Dear Azami: It’s The End Of The Maze As We Know It

Check out the changes Sean suggests to help push Steve’s Child of Alara deck to the style of game play he favors while upping the synergy and power level.

The Great and Powerful Az(ami):

I’ve been playing Commander for three years now, and it is my favorite format by far. I’m a big fan of multiplayer strategy board games and love Magic, so Commander hits the sweet spot for me mixing both of those loves.

Ever since Maze’s End came out, I’ve wanted to build a Commander deck around it. This is my attempt at it.


1. Child of Alara helps keep the board clean, which is pretty necessary for this deck. However, this may be the first time that the commander is up for discussion if you think there’s a better choice for this deck.

2. The land count is lower in this deck than a normal Commander deck. As you will see, most of the deck is cheap, and there is a lot of ramp in the deck.

3. I have many Commander decks. That means that most of the good stuff is spread around in other decks. Plus, I wanted to try to keep this from being a good stuff five-color deck.

4. Two cards that I know need to be in the deck are Scapeshift and Terra Eternal. Somehow I haven’t gotten either of those cards, but I hope to in the future.


Child of Alara


10 Guildgates
Rupture Spire
Transguild Promenade
Shimmering Grotto
Mirrodin’s Core
Thespian’s Stage
Evolving Wilds
Terramorphic Expanse
Crumbling Necropolis
Jungle Shrine
Maze’s End
3 Forest
3 Mountain
3 Island
3 Swamp
3 Plains


Nicol Bolas


Yavimaya Elder
False Prophet
Evil Twin
Weathered Wayfarer
Azusa, Lost but Seeking
Borborygmos Enraged
Inkwell Leviathan
Gatecreeper Vine
Phyrexian Ingester
Kederekt Leviathan


Brittle Effigy
Prophetic Prism
Powder Keg
Chromatic Star
Chromatic Lantern
Torpor Orb
Armillary Sphere
Mind Stone
Doubling Cube
Darksteel Ingot
Journeyer’s Kite
Expedition Map
Relic of Progenitus
Sensei’s Divining Top
Spectral Searchlight
Salvaging Station
Elixir of Immortality
Chromatic Sphere


Sylvan Library
Underworld Connections
Sacred Ground


Nostalgic Dreams
Gaze of Granite
Day of Judgment
Diabolic Tutor
Life’s Finale
Sylvan Scrying
Barter in Blood
Rite of Replication
Demonic Collusion
Clan Defiance
Dregs of Sorrow
Austere Command
Blasphemous Act
All Suns’ Dawn


Wear // Tear
Return to Dust
Krosan Grip
Hindering Light
Crop Rotation
Beast Within

Thanks for all of your help!

– Steve

This one’s a bit difficult for me, mostly because you’re asking to take the hands off the good stuff. It’s going to take a level of discipline and restraint I don’t usually have to reach for in order to meet that particular wish and not just build it for myself as it were. I think you can definitely firm up the deck to make it better able to use Child of Alara effectively, so we’re not going to switch the commander; we’re going to build around its permanent access to a board-sweeper effect and add in ways to make sure we can access it reliably and as often as we need to.

But the first thing I’d do would be to add the ten Ravnica dual lands and the ten fetchlands to your mana base, a difficult feat were I to try building this deck myself as I haven’t actually bothered to get the two blue Onslaught fetches due to their inaccessibly high price. Then I’d add Life from the Loam and Crucible of Worlds, spice those up with some Trade Routes action, and build a deck that was just focused on keeping things at parity while playing out lands until suddenly we meet at the Maze’s End and get a Guildgate-powered win.

We can get you to that latter part, but given no limitations I would be building this deck in a significantly different way and just wanted to get that off my chest before we begin. I do still get to go down the route of one of my favorite ways to play the game still since that very favorite card overlaps neatly with how Child of Alara works naturally, so we’ll still be able to have some fun. I’m not going to be able to honor all of the spirit of your "no good stuff" rule because the roles we need filling are pretty uniquely qualified and can’t really be worked around. "Powerful card drawers" is a pretty standardized class of cards, so when I look for more card drawing and see Fact or Fiction suggesting itself to me, I’m not going to shy away from it just to be ornery.

Taking that as a given, I still think there’s plenty of interesting space to fill, so let’s get to work.

