist’s Bracers: Another of the cards that was probably in the first batch Josh thought about, the question with this deck is where the greatest value is. Drawing six every time you activate Arcanis is something, but you might have to play the control game as well, dealing out extra bits of damage.

Magewright’s Stone: When your creatures keep getting killed, it’s nice to know Magewright’s Stone will be there for you.

Puppet Strings: Like Magewright’s Stone, you want some redundancy in an environment that’s hostile to creatures.

Sol Ring: What more is to be said?

Staff of Domination: Many of you might not have been playing the format long enough to remember when this was banned. I bet you look at it and wonder why.

Sword of Kaldra: I know Josh doesn’t like getting into combat all that much, but Sword of Kaldra, in addition to providing great control when it’s attached to one of the pingers, leaves open the possibility of bashing three times with Riku.

Thousand-Year Elixir: A mainstay in just about every Merieke Ri Berit deck, this deck also gets lots of mileage from it. A favorite card of mine even for decks that don’t have the tap/untap mechanics going.

Thran Dynamo: Pretty straightforward mana rock.


Charisma: You’ll obviously want to be careful if your pingers have deathtouch or one of the exile effects. It makes sense to put this on your least valuable damage-dealer, since creatures like Niv-Mizzet are going to be targets anyway.

Curiosity: Classic instant-win damage combo with Niv-Mizzet. It’s hardly a sin to have a two-card/potentially kill the table combination in an otherwise low-power deck.

Dawn’s Reflection: A nice hidden gem. That the extra mana is any color puts it over the top.

Dismiss into Dream: When Josh first told me about the deck, I hoped Dismiss into Dream was in it, and I’m excited to see that it is. It changes the game’s landscape in a way that’s strategically interesting without breaking it. Since it applies to all opponents, then they can also dagger each other by targeting things. I have it in a Temur deck and have used Kessig Wolf Run in a defensive fashion. Probably my favorite card in this deck.

Freed from the Real: Turn any creature into a Puppeteer!

Market Festival: Dawn’s Reflection number two.

Ophidian Eye: Curiosity number two.

Oracle’s Insight: I’d like to see this in play to assess whether it’s worth the slot; it doesn’t seem like it to me, but I’ll confess it just might be. I suppose it’s Curiosity number three, providing quite some redundancy.

Pemmin’s Aura: While it might seem quaint today, this card got quite some play way back when.

Quest for Renewal: A Seedborn Muse-light that won’t go away with a Damnation. Probably another underplayed card.

Survival of the Fittest: One of the few expensive (dollar-wise) cards in the deck, my only concern is that it makes the infinite damage combo much easier to get. That being said, the deck really doesn’t ramp into anything all that fast, so it would likely be a later turn anyway. If we’re into double-digit turns, anything is fair game.


Counterspell: The Ice Age version is still my favorite art, since it’s based on bodybuilder Lenda Murray. I question the choice, because in Commander one-for-ones aren’t all that great. They need to do something else as well. While Overwhelming Intellect might be a little narrow and pricey, it provides an extra boost. The primary advantage to the original is its low cost, but this deck operates on very little mana (as evidenced by having only 35 mana-producing lands), so I’d consider at least the upgrade to Dissipate.

Hinder: I suspect this is a leftover from before the tuck rule change, but I never took it out of decks either. There are cards you don’t want to see in someone’s graveyard, so banishing them to the bottom of the deck is quite strong.

Muddle the Mixture: I imagine if this transmutes, it’s nearly always for Illusionist’s Bracers.

Mystical Tutor: Much of this deck is quite creative. Mystical Tutor strikes me as just a card you play when you’re in blue.

Worldly Tutor: Less so than with Mystical Tutor, but still.

Green Sun’s Zenith: In a deck that plays inexpensive creatures, this will certainly have impact early in the game.

Hull Breach: The reason to play Hull Breach over Decimate is that the former doesn’t really have targeting restrictions. Still, there are almost always great targets for Decimate, and doubling up with Riku would be quite spicy.

Regrowth: Sometimes, your best stuff ends up in the graveyard and you need it in your hand.


Josh’s deck is an exemplar of the kind of thing that’s perfectly reasonable to put together in Commander, the Magic world’s real home to theme decks. It’s certainly one that harkens back to the format’s distant past and would be welcome at the RC’s tables anytime.

Question of the Week

This time, our question comes from multiple sources.

When are cards officially legal in Commander?

Cards are legal as soon as you can get your hands on them, meaning they’ll be legal in Commander before they are in other formats since you can get them at the Prerelease. We’ll offer this caveat: if you’re playing in a sanctioned Commander event during Prerelease week, double check with the organizer to make sure they’re legal for that particular event. For the purposes of events in which prizes are on the line, there’s a pretty good argument for not allowing them when others haven’t had the chance to acquire them. Otherwise, play away as a reward for supporting your LGS and its Prerelease.

Check out our comprehensive Deck List Database for lists of all my decks:


Purple Hippos and Maro Sorcerers; Kresh Into the Red Zone; Halloween with Karador; Dreaming of Intet; You Did This to Yourself.



Heliod, God of Enchantments; Thassa, God of Merfolk; Erebos and the Halls Of The Dead; Forge of Purphoros; Nylea of the Woodland Realm; Karn Evil No. 9.


Lavinia Blinks; Obzedat, Ghost Killer; Aurelia Goes to War; Trostani and Her Angels; Lazav, Shapeshifting Mastermind; Zegana and a Dice Bag; Rakdos Reimagined; Glissa, Glissa; Ruric Thar and His Beastly Fight Club; Gisa and Geralf Together Forever.

Shards and Wedges

Adun’s Toolbox; Angry, Angry Dinos; Animar’s Swarm; Borrowing Stuff at Cutlass Point; Ikra and Kydele; Karrthus, Who Rains Fire From The Sky; Demons of Kaalia; Merieke’s Esper Dragons; Nath of the Value Leaf; Queen Marchesa, Long May She Reign; Queen Marchesa’s Knights; Rith’s Tokens; The Mill-Meoplasm; The Altar of Thraximundar; The Threat of Yasova; Zombies of Tresserhorn.


Yidris: Money for Nothing, Cards for Free; Saskia Unyielding; Breya Reshaped; Yidris Rotisserie Draft Deck.


Children of a Greater God


Tana and Kydele; Kynaios and Tiro; Ikra and Kydele.


Adun Oakenshield Do-Over; Animar Do-Over; Glissa Do-Over; Karador Do-Over; Karador Version 3; Karrthus Do-Over; Kresh Do-Over; Steam-Powered Merieke Do-Over; Lord of Tresserhorn Do-Over; Mimeoplasm Do-Over; Phelddagrif Do-Over; Rith Do-Over; Ruhan Do-Over.

If you’d like to follow the adventures of my Monday Night RPG group (in a campaign that’s been alive since 1987) which is just beginning the saga The Lost Cities of Nevinor, ask for an invitation to the Facebook group “Sheldon Menery’s Monday Night Gamers.”