Digging For Naya Gold With Rienne

Core Set 2020’s Buy-a-Box promo isn’t getting nearly enough Commander love! Bennie Smith is here to fix that by building around Rienne, Angel of Rebirth!

Core Set 2020 has been fully revealed and this weekend we’ll get to try out the new cards firsthand in the Prerelease tournaments. This set has a lot of great cards for Commander, furthering the streak of Magic sets that seem to be paying very close attention to us multiplayer fans. Last week I took a deep dive looking at our new five-color commander Golos, Tireless Pilgrim and all the cool land shenanigans you could pull together. This week I want to take a look at the Buy-A-Box promo, which you can get your hands on this weekend if you buy a box at the prerelease—Rienne, Angel of Rebirth!

Rienne, Angel of Rebirth

I haven’t heard too much buzz from the Commander community regarding this card, and I think that’s a huge oversight. Sure, Rienne isn’t overly flashy and doesn’t take you down a narrow, linear path that will break the format in half. To me, that’s huge upside to playing this commander, giving you the flexibility to include tons of interaction. The only real constraint is pushing towards playing a lot of multicolor creatures, which tend to be powerful anyway. I’ll also not be playing too many utility lands that don’t tap for colored mana, but I think Rienne’s upside more than makes up for that.

What we’re going to want to do is have multicolor creatures that sacrifice for benefit on their own, or cards where we can sacrifice multicolor creatures for benefit, that we can then get back to our hand with a Rienne trigger.

Let’s dig for some Naya gold, shall we?

Dies for Value

Okay, so first I searched for were multicolor creatures that sacrifice for a good effect. Elvish Hexhunter and Qasali Pridemage jumped out as ways to interact with permanents. Elvish Hexhunter stock has risen quite a bit these days thanks to the ever-present Smothering Tithe. Saffi Eriksdotter and Dauntless Escort do a nice job of protecting Rienne herself from non-exile removal. Then there are cards that need a sacrifice to function so we can sacrifice multicolor cards to Evolutionary Leap, Brion Stoutarm, and Eldrazi Monument.

The timing of Rienne’s triggered ability is such that you’ll often have to wait until your next turn in order to redeploy multicolor creatures that have died, but we can somewhat get around that with Sneak Attack so long as we have some extra red mana.

Multicolor Creatures

Okay, here’s the bread and butter of our Rienne deck—just good, quality multicolor creatures that hit just a little harder and are more difficult to permanently get rid of thanks to Rienne. Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder is particularly nice since his double strike trigger hits a little harder thanks to Rienne, providing a power boost. I like that the Naya combination gives us some ferocious creatures to command the skies like Dragonlord Dromoka and Palladia-Mors, the Ruiner. Trostani’s Summoner provides an army in a can and can be particularly nice to equip with Skullclamp while Rienne is out.

Multicolor Matters

I was a little surprised that there aren’t really all that many cards that care about multicolor cards specifically, but I’ve included a lot of them here. In our recent return to Ravnica we’ve gotten Guildmages’ Forum to help provide a boost to any smaller creatures we’ve drawn later in the game, and Tome of the Guildpact to provide mana and card drawing.

Card Draw/Selection

Speaking of card drawing, I’ve included a fair number of cards for that endeavor, though Rienne herself provides “card drawing” with her triggered ability. Greater Good is particularly nice since Rienne lets you draw an extra card thanks to her power boost, and then you get the creature you sacrificed back during the next end step.


I’ve been pushing to add more and more answer cards to break up some of the insanely powerful individual cards that people put in their Commander decks, and Naya gives us a ton of great options. We can manage graveyards with Stonecloaker, Angel of Finality, and Burn Away. It was awesome to get to dust off Vithian Renegades, since it’s multicolor and hits pretty hard with Rienne on the battlefield. We get to add Generous Gift to Beast Within for maximum flexibility in taking out problem permanents.

Rienne gives us a nice way to break the symmetry on Novablast Wurm while offering protection for the Wurm before we get to attack with it. Zacama, Primal Calamity is a fantastic late-game breaker and I love that with enough mana you can drop it for free, sacrifice it to Greater Good to draw a bunch of cards, and then get it back at the end of the turn with Rienne.

Mana Ramp

Some of the other cards in our list so far provide mana acceleration, but we’ll want to have more. I’ve included the usual green suspects here.

Other Stuff

The green, white and red God cards War of the Spark are all just really good cards that I want to be playing, and it’s fine that they’re not multicolored since they have their own resistance to removal. I like God-Eternal Rhonas’s enters-the-battlefield ability because it gets some additional mileage from Rienne’s power boost. Rienne’s ability should mean I’ll have a steady stream of creatures to cast, and that goes great with God-Eternal Oketra. And if I attack with Ilharg, the Raze-Boar and the creature I put onto the battlefield tapped and attacking gets killed in combat, Rienne will put it back to my hand anyway.

I like putting Blackblade Reforged in pretty much any Commander deck that intends to cast the commander, but I particularly love it in this build since our legendary count is fairly high. I mean, who doesn’t want to hand over the Blackblade to Dragonlord Dromoka to wield?

Sweet deck! But wait, there are too many cards. I’ll start by looking at our mana curve:

Converted Mana Cost

Number of Cards


7 (including lands that don’t produce mana)








11 plus commander



7+ and X


71 total cards plus 39 mana-producing lands equals ten cards too many, so we need to make some cuts! Let’s see what we can trim, starting with the top of our curve.

World Breaker is an easy call since I’m not going to play many lands that produce colorless mana to potentially bring World Breaker back from the graveyard. Ravager Wurm is a little bit harder to cut, but I don’t know if it packs enough bang for the bucks. Both of those cards are nice for managing problematic lands, but I’ve got other ways to do that. I’m not sure that I’m running enough large creatures to really justify Ilharg – it’s a good card in some decks, but I think it’s a safe cut here. Cutting Dragon Arch might be a mistake, but I think I rather like Sneak Attack better.

I feel that these cards just don’t quite do enough in this deck compared to the other cards we’re keeping. Spitemare actually works at cross-purposes with Tajic since we’d ideally want Spitemare to take a bunch of damage if we can.

I’m not sure an extra +1/+1 for each of our multicolor cards is worth the slot for Glass of the Guildpact. What do you think? I think Civic Saber belongs in a deck that plays more colors than this one. Vexing Shusher is a great little card, but I’m not necessarily interested in pushing a few particular big spells through countermagic, so I think that can go.

Okay, so here’s how the deck ended up:

Rienne, Angel of Rebirth
Bennie Smith
Test deck on 07-01-2019
Magic Card Back

What do you think? Are there any cards I’ve overlooked? If you see any new cards from Core Set 2020 that should find a home here, let me know!

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Deck Database

I’ve been writing about the Commander format and Magic: The Gathering in general for nearly two decades. Visit the Star City Games article archives for tons of content dating back to January 2000!

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