The Lands

I’m going to have a lighter touch than I want to have here, which means we won’t go crazy and suggest a couple of hundred dollars just on your mana base. It’s sad because it means we won’t be using Life from the Loam or Crucible of Worlds, but mostly because I am absolutely in love with casting Last Stand and that is something that you just can’t do when much of your mana base doesn’t have a basic land type. Recurring Last Stand to kill bunches of people is probably the most fun thing I still haven’t gotten to do, but someday I will build a five-color deck again.

OUT: Rupture Spire, Transguild Promenade, Shimmering Grotto, Mirrodin’s Core, Evolving Wilds, Terramorphic Expanse, Crumbling Necropolis, 1x Plains, 2x Mountain, 2x Swamp


Mossfire Valley, Shadowblood Ridge, Darkwater Catacombs, Skycloud Expanse, Sungrass Prairie – You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get solid mana fixing, and these five lands are a great fit when you need easy access to various colors from turn to turn without the ability to rely on hybrid-mana requirements or much in the way of comes-into-play-tapped restrictions.

Seaside Citadel, Savage Lands – Green is clearly your main color and has the greatest access to mana fixing, so if you have your green ready you’ll be able to find the rest. We can still handle a few lands that come into play tapped—the upper boundary with cheap spells like you have is probably around fifteen—and the quality of these lands is worth adding more of them. I just think you need the right ones.

Command Tower, City of Brass – I know you must have a Command Tower somewhere if you have as many decks as it sounds like you have, and this is a deck that strongly needs the mana fixing where a two-color or even three-color deck might not need it quite as much. City of Brass causes pain but just a little, and having the land come into play untapped is starting to get important.

Miren, the Moaning Well – The mana base takes life, and the mana base giveth as well. Miren plus Child of Alara lets you trigger the ability at will and also claws back a decent amount of life in the process; High Market is cheaper mana-wise, but the bigger impact is worth the extra mana. I don’t really like life gain, but I’m willing to pay for it at an acceptable rate as long as it’s otherwise a free addition to a functioning part of the deck’s core strategy.

Tolaria West – Another land tutor that will find you Maze’s End or whatever else you need, well worth the addition considering how very high-value some of your land choices are. There will also be a spell or two to find with this while we’re at it.

Thawing Glaciers – While it doesn’t have the words "win the game" anywhere on it, it’s still a very strong card advantage and color-fixing source, and this doubles your ability to have something in the early game that will fill this niche role that lets you develop your mana for free.

Volrath’s Stronghold – One of the key problems with Child of Alara is that you have to let it go to the graveyard rather than returning it to the command zone in order to have it trigger. Volrath’s Stronghold combines nicely with your Commander to ensure you’ll have consistent access to the sweeper effect without losing the card that does it to the sweeper—lands aren’t affected and are also the easiest card type for you to tutor up.

Moorland Haunt – Sneakily, this does a similar task. Exiling a dead Child of Alara gets you a 1/1 flier, but more importantly it puts your commander back in the command zone without having to use a card to do so. The effect is basically irrelevant; it’s the cost we’re playing the card for.

This is two more additions than we’ve made cuts, but this will shift once we get to the next section, where I am going to make massive cuts.

The Artifacts


Brittle Effigy – You can get a better removal spell than this if you try. You aren’t really searching for this card type preferentially, and while you have a card that can rebuy it, that card’s not really worth the amount of space it takes to make it good and will go out with the rest of the trinkets.

Chromatic Star, Chromatic Sphere – The cheap cantrips I’d want would be Ponder and Preordain, not Chromatic Star or Chromatic Sphere. We’re making it so you need the color fixing aspect of these less and won’t really be reusing them, so out they come because we need the space.

Spectral Searchlight, Chromatic Lantern – We’re going to ramp with different cards instead and will just lose these when the Child goes off anyway.

Doubling Cube – It wasn’t really clear what this was going to do for you, and since it appears to be "just making mana," we’re going to cut it for the same reason we’re cutting the mana rocks. It’s going away when Child of Alara dies anyway, and we’re building to make sure that happens frequently and early on. I don’t think it’s going to make enough mana to be worthwhile, so we’re going to cut it instead.

Journeyer’s Kite – Replaced with a land instead because Thawing Glaciers is awesome and does it cheaper.

Powder Keg – We can get better removal than this if we try.


Oblivion Stone – Replaces our Powder Keg. This can preferentially miss your stuff and doesn’t have the problem of taking a lot of time (the high price of low mana costs!) or missing things you want to die (unlike a Pernicious Deed, this hits X exactly, not X or less). There is probably one of these in each of your other Commander decks too, but it’s the best it is at what it does (and what it does ain’t nice).

Engineered Explosives – Possibly also replacing your Powder Keg. We have a few extra ways to find a specifically zero-cost card thanks to Tolaria West, and EE is actually pretty awesome when you’re able to play all five colors of mana in your deck.

And we’re done. The other seven slots left unfilled will be moved elsewhere; two became lands directly, and we’re going to beef up your creature base somewhat so you have the potential to win a game other than via Maze’s End. The decisions you’d have to make in order to defend every last Guildgate in literally every zone warp us away from a fun place, and I don’t want the next hour after your Dimir Guildgate got accidentally exiled somehow to be a misery. Things break and plans go wrong, so we need at least something defensible as a Plan B.

The Spells

We’re looking to this section for support in keeping the board clear of threats and ourselves alive, and one thing we definitely need to do in that case is keep our hand full. Empty hands cast no spells, and it’s difficult to protect yourself from three other players who want you dead when you’re not able to mount your own defense. We’re going to really rip into this section, cutting more than half of your spells and realigning them as we need to in order to credibly answer major problems and assist our aim of winning the game by addressing common problems we can expect to encounter.


Embargo, Greed, Underworld Connections – If it’s a permanent, we need to get a lot out of it to make up for the fact that Child of Alara will wipe it away with everything else. These don’t convince me they should stay when we could pick other card drawing effects instead of these ones or that Embargo is going to do as much as we want it to in locking down the board.

Day of Judgment, Life’s Finale, Barter in Blood, Blasphemous Act – We’re going to pick an alternative set of sweepers instead, trying to answer the problems that Child can’t by itself.

Diabolic Tutor, Demonic Collusion, Recall, Nostalgic Dreams – I don’t think we need to tutor for any one specific nonland card in this deck, so the tutors are just kind of meh and uninteresting while adding more reliance on black mana than we might otherwise need, and the mass recursion spells require too many cards in hand to be traded for spent cards we want back for me to really think these are the most efficient ways to do it.

Forbid, Rewind, Hindering Light, Countersquall – I’m not convinced these are the right counterspells for the job; most are too narrow, while Forbid is just the kind of card that makes your opponents tighten up and focus on you if you ever so much as say the words "with buyback" at the same time. And if you’re not using it to buyback, why play it over Counterspell? I don’t think it’s the right tool for the job because you shouldn’t want to have to fight off the whole table at the same time.

Rite of Replication, Wear // Tear, Return to Dust, Putrefy, Condemn, Krosan Grip – While Wear // Tear is a new "good stuff" addition, I’m clumping it with the rest of these—they look like they’re here because these are the sorts of cards we play in Commander when we have access to these colors, not necessarily because we need to have access to them.

Clan Defiance – I don’t have much leading me to believe this card is the right one, even if it does seem to be a high-power spell. If this was the effect you wanted, Comet Storm could do much the same job at instant speed for just a little more mana stapled onto the multikicker and could hit absolutely everything and everyone else if that’s what it needed to do (and you had the mana to spare). It’s probably not the first-best choice for this sort of effect, and I’m not convinced you want this effect in any case.


Arcane Denial – You want another cheap counter, and you don’t necessarily want to lose a card when playing it. I prefer Arcane Denial to basic Counterspell not because of the easier mana cost—though that is nice—but because I don’t care if my opponent draws two cards when I counter his Tooth and Nail but I do care if I don’t have a card to answer the next major threat any player at the table may present, so I want my countermagic to replace itself instead of trade one for one. While Forbid would’ve solved this problem by throwing two cards at it, I don’t think it’s a wise card to include. I’d rather build so that we can draw our way to another problem solver when we need one, whether that’s a counter, pinpoint removal, or sweeper.

Muddle the Mixture – A large portion of the must-counter cards we’re going to run into are instants and sorceries, as this is a big spell format even more than it is an expensive enchantment or artifact format, plus your commander is good at handling those classes of permanents anyway. Choosing this one gives you the transmute ability that lets you find Sacred Ground and proactively protect yourself before you go for the win, Regrowth to buy back whatever you need, Sylvan Scrying to tutor up a land, and a few other solid odds and ends.

Scapeshift – You said it fit; I’m just acknowledging that to be true and adding this in accordingly.

Rout – Having access to a wrath effect at instant speed is pretty important, so this is well worth the extra mana on your Day of Judgment—gaining the ability to pay extra to play as an instant is very key in a format where three quarters of your time is spent on other players’ turns.

Final Judgment, Terminus – Both of these are here to acknowledge that difficult problems exist, and these can solve quite complicated board states with no negotiation and no chances for reanimation. No muss, no fuss, dead is dead.

Privileged Position – Having a Strip Mine or something equivalent in your deck is basically ubiquitous in the format, and you don’t want to keep trying to complete the Maze’s End just to have to set up some way to put your dead Guildgate back into your deck again before you can win. This card doubles up your protective barriers better than Terra Eternal would because there is not actually that much difference between its indestructibility and the protection granted by Sacred Ground but gaining shroud so they can’t be touched in the first place does provide a new layer of defense.

Kodama’s Reach – You liked the ramp effect enough to play the first effective copy, Cultivate, and I’m adding in the other at the expense of one of your mana rocks we’d cut earlier.

Regrowth, Praetor’s Counsel – Getting cards back from your graveyard is a feature you’d already built in, and this gives you access to your ‘yard in a cheap and effective manner (Regrowth) as well as in an expensive but ungodly-powerful fashion as well. No more "pay a lot of mana, discard a bunch of cards" approach; if you want to get more than a few things back from the graveyard, pick the whole thing up already. It’s one of green’s superpowers, so you might as well embrace it.

Grim Harvest – Your commander likes going to the graveyard but doesn’t like relying on permanents to get it back, so no Phyrexian Reclamation or Chainer, Dementia Master or whatnot. Grim Harvest is really hard to contain thanks to the Recover mechanic and is a strong way to buy back any of the creatures you’ve decided to play in order to play a long, grindy game from an advantaged position.

Rites of Flourishing – Putting extra lands into play is a solid effect for you. Based on your game plan, your positions is further advanced by this than any of your opponents’ is likely to be, so you get more out of this symmetrical effect than the rest of the table. That it also provides goodwill and goes away without having to invest a card besides Child of Alara on it when you’re done passing out the cookies helps provide secondary benefits and curb the worst problems you could face from it hanging around too long.

Fact or Fiction, Deep Analysis, Ancestral Vision – We wanted more card drawing, and some of the best candidates strongly suggested themselves. Ancestral Vision is important because it lets several of our cards end in an eventual "draw three cards" effect thanks to Tolaria West, while the other two just provide a chunk of cards.

You have enough access to graveyard recursion to not be too thoroughly inconvenienced if a Fact or Fiction split looks like it is going to put a Guildgate in the graveyard, and you don’t really have to worry about things until two show up and your opponent puts one in each pile (leaving you exposed). I don’t think that situation is going to come up enough to matter, especially since even those times won’t necessarily see the opponents capitalizing on the sudden vulnerability of a stranded Gate.

Skeletal Scrying – Also a card draw spell, but worth noting on its own because the cute trick of exiling a spent Child of Alara is a good one that adds an interesting layer of utility. Skeletal Scrying is pretty strongly underrated and will do some good work for you.

Mystic Remora – We don’t want to invest permanents on the table too heavily, so something like Underworld Connections is just going to end up with us disappointed for a variety of reasons. Mystic Remora triggers less frequently than Rhystic Study (and thus doesn’t have quite the annoyance factor) and converts far more readily into a card drawn (one mana is a tax, while four mana is clearly just showing you that deserve to get a card in your hand). This is a super-low mana commitment, even with cumulative upkeep on the card, when compared up against the flow of cards into your hand this is likely to generate.

Path to Exile, Swords to Plowshares – Boring, yes, but tried-and-true removal that is always effective and always the right price. I’d rather have the certainty of knowing something is dead than the option of being able to target an artifact as well since we really just need these to play crowd control for any egregiously dangerous critters in between Child of Alara sweeps (which handles all of the artifacts anyway).

Oblation – Alongside Beast Within, this handles any problem permanent type that might be causing you trouble, though admittedly this misses lands entirely. We want the right mix of flexibility and power to be able to answer any problem that presents itself with a strong solution card, and I’d rather have Oblation than Turn to Dust pretty much anytime.

The Creatures

We need to fit in a few more animals, things that help defend the board so you’re not having to play a removal spell every time someone plays a 4/4—that’s not actually that big of a creature in this format, so we need to be aiming to play on the table ourselves while we’re at it. We want to be able to win the game without completing the Maze Run or having to clock someone four times with Child of Alara, though the latter will remain our last-ditch answer to stuff like infinite life instead of building in something like Magister Sphinx to reset someone down to ten.

While I see these cards very commonly, that doesn’t mean they’re necessary; they may be at a high power level, but I also like taking into account the plan you’re building towards and having each card contribute. Typically stuff that just worries about your opponent’s life total for corner case scenarios isn’t very helpful.


Phyrexian Ingester – You don’t need removal that costs seven; you need removal that costs very little, and the benefit you receive for this seven-mana kill spell is that it leaves a big beater behind. You can get more efficient creatures cheaper—Lord of Extinction is a five-drop, and you have access to all the colors—so we need something besides just size to convince us to play the card. If you were recurring it instead of using it as a once-of effect, I’d be more intrigued, but this is just a removal spell with legs and I want more.

Kederekt Leviathan – Bouncing the board is not that interesting to me; killing the board is already within your wheelhouse, so this effect is not that important or game changing. The sort of answer this provides to indestructible board states we’ve pushed off to Terminus and Final Judgment, and if we really wanted the effect, I’d favor Cyclonic Rift in our spells. As it is, I want a more reliable creature that does something more interesting that we aren’t already doing well.

Inkwell Leviathan – I don’t see this as the reliable kill mechanism I think you’re expecting it to be, as it still dies to a sweeper and anyone without an Island can put up a credible defense.

Borborygmos Enraged – You aren’t optimized to use this, like with Life from the Loam or even big draw spells. I’d leave him out entirely; he just doesn’t fit.

False Prophet – We’ve added in more reliable wrath effects, so we’re going to replace this weaker wrath with a stronger creature instead.

Clone – I liked the Evil Twin because the kill effect gives it an interesting twist, but even with the new legend rule twisting the game so that you can copy someone else’s commander and get to play with it, I’m not convinced that a Clone is the right card for your deck. Sure, it’s efficient mana-wise, but having a good card yourself is better than having the second copy of a good card, as even that might not put you back to parity. You’re going to empty the board a lot, so I want cards that we can play onto an empty board.


Between those six cuts and the seven slots unfilled, we have thirteen additions to make back into the deck to get it to where I want it to be. Some will be small, others will be able to take over the game by themselves, and each of them helps push this deck to the style of game play you said you favored with it while upping the synergy and the power level.

Budoka Gardener – This one doesn’t see a lot of play, but you want an early enabler that can still be a meaningful threat later on in the game and this fits that requirement exactly. Early on it helps you make land drops ahead of schedule at minimal cost, which works with your plan of always having either Thawing Glaciers or Maze’s End to keep making more land drops faster. After helping to advance you towards solving the Dracogenius’ puzzle, he flips to make huge creatures that can batter the opponent to death turn after turn. Six mana’s not cheap, but it’s not like it’s costing you a card to make a 10/10, so we’re not really in a position to complain here.

Oracle of Mul Daya – If I thought Budoka Gardener was worth adding, clearly Oracle of Mul Daya is going to be a hard worker in your deck that loves making land drops as part of its plan to win the game literally. This card needs no further explanation; just get a turn with it and it’s already done its job, get it for more than that and it’s just a free-roll.

Trinket Mage – Another means to find whatever land you need by using this to find Expedition Map. It finds Map, Top, and Engineered Explosives, plus Relic of Progenitus and Elixir of Immortality. I’m usually content to play it just with Map and Top and maybe one other thing—I tend to see it and Skullclamp in the same decks a lot—and you have way more targets than that, so this is going to help you find all the right tools with much greater consistency. That it can also go Expedition Map into Tolaria West to find Ancestral Vision means this can even be a draw spell in the later stages of the game if you need raw card count instead of "just" Sensei’s Divining Top.

Etched Oracle – I love card draw more than pretty much anything else in this format, and one clear advantage of a five-color commander is that you get to play Etched Oracle. Give me time to myself, this, and Grim Harvest and I will be a very happy planeswalker. It’s also extremely strong alongside the Volrath’s Stronghold I suggest for the deck, letting you power through the doldrums with a few more cards each turn for an admittedly high mana investment. Being able to spend eight mana to draw two cards at will is a pretty good deal, though, when you’re deck is as determined as this one is to get extra lands into play slowly but steadily.

Etched Monstrosity – I like cards. I like 10/10s. How often do you get to play this guy anyway? This is the big body I wanted your Phyrexian Ingester to be, and you get way more value for your investment out of this monster.

Diluvian Primordial – Not exactly card draw, but it is three spells plus as many Black Lotuses as you need to cast them, which is a pretty impressive comes-into-play ability. It doesn’t really fit the flavor of the deck per se, but it does fit the needed power level and the spot on the curve we want it to occupy. We need bigger plays to reward us for having worked to get comfortable in the later stages of the game, and Diluvian Primordial is a very big play indeed—sometimes its enters-the-battlefield ability might as well say "win the game" on it. I’ve seen Storm Herd + Insurrection out of it, I’ve seen Tooth and Nail + Time Stretch out of it; in a format of big spells, this is the three biggest, and you can even reuse it the same way you can any other creature in the deck.

Mulldrifter – Not every effect has to be the biggest and splashiest one. Mulldrifter is a solid (if small) body and a good bit of card draw, and you’ve seen a few additions made to put that flying fish to work through creature recursion. Whether you’re playing this as Divination on turn 3 or grinding a consistent advantage with this and Grim Harvest, it gives you the cards you need to work with.

Shriekmaw – Same concept, different evoke creature. You do want removal, but I’d rather spend five or even two on that removal than the seven Phyrexian Ingester is asking you for. That it kills itself when you need it to is almost a plus when you can potentially use it multiple times in the same turn.

Geth, Lord of the Vault – Following the same line of thought as with Diluvian Primordial, I wanted something that made a huge dent in the game all by its lonesome and was tapped on the shoulder by my good friend Geth, who has done a lot of heavy lifting for me over the years. Geth is an army in a can and capable of winning a game all by himself as long as you have a good amount of mana for him to play with, whether by owning the board or even by milling someone out. He turns your opponent’s graveyard into your hand and your opponent’s library into their graveyard—once he starts going, he tends to complete (or compleat, as the Phyrexians put it).

Kozilek, Butcher of Truth – I really like card drawing. No, really. No, more than that. The body may be a huge guy who dies to Doom Blade, but sometimes Doom Blade doesn’t happen—and he’s always four more cards in hand when you cast him, helping you to get paid back for the focus and effort you’ve put into building up your mana base. Attacking with a creature that has annihilator is kind of a downer to people, but it’s not like you can cheat this out fast and it’s still better than locking someone out under a Forbid with buyback. Kozilek is on my list of top cards to have for the format because color doesn’t matter, everyone likes drawing cards, and he makes sense in this deck as well as you’re wanting big ways to close out a game once you’ve ground it down to parity.

Wurmcoil Engine – I don’t really like life gain, but I do like resilient creatures. That it comes with a decent amount of life gain attached to it makes it even better as I’m happy to have that particular effect on the free or cheap. I don’t want to pay for it but do want to include it, and Wurmcoil fits as a solid threat that doesn’t just die whenever you have to wipe the board—pop off the Child of Alara and you’ll still have two 3/3s for your trouble. (tl;dr: Good card is good.)

Sun Titan – Buying back dead lands is a good benefit to add, and this also takes your good enchantments like Sylvan Library and returns them to play after Child has wiped the board. We don’t have very many creatures to work this with, but we do have stuff like Armillary Sphere and Mind Stone, so it will go to use without really having to try very hard. It won’t have that many different things to choose from, but it will consistently have something to work with and a free advantage every turn is a good bonus to add to a creature.

And last but not least:

Aetherling – When you absolutely, positively have to kill someone eventually without being stopped by even a pretty large number of removal spells. It dodges almost anything that can get pointed at it so long as you have the mana—I always have to say almost because split second is a thing—and given enough time it’ll whittle down anyone eight unblockable points at a time. This seems like the pure kill card that you were looking for with those other fatties like Kederekt Leviathan, and Aetherling will get the job done.

Putting it all together, we get the following:

Child of Alara
Sean McKeown
Test deck on 08-25-2013
Magic Card Back

As always, for your participation on Dear Azami this week, you will be receiving a $20 coupon to StarCityGames.com. While some of the additions made are quite spendy, like that Kozilek I threw in there, I’m hoping that since you said you have a fairly deep collection of other Commander decks that it may be more a matter of shuffling things around between decks than having to hunt down new and expensive things I think you should try.

The interesting things I think you should try but might not have otherwise, like Mystic Remora, tend to be cheap even if they aren’t necessarily easy to find. I started playing with Ice Age and thus am all too painfully aware of how very far out-of-print Mystic Remora is, as I was in the eleventh grade when it came out and have now been playing Magic for more than half of my life at this point. It’s not something you’re going to casually find under the couch cushions, even if it’s not exactly expensive.

Laying it out by price, they cost a fair bit, broken down as follows:

 Etched Oracle  $0.25
 Diluvian Primordial   $0.49
 Grim Harvest   $0.49
 Mulldrifter   $0.49
 Mystic Remora   $0.49
 Moorland Haunt   $0.75
 Rites of Flourishing   $0.75
 Arcane Denial  $0.99
 Budoka Gardener   $0.99
 Muddle the Mixture   $0.99
 Shriekmaw   $0.99
 Skeletal Scrying   $0.99
 Trinket Mage   $0.99
 Deep Analysis   $1.49
 Etched Monstrosity   $1.49
 Kodama’s Reach   $1.49
 Oblation   $1.49
 Praetor’s Counsel   $1.49
 Savage Lands   $1.49
 Mossfire Valley   $1.99
 Seaside Citadel   $1.99
 Shadowblood Ridge   $1.99
 Sungrass Prairie   $1.99
 Fact or Fiction  $2.49
 Tolaria West   $2.49
 Darkwater Catacombs   $2.99
 Regrowth   $2.99
 Skycloud Expanse   $2.99
 Terminus   $2.99
 Aetherling   $3.49
 Final Judgment   $3.99
 Geth, Lord of the Vault   $3.99
 Sun Titan   $3.99
 City of Brass   $4.99
 Rout   $4.99
 Swords to Plowshares  $4.99
 Command Tower   $5.99
 Oracle of Mul Daya   $5.99
 Path to Exile   $5.99
 Engineered Explosives   $7.99
 Miren, the Moaning Well   $7.99
 Thawing Glaciers   $7.99
 Ancestral Vision   $8.99
 Scapeshift   $9.99
 Privileged Position   $10.99
 Oblivion Stone  $11.99
 Wurmcoil Engine   $14.99
 Volrath’s Stronghold   $24.99
 Kozilek, Butcher of Truth   $34.99

And with that, I’m off for the next two weeks as you get a double dose of Cassidy back-to-back. He’s been away on a family vacation, which means I now get a little bit of one myself as well. I will be coming back with Theros spoilers coming out and will hopefully have new Commanders to look at and new cards to get the juices flowing. I don’t know what I’ll be doing with my mini vacation, but I’m hoping that two weeks away from a writing commitment here might translate into forward progress in the novel that slowly but surely has been climbing its way out of me instead of going entirely to waste. I’m itching to see the new cards, but that doesn’t make them arrive any faster . . .

Sean McKeown

Want to submit a deck for consideration to Dear Azami? We’re always accepting deck submissions to consider for use in a future article, like Bez’s Mayael of the Anima deck or Dirk’s Ruhan of the Fomori deck. Only one deck submission will be chosen per article, but being selected for the next edition of Dear Azami includes not just deck advice but also a $20 coupon to StarCityGames.com!

Email us a deck submission using this link here!

Like what you’ve seen? Feel free to explore more of Dear Azami here! Feel free to follow Sean on Facebook; sometimes there are extra surprises and bonus content to be found over on his Facebook Fan Page, as well as previews of the next week’s column at the end of the week! Follow Cassidy on his Facebook page here or check out his Commander blog GeneralDamageControl.com!